DOES HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE (HGH) REALLY SLOW DOWN AGING?
Every night when you sleep, your pituitary gland, a kidney-bean-size gland at the base of your brain, goes to work, releasing human growth hormone, or HGH, a polypeptide consisting of 191 amino acids.
HGH flows into your bloodstream and binds to specific cell-surface receptors found throughout your body, including your brain, where those receptors are especially dense in the regions responsible for learning and memory. It also binds to fat cells, causing them to release part of their cargo, and stimulates your liver to produce a powerful hormone called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which promotes the growth of bone, cartilage, and muscle.
So, we know, and have known for a long time, that HGH is natural, necessary, and hugely important in maintaining many aspects of a healthy mind and body. But, is adding more HGH, either by direct injection of HGH or by consuming supplements that encourage the body to release more HGH, a positive endeavor? Will supplementing your body’s natural amount of HGH lead to better health and a slowing of the effects of aging?
Human growth hormone (HGH) is a naturally occurring hormone produced by the pituitary gland. It’s important for growth, cell regeneration, and cell reproduction.
HGH helps to maintain, build, and repair healthy tissue in the brain and other organs. This hormone can help to speed up healing after an injury and repair muscle tissue after exercise. This helps to build muscle mass, boost metabolism, and burn fat. HGH is also said to benefit the quality and appearance of the skin. It’s said to slow down the aging process and treat age-related diseases. However, research supporting these claims is limited.
HGH works by stimulating metabolic processes in cells to activate metabolism. It stimulates the liver to make an insulin-like protein that produces cartilage cells. This plays a part in bone and organ growth, as well as muscle protein synthesis.
We need growth hormones throughout our lives for our cells to correctly function. Think of your body like a car; HGH is similar to oil for a car. In the same manner that your engine cannot perform its many tasks without oil, insufficient levels of growth hormones can cause you not to properly function.
Your body needs human growth hormone to:
- Have stamina
- Feel energetic
- Have restorative sleep
- Burn fats, carbohydrates, and protein
- Build and maintain strong bones and lean muscles
Without enough growth hormone, your body will not be able to perform at its peak. HGH surges during childhood and adolescence, but by the time you’re 40, you’re producing only about half as much as you were at 20. Still, even that small amount is critical for body maintenance. This natural slowdown has triggered an interest in using synthetic human growth hormone (HGH) as a way to stave off some of the changes linked to aging, such as decreased muscle and bone mass.
When people take synthetic HGH, it can increase their muscle mass and decrease their body fat, according to the Mayo Clinic. But it doesn’t make people stronger or boost performance, according to experts from Harvard University.
While the decline in HGH as we age might be part of why older people often feel less energized and fit, that same decline “may be offering important protection from cancer and other age-associated diseases,” one study concluded.
Scientific evidence supports the facts that HGH operates to restore balanced growth hormone concentrations and reverse HGH deficiency symptoms. HGH has the same biological composition as somatotropin, a chemical messenger secreted with the previous hypophysis. Additional HGH is used when self-manufacturing HGH no longer meets the requirement of the body.
Somatotropin has so many effects in the body that its decrease can dramatically affect the well-being of an adult. HGH impacts memory, immunity the brain functions, metabolism, libido, and heart health.
HGH is injected intramuscularly (IM) and subcutaneously (under the skin) if it’s been prescribed. Sometimes, illicit manufacturers offer HGH in an injectable form as well.
HGH and substances that promote HGH production are sold online by some companies as dietary HGH supplements, which claim to have the same benefits as the injections. These supplements are sometimes known as human growth hormone releasers. Some of them are said to increase HGH levels in your body because of ingredients such as amino acids.
If you want to encourage your body to boost its HGH levels naturally without using illegal injections or expensive bottles of “HGH” mystery potions, you can use herbal supplements that have been proven to boost growth hormone levels on their own.
Adaptogenic herbs and foods, in particular, can be helpful for stimulating the body to create more HGH on its own. Mucuna is an example of an herb that has been shown to successfully increase HGH levels in the body.
Both L-glutamine and L-arginine have also been proven to increase levels of HGH in the body naturally and can be obtained over the counter legally. When these amino acids are taken in combination with exercise, study participants have shown a marked increase in growth hormone.
In addition to supplementation, short bursts of aerobic exercise and adequate sleep in a completely dark room can also increase your growth hormone levels naturally.
If you are wondering how long growth hormone takes to work, you should know that each client who undergoes HGH therapy has different results that occur in individualized timelines. No timeline for HGH therapy is the same, nor do they produce the same results. Results will differ based on each client, and how fast treatment begins to work will vary.
If you want to boost the amount of HGH occurring naturally in your body, then you need to take a look at your diet. Other than training, what you eat is the most important factor for any serious gym-goer wanting to increase HGH production.
Research shows that as little as 2g of foods high in the amino acid glutamine, such as yogurt, is enough to raise production of HGH. Eat after dinner to top up your levels.
Protein benefits aside, the amino acids found in your favorite steak help you synthesise L-orthinine; a compound that raises your growth hormone by up to four times above baseline levels.
Vitamin D deficiency is directly related to lowered levels of male hormones, but raw fish such as salmon sashimi provides 270% of your RDA per 100g serving.
Melatonin-rich foods can increase the release of HGH by up to 150%. Raspberries give the best boost to your levels, so throw some on your oats for breakfast.