You may have heard about the use of human growth hormone (HGH) for weight loss and are wondering whether HGH really does help people reach their goal weight. HGH is a hormone that naturally occurs in the human body, serving a range of metabolic purposes.
In its synthetic form, it is useful in treating certain diseases, most notably Turner syndrome. Scientists have also conducted extensive researching on its role in managing weight in obese subjects and in older people.
Injecting HGH is proved to cause changes in muscle and fat distribution and sometimes even weight loss. Clinics such as the National HRT offer legal HGH therapies for those who need them. Continue reading to learn more about the effects of HGH on weight loss.
What Is HGH?
The human growth hormone, as its name suggest, is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland and is responsible for spurring growth in children. Once we stop growing, the HGH serves a wide range of metabolic functions that aid in regulating a healthy body composition.
In order to have a healthy muscle to fat ratio, we need optimal levels of HGH. Research shows that obese patients have a low level of HGH.
Also, as we age, the amount of HGH in our body decreases, which results in the loss of lean mass and an increase in adipose tissue. Knowing this, scientists conducted research to see if administering HGH would result in weight loss in obese people and have a rejuvenation effect on older patients. In addition, low testestrone levels symptoms start. This is due to low metabolic rate.
What Does The Research Show?
The first research, which resulted in an increased interest in HGH for weight loss, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1990. The research included 21 men who were given HGH injections over a period of six months.
By the end of the research, scientists measured an increase in muscle mass, decrease in body fat and an increase in bone density in men who were given HGH. The results of this study seemed promising.
However, later studies showed varying results as far as weight loss is concerned. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism published a meta-analysis of 24 articles dealing with the effects of HGH on obesity.
The analysis of this data showed that administering HGH to obese patients had a positive effect on body composition by increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat, but it had no effect on overall weight loss.
Furthermore, these effects were noted in only a small group of subjects. They also point out to the lack of research on the side effects of such therapies.
Mary Lee Vance, M.D states in her article on the role of growth hormone in aging that going to the gym is a better and much cheaper option for those who want to lose weight.
Who Uses HGH Therapies?
So if research shows that administering HGH has favorable effects on body composition but insignificant effects on treating obesity, we have to ask, who should use HGH therapy? Clinics, such as the National HRT, provide a wide range of hormone replacement therapy.
They administer HGH injections to people who show, via blood tests, to have low levels of HGH. These are usually older persons whose health and well-being are affected by low levels of HGH.
The National HRT clinic also points out the misuse of HGH by athletes who believe injecting HGH will help better their performance due to the increase in muscle mass.
However, research also shows that the increase in muscle mass does not result in better muscle strength or performance. HGH cannot be a replacement for vigorous exercising.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Injecting HGH to those suffering from Turner syndrome or childhood growth hormone deficiency does not have any side effects, but can actually help them grow and develop normally.
HGH injections will cause side effects if there is too much of the hormone in the blood. These include joint pain, headaches, edema, carpal tunnel syndrome and glucose intolerance. As far as taking other forms of HGH that are taken orally, such as in pill or powder form, you wouldn’t experience any side effects or any effects whatsoever.
Companies selling oral forms of HGH are scams because HGH, being a peptide, is completely digested by the digestive tract, as Mary Lee Vance, M.D points out. She compares taking oral HGH to eating steak.
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HGH injections are completely legal and are provided to patients from clinics. They do aid in creating more muscle mass and decreasing body fat, but have a limited effect as far as weight loss is concerned.
They are of great importance for people with an HGH deficit such as Turner syndrome sufferers, but cannot be used to treat obesity. Also, HGH only has an effect if taken intravenously.
Taking HGH orally is a waste of time and money. To see if you are a candidate for HGH therapy, consult a trained physician in order to avoid putting your health in danger.