Human growth hormone (HGH) offers multiple powerful, potentially transformative, health benefits to men with growth hormone deficiency (GHD).
Let’s explore what growth hormone is, how it works to protect and promote optimal health, and how you can effectively support healthy HGH levels with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) under the guidance of an experienced hormone doctor (endocrinologist).
What is human growth hormone?
HGH is one of a handful of pro-growth (anabolic) hormones in the human body that helps to build and maintain healthy tissues and organs, including the brain, lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, bones, and muscles.
HGH performs an array of tasks, including:
- regulating energy levels
- enhancing mood
- stimulating muscle development
- promoting libido (sex drive)
- keeping bones healthy and strong
HGH is also closely involved in metabolism, the process by which the body processes, stores, and ultimately burns energy taken in from calories in the diet.
Is HGH present in the human body?
Growth hormone is an essential signaling molecule, so it’s naturally present in the human body.
The hormone is manufactured in a region of the brain called the pineal gland, which releases HGH in pulsatile secretions throughout the day.
The highest concentrations of HGH are pumped into the blood at nighttime during sleep, which is one of the reasons why proper sleep is so critical for recovery and repair.
Sometimes, due to a variety of underlying causes, a hormone imbalance develops in which the pituitary gland does not release enough HGH. HRT with somatropin, a synthetic form of HGH, can help correct the imbalance. We’ll explore more about how somatropin works to correct HGH deficiency and restore health coming up.
Why is HGH important for your health?
HGH works in concert with insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) to perform essential, indispensable work like:
- Regulation of muscle mass
- Improving cardiovascular function (the flow of nutrient-rich blood throughout the body)
- Reduction of visceral fat (“belly fat”)
- Preventing atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels that can lead to cardiovascular disease)
- Protein synthesis
- Nutrient metabolism
Without enough HGH, as in the case of growth hormone deficiency (GHD), you will develop symptoms such as:
- A dangerous form of excess fat accumulation (visceral fat) around the gut
- Hoarse voice
- Cold sensitivity
- Dry skin
- Chronic fatigue (low energy levels)
- Muscle weakness
- Low libido (loss of interest in sex)
- Osteoporosis (bone weakening)
- Impaired cognition (aka “brain fog”)
- Anxiety, depression, and similar mental health conditions
What are the benefits of HGH for men?
HGH provides multiple important health benefits for men. Here are a few of the most important.
Benefit #1: HGH stimulates speedy tissue repair by activating stem cells
HGH activates stem cells – a special and vital type of human cell increasingly popular in anti-aging medicine that has the unique ability to transform (differentiate) into other cells – which aids in timely tissue repair.
Examples of stem cells at work in the case of illness or injury include:
Benefit #2: HGH increases strength in men who lift weights
In one study that looked at two groups: men administered HGH and men administered a placebo (a saline inection). The researchers discovered significant differences between the two:
“We observed a statistically significant increase in leg press responsive muscles (quadriceps being the mainly muscle evaluated) when compared to placebo…”
Benefit #3: HGH speeds muscle recovery following intense exercise
HGH has many benefits for both hardcore athletes and casual fitness enthusiasts. It not only is shown to boost muscle development when combined with moderate weightlifting but also enhances muscle repair and recovery.
Benefit #4: HGH facilitates bone repair following a fracture
A type of stem cell called mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is central to the healing process of a broken bone. Among other activities, it stimulates new tissue growth, lays down new blood vessels (aka angiogenesis), and regenerates relevant cells.
HGH helps to mediate MSCs’ work by assisting their transformation into new bone tissue, a process called “osteogenic differentiation.”
Benefit #5: HGH promotes tendon and ligament repair
Ligaments and tendons, the body’s main connective tissues in the musculoskeletal system, are primarily comprised of a type of protein called collagen.
Sufficient levels of collagen, accordingly, is critical to for individuals who are healing from a tendon or ligament injury like a sprained ankle or shoulder.
HGH is an excellent supplementation to facilitate tendon and ligament repair, as it significantly enhances endogenous collagen production.
Benefit #6: HGH reduces risk of arthritis
Optimal HGH levels combat systemic, chronic inflammation – the root cause of several health conditions such as arthritis. Conversely, low HGH levels, as seen in patients with diagnosed growth hormone deficiency (GHD), are associated with a greater risk of developing arthritis.
Benefit #7: HGH enhances neurogenesis for long-term brain health
A healthy body continually produces new brain cells through a process called neurogenesis to replace old, dysfunctional brain cells with new, healthy ones.
Higher HGH levels result in improved neurogenesis, as well as the creation of a protective coating on neurons (a process called myelination) and also the fostering of connections between neurons called synaptogenesis:
“GH is involved in neurogenesis, myelination, and synaptogenesis… in adult brain functions, including learning and memory, locomotion, psychological behaviors, and neuroprotection.”
This is one of the main reasons that many patients who receive HGH through clinical supplementation report clearer cognition, lifted brain fog, and enhanced working memory.
Benefit #8: HGH fuels fat burning
HGH accelerates lipolysis, the process by which the body converts stored body fat into energy. The result is that patients with GHD, through increased lipolysis, shed more excess body fat and enjoy greater energy levels after beginning HGH replacement therapy.
Benefit #9: HGH tamps down systemic inflammation
HGH reduces systemic inflammation, one of the major drivers of nearly every major chronic illness – including autoimmune disease, cancers, and more.
(Systemic inflammation is also the culprit for a dangerous condition that develops due to COVID-19 infection called the cytokine storm, so HGH also helps to regulate the immune response to infections.)
