Human growth hormone (hGH) is a 191-amino acid, single-chain polypeptide hormone released from the anterior pituitary gland under the control of the hypothalamus.  In children, growth hormone (GH) has growth-promoting effects on the body.  It stimulates the secretion of somatomedins from the liver, which are a family of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) hormones.  These, along with GH and thyroid hormone, stimulate linear skeletal growth in children.  In adults, GH stimulates protein synthesis in muscle and the release of fatty acids from adipose tissue (anabolic effects).  It inhibits uptake of glucose by muscle tissue while stimulating uptake of amino acids.  The amino acids are used in the synthesis of proteins, and the muscle shifts to using fatty acids as a source of energy.  GH secretion occurs in a pulsatile (short, concentrated) secretion at night during deep sleep.  Thus, people suffering from sleep apnea, insomnia, or other sleep disorders may have lower than optimal levels of hGH.

Declines in hGH secretion are seen in people with histories of traumatic brain injury (any head injury that caused a loss of consciousness), sleep problems, chronic illness, and the aging process.  Repetitive head trauma, as seen in contact sports, has been shown to cause dysfunction of an area of the brain called the hypothalamus.  This area of the brain controls the regulation of many hormones, including hGH.  Two popular theories for the decline of hGH over time exist.  One explanation is that as the pituitary ages, it loses its ability to secrete hGH.  The other theory is that stress, illness and aging cause an increase in the release of somatostatin.  Somatostatin is a hormone released in the brain to inhibit or stop the release of hGH.

Reported effects on GH deficient patients include decreased body fat, increased muscle mass, increased bone density, increased energy levels, improved skin tone and texture, increased sexual function, improved sleep, improved heart and lung function, and improved immune system function.  At this time, hGH is still considered a very complex hormone, and many of its functions are still unknown.  hGH has been used for remission of multiple sclerosis, to reverse the effects of aging in older adults, to enhance weight loss in obesity, as well as fibromyalgia, heart failure, Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis, burns and bodybuilding or athletic enhancement.

Side effects, such as joint swelling, joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, an increased risk of diabetes and decreased thyroid functions have been reported.  These are usually related to supraphysiologic doses (higher than optimal levels).  Long-term use of these high doses can also lead to acromegaly (thickening the bones of the jaw, fingers and toes), or gigantism.  These are very serious conditions that, fortunately, are all but eliminated with proper physician supervision.

Frequently, patients are concerned with the risk of cancer and the use of hGH.  Our bodies produce millions of new cells each and every day.  With these vast numbers of production there is bound to be some abnormal cell production.  Our immune system is responsible for finding and destroying these abnormal cells.  As stated earlier, the immune system is enhanced by hGH, and therefore performs its function better, and thus reducing the likelihood that these abnormal cells will go on to produce a cancer.  The data from cancer survivors have consistently shown no increased risk of recurrence of the primary tumor in survivors of all tumor types who are treated with hGH.  Overall, the clinical data is reassuring, but continued surveillance is mandatory.

There are now more ways to improve natural hGH levels in the body besides direct administration of the hormone.  Doctors have prescribed growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) to stimulate the pituitary release of hGH.  Traditionally, this had been used to test for growth hormone deficiency, but now it is used therapeutically as well.

There is also research regarding finding ways to increase the body’s own natural production of hGH through the use of secretagogues.  They work one of two ways, by directly stimulating the pituitary gland to secrete more hGH, and/or by inhibition of somatostatin.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of products without research that are of no value.  However, after recent review and evaluation, I believe that there is a relatively new product that has demonstrated clinically effective positive impact on the body’s ability to increase its own natural hGH production.  This product is believed to work by binding with those specific receptors that cause the desired secretion of the releasing factors that are ultimately responsible for hGH production.  It is a sublingual product with a patented receptor cell targeting liposomal delivery, designed to stimulate the pituitary.  It is made of naturally occurring secretagogues.  It comes in a spray that is directed under the tongue twice a day, with the cost being about one-eighth of injectable hGH.

It is extremely important for anyone wishing to explore the possibility of hGH use to seek medical advice from a physician.  Laboratory tests, history and physical examination all play a critical role in the determination of human growth hormone deficiency.  When optimal levels of hormones exist, and one blindly ventures into the use of hGH, the risks for negative side effects increases.  Some of these side effects are irreversible and very dangerous.

Dr. John J. Pierce • Ageless Forever Anti-Aging and Longevity Clinic is located at 6020 S. Rainbow Blvd. Suite C  Las Vegas, NV 89118 • 702-838-1994 •

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