Human growth hormone (HGH) is the latest drug people are turning to believing it will keep them looking and feeling young. That is not the case though and experts say that belief is not supported by the studies that have been conducted. What makes matters worse, is that these products can be harmful if used for other than their intended purpose.
HGH is produced by the pituitary gland and starts growth in children and adolescents. HGH also assists in regulating body composition, body fluids, muscle and bone growth, sugar and fat metabolism, and possibly heart function. HGH is also produced synthetically and is the active ingredient in many prescription drugs and in other products and is widely available through the Internet.
Synthetic HGH was developed in 1985 and approved by the FDA for specific uses in children and adults. For children, HGH injections are approved to treat short stature with unknown causes and slow growth that may occur due to any number of medical causes, including:
- Turner’s syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects a girl’s development.
- Prader-Willi syndrome, an uncommon genetic disorder causing poor muscle tone, low levels of sex hormones, and a constant feeling of hunger.
- Chronic kidney insufficiency.
- HGH deficiency or insufficiency.
- Children born small for gestational age.
For adults, HGH is approved to treat:
- Short bowel syndrome, a condition in which nutrients are not properly absorbed due to severe intestinal disease or the surgical removal of a large portion of the small intestine.
- HGH deficiency due to rare pituitary tumors or their treatment.
- Muscle-wasting disease associated with HIV/AIDS.
Unfortunately the most common uses for HGH are not FDA-approved. People are using HGH and other performance-enhancing drugs, to build muscle and improve athletic performance. The sad thing is that we have no idea of what, if any effect HGH has on an athlete’s performance.
Our bodies produce less HGH naturally as we age. Some claim that HGH products could reverse age-related bodily deterioration. Alas these claims are unproven. It is important to understand that the use of HGH for antiaging is not FDA approved.
Believe it or not though, people will obtain injectable HGH from doctors who prescribe it for uses for which it was not approved by the FDA and through Internet pharmacies, antiaging clinics and web sites.
Still others purchase HGH products (or products that claim to increase your body’s own production of HGH) in the form of pills and sprays. The companies that market the products on infomercials or online, claim they turn back the body’s biological clock, reduce fat, build muscle, restore hair growth and color, strengthening the immune system, normal blood sugar, increase energy and improve sex life, quality of sleep, vision, and memory. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has seen no evidence to support these claims. It is also important to note that HGH is always given by injection. When taken orally, HGH is digested by the stomach before it is absorbed into the body.
The possible side effects of HGH are:
- nerve, muscle, or joint pain
- swelling due to fluid in the body’s tissues (edema)
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- numbness and tingling of the skin
- high cholesterol levels
HGH will increase the risk of diabetes and facilitate the growth of cancerous tumors. Try this on for size. If you get HGH illicitly, you may not know what you are getting. Since the cost of HGH is very high, the drugs are counterfeited. If you do not get HGH from your doctor, you may be getting an unapproved product. If the HGH you get is ingestible, you are literally flushing your money down the toilet.
HGH seems so popular especially among the Hollywood crew. My personal opinion? Quite frankly, not really sure, but from all of my research to date, I don’t think I’ll be trying it on for size. Fountain of youth you say? Allow me to share my own opinion regarding fountain of youth secrets.
- Always, and I mean always, wear sunglasses when outside, even in the winter (helps with the crow’s feet my friends)
- Sweat, sweat and more sweat, I am convinced sweating everyday is one of the secrets to the fountain of youth
- Eat your greens, dandelions, kale, collard greens and Swiss chard; don’t try to fill the void with supplements, just eat your greens
- Cut out white flour, instead add more quinoa, ferro and barley into your diet
- Chia seeds, oh you can’t imagine how glorious these are for antiaging
- Go nuts, I mean really go nuts! Raw walnuts and almonds are great
- Tons of H2O folks, don’t forget!
- Reduce alcohol, I promise it will take age off your face
- B12, looking for energy? Take it sublingually.
Well my friends I can go on and on and on…maybe next week. Remember, all of the above are great secrets but here is my favorite secret to share with you. Believe in God with all your heart, it will do more for your mind, body and soul than any food, drug or supplement can.