In the human body growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland. It exists
at especially high levels during adolescence when it promotes the growth of
tissues, protein deposition and the breakdown of subcutaneous fat stores. Upon
maturation endogenous levels of GH decrease, but remain present in the body at
a substantially lower level. In the body the actual structure of growth hormone
is a sequence of 191 amino acids. Once scientists isolated this hormone, many
became convinced it would exhibit exceptional therapeutic properties. It would
be especially effective in cases of pituitary deficient dwarfism, the drug
perhaps restoring much linear growth if administered during adolescence.
he 1980's brought about the first prepared drugs containing Human Growth
Hormone. The content was taken from a biological origin, the hormone being
extracted from the pituitary glands of human corpses then prepared as a medical
injection. This production method was short lived however, since it was linked
to the spread of a rare and fatal brain disease. Today virtually all forms of
HGH are synthetically manufactured. The recombinant DNA process is very
intricate; using transformed e-coli bacterial or mouse cell lines to
genetically produce the hormone structure. It is highly unlikely you will ever
cross the old biologically active item on the black market (such as Grorm), as
all such products should now be discontinued. Here in the United States two
distinctly structured compounds are being manufactured for the pharmaceutical
market. The item Humatrope by Eli Lilly Labs has the correct 191 amino acid
sequence while Genentech's Protropin has 192. This extra amino acid slightly
increases the chance for developing an antibody reaction to the growth hormone.
The 191 amino acid configuration is therefore considered more reliable,
although the difference is not great. Protropin is still Anabolics 2002
considered an effective product and is prescribed regularly. Outside of the
U.S., the vast majority of HGH in circulation will be the correct 191 amino
acid sequence so this distinction is not a great a concern.
The use of growth hormone has been increasing in popularity among athletes, due
of course to the numerous benefits associated with use. To begin with, GH
stimulates growth in most body tissues, primarily due to increases in cell
number rather than size. This includes skeletal muscle tissue, and with the
exception of eyes and brain all other body organs. The transport of amino acids
is also increased, as is the rate of protein synthesis. All of these effect are
actually mediated by IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor), a highly anabolic
hormone produced in the liver and other tissues in response to growth hormone
(peak levels of IGF-1 are noted approximately 20 hours after HGH
administration). Growth hormone itself also stimulated triglyceride hydrolysis
in adipose tissue, usually producing notable fat loss during treatment. GH also
increases glucose output in the liver, and induces insulin resistance by
blocking the activity of this hormone in target cells. A shift is seen where
fats become a more primary source of fuel, further enhancing body fat loss.
Its growth promoting effect also seems to strengthen connective tissues,
cartilage and tendons. This effect should reduce the susceptibility to injury
(due to heavy weight training), and increase lifting ability (strength). HGH is
also a safe drug for the "piss-test". Although its use is banned by athletic
committees, there is no reliable detection method. This makes clear its
attraction to (among others) professional bodybuilders, strength athletes and
Olympic competitors, who are able to use this drug straight through a
competition. There is talk however that a reliable test for the exogenous
administration of growth hormone has been developed, and is close to being
implemented. Until this happens, growth hormone will remain a highly sought
after drug for the tested athlete.
But the degree in which HGH actually works for an athlete has been the topic of
a long running debate. Some claim it to be the holy grail of anabolics, capable
of amazing things. Able to provide incredible muscle growth and unbelievable
fat loss in a very short period of time. Since it is used primarily by serious
competitors who can afford such an expensive drug, a great body of myth further
surrounds HGH discussion (among those personally unfamiliar). Many will state
with the utmost confidence that the incredible mass of the Olympian competitors
each year is 100% due to the use of HGH. Others have crossed bodybuilding
materials claiming it to be a complete waste of money, an ineffective anabolic
and barely worthwhile for fat loss. With its high price tag, certainly an
incredibly poor buy in the face of steroids. So we have a very wide variety of
opinions regarding this drug, whom should we believe?
It is first important to understand why there the results obtained from this
drug seem to vary so much. A logical factor in this regard would seem to be the
price of this drug. Due to the elaborate manufacturing techniques used to
produce it, it is extremely costly. Even a moderately dosed cycle could cost an
athlete between $75-$150 per daily dosage. Most are unable or unwilling to
spend so much, and instead tinker around with low dosages of the drug. Most who
have used this item extensively claim it will only be effective at higher
doses. Poor results would then be expected if low amounts were used, or the
drug not administered daily. If you cannot commit to the full expense of an HGH
cycle, you should really not be trying to use the drug.