What is considered a normal HGH level for men?
Men typically have lower HGH requirements than women. The chart below details average HGH levels in healthy adult males.
|Normal HGH Levels in Adults|
What are the risks of untreated HGH deficiency?
HGH levels naturally decline with age. A 70-year-old may have, on average, half of the circulating HGH that he had in his 20s.
Untreated HGH deficiency has many potential negative side effects. These include but are not limited to:
- Osteoporosis (age-related bone weakening)
- Sarcopenia (age-related muscle wasting)
- Excess weight gain
- Increased chronic inflammation
- Cognitive difficulties (poor short-term memory, difficulty focusing)
All of these effects of untreated GHD increase the patient’s risk of severe illness or injury later on in life. Anyone at risk of GHD should regularly test their HGH levels to ensure any deficiency can be corrected through therapy.
How to boost your HGH levels?
Hormone replacement therapy (abbreviated as HRT) is the medical practice of supplementing HGH levels with a synthetic form of a hormone – in this case, HGH.
HGH replacement therapy with somatropin has been used for decades to successfully treat growth hormone disorder (GHD). Your body accepts and utilizes synthetic HGH in the form of somatropin in the same way that it would use naturally-produced HGH from the pituitary gland.
Along with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), HGH therapy is one of the most common forms of HRT because of its high success rates and relative low risk of side effects.
The available somatropin prescription formulations available to patients (with the pharmaceutical manufacturer listed in parenthesis) in the United States include:
- Norditropin – (Novo Nordisk)
- Humatrope – (Eli Lilly)
- Genotropin – (Pfizer)
- Omnitrope – (Sandoz)
- Sogroya (Novo Nordisk)
- Saizen – (EMD Serono)
- Zomacton – (Ferring)
Your doctor will determine your ideal HGH dosage based on individual goals and factors like:
- the severity of the deficiency
- current weight
- health goals
The minimum somatropin dosage used in HRT is generally 0.2 mg/day, while the optimal dosage for HGH is up to 1 mg/day. Overdose may result in several negative side effects.
Natural strategies to increase growth hormone levels
Along with HGH replacement therapy, several natural strategies can support healthy growth hormone levels such as:
Can you increase your HGH levels with supplements?
In addition to injections (somatropin), HGH is also sold in other forms like:
- Gels (like GenF20 Plus or Somaderm)
Patients should understand that, to reverse a diagnosed case of GHD, the only effective, proven long-term treatment is injectable somatropin because it is delivered directly into the tissues and organs that need it, bypassing the digestive tract (in the case of pills) and the skin barrier (in the case of gels and creams) that can prevent effective absorption.
As respected medical authority Mayo Clinic notes, “HGH is only effective if administered as an injection.”
As WebMD also explains, “the Federal Trade Commission has seen no reliable evidence to support the claim that these products have the same effects as prescription HGH, which is always given by injection.”
There are also potential side effects to the use of products like these, which are largely unregulated and difficult to assess for quality and safety. For instance, in the case of “rHGH hydrogels,” these products deliver up to 10 times the therapeutic amount of HGH into the bloodstream, leaving patients vulnerable to dangerous and potentially fatal side effects.
These side effects and unreliable clinical efficacy led researchers in one study of HGH gels vs injectable somatropin to determine that forms of HGH other than somatropin “do not offer a solution to the waning response to the long-term administration of GH.”
For these reasons, doctors performing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to increase HGH levels in patients with growth hormone disorders exclusively utilize HGH injections.
How to start taking HGH?
Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started with HGH replacement therapy if you believe that you might have a deficiency:
- Consult a licensed, qualified endocrinologist (hormone doctor) to discuss your symptoms and health goals.
- Undergo a quick, affordable blood test to determine your HGH levels.
- If your levels are low, your endocrinologist will develop an appropriate treatment strategy, which may include somatropin injections.
- Follow your doctor’s orders to the letter.
- Most patients notice the benefits of HRT begin to significantly accrue with somatropin within the first three months of therapy.
- Follow up with your doctor regularly to monitor your progress and your HGH levels, to adjust your therapy as necessary.
How to avoid dangerous, illegal HGH supplements
Patients are advised that purchasing or using HGH without a prescription is federally illegal in the United States per the 1990 Anabolic Steroids Control Act.
Penalties for illicit use of HGH include fines and even jail time in some cases. The US Department of Justice (DOJ), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and other law enforcement agencies regularly enforce HGH laws and prosecute lawbreakers.
China, in particular, is a frequent offender. Substandard HGH products are manufactured and imported illegally into the United States by several companies, including Changchun GeneScience Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Henan Extend Trading Co., and Henan New Sensation Chemical Co Ltd.
A 2017 World Health Organization report concluded that about 1 in 10 imported medical supplies in the United States are fake or substandard. That means that, if you buy HGH illegally, chances are good that it either won’t be HGH and, in fact, might endanger your health by containing other unknown, possibly toxic ingredients.
In addition to being illegal and dangerous, research shows that black market HGH is also often more expensive than legitimate formulations of HGH.
Don’t gamble with your health and waste your money on illegal HGH!
You can avoid the negative financial, legal or health consequences of black market HGH – while reaping maximum benefits from supplementation with legitimate products — by always sourcing your HGH from a reputable health provider.
An experienced doctor, who will write you a legal prescription, has the expertise and tools needed to monitor your biomarkers throughout therapy and ensure you achieve the revolutionary health benefits you aim for.