Anti Aging Today

HGH, Human Growth Hormone

What is HGH (Human Growth Hormone)?

What is Recombinant Growth Hormone (GH)?

Recombinant Growth Hormone is GH that is synthesized in the lab. It is a biosynthetic hormone that is identical to human growth hormone, but it is synthesized in the lab. Creating an exact replicate of HGH was not an easy task.

First scientist needed to isolate HGH. Once they achieved this step they could study the DNA make-up of the protein. Scientist quickly realized making recombinant GH would be no easy task since they had to accurately reproduce a 191 amino acid hormone.

I wish I could say it was the quest to help mankind that lead to the invention of recombinant GH, but really it was money! Pharmaceutical companies knew that there was big money to be made if they could create HGH in a test tube. Scientist from the major drug companies raced to produce the 191 amino acid hormone in a test tube. While Genentech first claimed victory in 1985, it was a short lived success. The recombinant GH they made was a 190 amino acid match - they were one amino acid off from HGH. This left the door open for Eli Lilly, who in 1986 created a 191 amino acid hormone that was an identical match to the HGH produced by the pituitary gland. The drug is called Humatrope and is the most widely used recombinant growth hormone today.

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What is IGF-1?

IGF-1 stands for Insulin-like Growth Factor 1. IGF-1 is also known as Somatomedin-C. As important as HGH is, it does not last long in our bloodstream. In just a few short minutes our liver absorbs HGH and converts it into growth factors. IGF-1 is the most important growth factor that is produced. So, IGF-1 is a hormone just like HGH, but it is easier to measure in the body because it stays in our bloodstream longer than HGH. You can think of HGH as the hormone that gets the ball rolling, but IGF-1 does most of the work.

What is a Secretagogue?

A secretagogue is an agent that stimulates secretion. For now that is all you need to know about these agents with a funny name, but as we move on the functions of secretagogues and HGH enhancement will become important.

What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is an art of healing that is based on the principle of similars. The philosophy behind this alternative medicine is the idea that "like cures like." "Traditional medicine" often incorporates this same belief. For example, a flu shot is used to prevent the flu. The shot contains small amounts of the flu virus. The idea being that likes cure likes.

It is important to note that Homeopathic remedies often use very small amounts of drugs and supplements. You are not trying to cure the problem with the active ingredients in the homeopathic remedy, you are just trying to stimulate the body to cure itself.

The Role of HGH in the Body

Good news, after reading through the boring HGH definitions page this will seem like a thriller. In this article we begin to explore what we know about the effect of HGH on the body...

What role does HGH play in the body?

Human growth hormone and IGF-1 (if you need definitions click here) have been shown to play a significant role in:

* Conversion of body fat to muscle mass
* Growth of all tissues
* Energy level
* Tissue repair
* Whole body healing
* Cell replacement
* Bone strength
* Brain function
* Sexual function
* Organ health and integrity
* Enzyme production
* Integrity of hair, nails, skin and vital organs

Basically, anything that goes on in your body is in some way tied to HGH. This is why HGH is often called the "fountain of youth". Elevated HGH levels are what makes you feel young again.

Does your body always produce HGH?

The good news is that your body must always produce HGH or you would not be able to function. The bad news is that as you get past about 20 years old, your body produces less and less HGH each year. By age 60 you will probably have lost 75% of the HGH that your body produced.

If you are a numbers person, here are some average HGH secretion levels:

* At 20 years old we average 500 micrograms/day
* At 40 years old we average 200 micrograms/day
* At 80 years old we average 25 micrograms/day

Why does the body produce less HGH as we get older?

This is the million-dollar question. It really ties into the bigger question - Is aging a preventable disease? For years people have believed that as we get older our body basically wears out. The theory went that all of our organs, tissues, muscles, bones, etc. have a set life span and will get weaker as we age. When someone is 40 and complains that they can't do what they did at 20, we accepted this as the natural process of getting old.

Research into HGH shows that aging may be preventable to a certain extent. Let me clarify that, I am not saying that we will all become immortal . What I am saying is that research indicates that our body is very capable at the age of 40 to have the same makeup as we did at the age of 20. Okay, I am getting a little carried away - let's get back to HGH...

It was originally believed that the pituitary gland just didn't have the capacity to produce large amounts of HGH as we get older. However, recent studies have shown that aging pituitary glands are capable of producing as much HGH as young pituitary glands, if it is adequately stimulated. This shows that the somatotrophe cell, the cell in the pituitary gland that releases HGH, does not "lose power" as we age.

The questions still remains, if the problem is not with the pituitary gland, then why does HGH decrease as we age? One theory is that the pituitary gland does not "know" it should be producing more HGH. Our body has a feedback loop that says when the IGF-1 levels decrease, produce more HGH. For some unknown reason it is possible that this loop is broken and the pituitary gland has a harder time getting the signal to produce more HGH as we age.

Another theory is that as we get older our Somatostatin levels increase. Somatostatin is a natural inhibitor to growth hormone. So, as we age the somatostatin levels increase and this leads to a decrease in HGH.

As we speak a lot of very smart people are trying to come up with a definitive answer as to why HGH levels decrease with age, but as of now we just have theories.

Is there any way to maintain high HGH levels as we age?

Yes. Back on our growth hormones definitions page we discussed the recombinant GH that is made by Eli Lilly. A doctor can do a daily injection of this GH and it will lead to an overall increase of growth hormone in the body. It is important to understand that recombinant GH is only available by injection. Human growth hormone is a 191 chain amino acid hormone that is too delicate to be made in any oral form (pill, powder, spray, etc).

What effect does this increase in HGH have on the body?

This is where it gets exciting. While numerous studies have been done on the effects of HGH injections, the most ground breaking study was done by Dr. Rudman and published in the New England Journal of Medicine on July 5, 1990. The journal reported that men who had taken HGH injections had shown a 8.8 percent gain in lean body mass with a 14 percent loss in body fat - without any change in diet or activity! It bears repeating that there was no change in diet or exercise - and the subjects who received HGH injections had a 8.8 percent increase in lean body mass.

If you look at all the studies that have been done on HGH injections you get the following list of benefits:

* 8.8% increase in muscle mass on average after six months, without exercise
* 14.4% loss of fat on average after six months, without dieting
* Higher energy levels
* Enhanced sexual performance
* Regrowth of heart, liver, spleen, kidneys and other organs that shrink with age
* Greater cardiac output
* Superior immune function
* Increased exercise performance
* Better kidney function
* Lowered blood pressure
* Improved cholesterol profile, with higher HDL and lower LDL
* Stronger bones
* Faster wound healing
* Younger, tighter, thicker skin
* Hair regrowth
* Wrinkle removal
* Elimination of cellulite
* Sharper vision
* Mood elevation
* Increased memory retention
* Improved sleep

(* The above is taken from Grow Young with HGH by Dr. Ronald Klatz)

> HGH, Human Growth Hormone... Continued >

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