HGH weight loss therapy supporters claim that you will experience a range of benefits including improved energy, strength, and immunity, an increase in muscle, and body weight loss.Popular hormone therapies include: Human Growth Hormone (HGH), melatonin, Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and testosterone.
Research on human growth hormone and weight loss is ongoing, and we dont yet know what the potential side effects of hGH weight loss injections and hGHtherapy may be.
However in one study of growth hormone and sex steroids in older men and women, scientists found that HGH therapy substantially increased lean body mass and decreased fat mass in both sexes.
In combination with testosterone, growth hormone significantly improved cardiovascular endurance in older men. But the researchers also reported a number of side effects, including an increased incidence of glucose intolerance and diabetesamong men, which raise important questions about the safety of using growth hormone alone or in combination with other treatments.
Although this study suggests that growth hormone or related substances, particularly given in combination with testosterone in older men, may one day be a promising therapeutic agent in the treatment of certain age-related conditions, it is not ready for prime time, said Marc R. Blackman, M.D., author of the study and Associate Chief of Staff, at the Research & Development Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
There is much that we still dont know about its efficacy and, more importantly, there are too many known and potential adverse consequences associated with it. It is a fascinating and promising area of research, but at this time we cant recommend it for use outside of a carefully controlled and monitored clinical trial.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) , was conducted jointly by investigators from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Intramural Research Program and investigators from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, supported by grants from the NIA and the National Center Research Resources.
Human growth hormone is made by the pituitary gland, a pea-sized structure located at the base of the brain, and is important for normal development and maintenance of tissues and organs.
Testosterone and estrogen, two important sex steroids, work in combination with hGH to spark puberty and maturation during adolescence.
Dr. Blackman, hypothesizes that similar interactions are involved in the natural declines of hGH and sex steroids in later decades, contributing to the onset of age-related changes such as decreased muscle mass and increased body fat.
So in theory, replenishing these hormones could slow or reverse some age-related effects.
To test this, Dr. Blackman and his colleagues studied 57 healthy men and 74 healthy women, ages 65 to 88, divided into eight groups**. These volunteers were given recombinant human growth hormone alone, a sex steroid alone, a combination of hGH and sex steroids, or placebos for both hGH and sex steroids.
After 26 weeks of treatment, the volunteers were assessed for changes, compared to baseline measures, in lean body mass, total fat mass, muscle strength, cardiovascular endurance and adverse effects. Cardiac endurancemeasured during a treadmill exercise test by the amount of oxygen consumed, is an important gauge of the bodys capacity for work.
Benefits of HGH
Overall, both men and women exhibited significant increases in lean body mass and decreases in fat mass after treatment with hGH, and men treated with both hGH and testosterone had greater improvements in these measures than did those who were treated with either hormone alone.
Older men who received hGH plus testosterone also had improved cardiovascular endurance. However, this effect was not evident among men treated with hGH or testosterone alone, or among older women treated with hGH, estrogen and progestin, or a combination of growth and sex hormones. The study detected no clear effect of treatment on muscle strength.
HGH Side Effects
Adverse effects of treatment were reported in up to 40 percent of the volunteers, with the greatest percentages occurring among men and women who were treated with hGH, with or without concomitant sex steroid.
Common side effects in both sexes included joint pain, swelling, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
In general, men experienced more frequent and severe side effects than did women. Eighteen men treated with hGH developed either transient glucose intolerance,a precursor to diabetes, or diabetes, compared with seven men not receiving the hormone. No women developed glucose intolerance or diabetes, but they were more prone than men to develop swelling (edema). All side effects, including diabetes, abated two to six weeks after treatment was discontinued.
The differences in both beneficial and adverse effects of hGH between men and women could have been partly due to dosage, Dr. Blackman said. In the study, both sexes were treated based on body weight. But subsequent studies have found that women need higher doses of hGH to elicit a physiological response similar to that of men.
This study makes the important point that because adverse effects were common in response to growth hormone administration, individuals, particularly those who are elderly, should not use hGH outside of controlled investigational studies.
The adverse effects found in this study follow a recent report suggesting that long-term treatment of young and middle-aged adults with human pituitary growth hormone increased the risk of subsequent cancer. Whether older persons treated with hGH for extended periods will demonstrate an increased risk of cancer is unknown.
Although there is no conclusive evidence that hGH treatmetns will result in weight loss, some people spend a great deal of money on hgh supplements.
These supplements are claimed, by some, to increase muscle, decrease fat, and to boost an individuals stamina and sense of well-being. Shots of hGH can cost more than $15,000 a year. They are available only by prescription and should be given by a doctor.
But individuals should be wary of this controversial treatment because so little is known about its long-term risks and benefits.
Is hGH Illegal? Licit and Illicit Uses
Human growth hormone (hGH) occurs naturally in the human body. HGH is a polypeptite hormone secreted by the pituitary gland and is often abused by members of the bodybuilding community, athletes and baby boomers because of its perceived potential to build lean muscle mass and attenuate weight loss (decrease body fat). In the 1980s a synthetic human growth hormone was developed and approved by the Food and Drug Administration for specific uses.
The FDA approved formulations of human growth hormone are administered via subcutaneous or intramuscluar injection. Use of HGH is only approved for certain populations, under very narrowly defined health conditions like Turners syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome in children and for hGH deficiency and to prevent muscle wasting in people diagnosed with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (human immunodeficiency virus).
Human growth hormone is often sold illegally by physicians for off label uses and/or prescribed for FDA approved medial uses without physician supervision or examination.
As part of the 1990 Anabolic Steroids Control Act, the distribution and possession, with the intent to distribute, of hGH for any useother than the treatment of a disease or other recognized medical condition, where such use has been authorized by the Secretary of Health and Human Servicesand pursuant to the order of a physician was criminalized as a five-year felony under the penalties chapter of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act of the FDA. hGH is listed by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee as a performance enhancing drug barring athletes from using it.
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