The average male athlete will usually need a dosage in the range of 4 to 6 I.U.
per day to elicit the best results. On the low end perhaps 1 to 2 I.U. can be
used daily, but this is still a considerable expense. Daily dosing is
important, as HGH has a very short life span in the body. Peak blood
concentrations are noted quickly (2 to 6 hours) after injection, and the
hormone is cleared from the body with a half-life of only 20-30 minutes.
Clearly it does not stick around very long, making stable blood levels
difficult to maintain. The effects of this drug are also most pronounced when
it is used for longer periods of time, often many months long. Some do use it
for shorter periods, but generally only when looking for fat loss. For this
purpose a cycle of at least four weeks would be used. This compound can be
administered in both an intramuscular and subcutaneous injection. "Sub-Q"
injections are particularly noted for producing a localized loss of fat,
requiring the user to change injection points regularly to even out the effect.
A general loss of fat seems to be the one characteristic most people agree on.
It appears that the fat burning properties of this drug are more quickly
apparent, and less dependent on high doses.
Other drugs also need to be used in conjunction with HGH in order to elicit the
best results. Your body seems to require an increased amount of thyroid
hormones, insulin and androgens while HGH levels are elevated (HGH therapy in
fact is shown to lower thyroid and insulin levels). To begin with, the addition
of thyroid hormones will greatly increase the thermogenic effectiveness of a
cycle. Taking either Cytomel® or Synthroid® (prescription versions of T-3 and
T-4) would seem to make the most sense (the more powerful Cytomel® is usually
preferred). Insulin as well is very welcome during a cycle, used most commonly
in an anabolic routine as described in this book under the insulin heading.
Aside from replacing lowered insulin levels, use of this hormone is important
as it can increase receptor sensitivity to IGF-1, and reduce levels of IGF
binding protein-1 allowing for more free circulating IGF-1s° (growth hormone
itself also lowers IGF binding protein levelss'). Steroids as well prove very
necessary for the full anabolic effect of GH to become evident. Particularly
something with a notable androgenic component such as testosterone or
trenbolone (if worried about estrogen) should be used. The added androgen is
quite useful, as it promotes anabolism by enhancing muscle cell size (remember
GH primarily effects cell number). Steroid use may also increase free IGF-1 via
a lowering of IGF binding proteins8z. The combination of all of these (HGH,
anabolics, insulin and T-3) proves to be the most synergistic combination,
providing clearly amplified results. it is of course important to note that
thyroid and insulin are particularly powerful drugs that involve a number of
Release and action of GH and IGF-1: GHRH (growth hormone releasing hormone) and
SST (somatostatin) are released by the hypothalamus to stimulate or inhibit the
output of GH by the pituitary. GH has direct effects on many tissues, as well
as indirect effects via the production of IGF-1. IGF-1 also causes negative
feedback inhibition at the pituitary and hypothalamus. Heightened release of
somatostatin affects not only the release of GH, but insulin and thyroid
hormones as well.
HGH itself does carry with it some of its own risks. The most predominantly
discussed side effect would be acromegaly, or a noticeable thickening of the
bones (notably the feet, forehead, hands, jaw and elbows). The drug can also
enlarge vital organs such as the heart and kidney, and has been linked to
hypoglycemia and diabetes (presumably due to its ability to induce insulin
resistance). Theoretically, overuse of this hormone can bring about a number of
conditions, some life threatening. Such problems however are extremely rare.
Among the many athletes using growth hormone, we have very few documented cases
of a serious problem developing. When used periodically at a moderate dosage,
the athlete should have little cause for worry. Of course if there are any
noticeable changes in bone structure, skin texture or normal health and well
being during use, HGH therapy should be completely halted.
In summary, the biggest mistake we can make with this drug is to get confused by
the price tag. Even a relatively short cycle of this drug (and ancillaries)
will cost in the thousand(s), not hundreds of dollars. We cannot jump to the
conclusion that GH is therefore the most unbelievable anabolic. This hormone is
simply very complex, and costly to manufacture (though it should be getting
cheaper). If you were looking to achieve just a great mass gain the $1,000
would be better spent on steroids. Growth Hormone will not turn you into an
overnight "freaky" monster and it is certainly not "the answer". Yes, it is a
very effective performance enhancement tool. But it is more a tool for the
competitive athlete looking for more than steroids alone can provide. There is
little doubt that GH contributes considerably to the physiques and performance
of many top bodybuilders and athletes. In this arena, the money spent on it is
well justified, the drug obviously necessary. But outside of competitive sports
it is usually not.