Human growth hormone (HGH) has drawn significant attention in recent years in regard to its awesome benefits, which have been shown in several studies. Initially, the aim for using the hormone was to enhance growth and development. It is now being used for several purposes these days, including slowing aging and building lean muscle mass. One of the benefits of growth hormone that has surprisingly drawn less attention is its possible usefulness in lowering cholesterol levels in the body.
Cholesterol is an organic, lipid molecule and a sterol (a modified steroid) that is by biosynthesized by animal cells. It is the existence of this substance that enables cells in animals, including humans, to be protected without the presence of a cell wall. It is the main sterol that is synthesized in animals and can be produced by all kinds of animal cells. Cholesterol is essential for the biosynthesis of vitamin D, steroid hormones and bile acids. It is transported inside lipoproteins, which are complex discoidal particles that have lipids and proteins on their outside. The two most-popular types of these lipoproteins are low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) – Known popularly as "good cholesterol," HDL is useful in transporting cholesterol to the liver for tissues that synthesize hormones and for excretion in a process referred to as reverse cholesterol transport (RCT). The lipoprotein helps to eliminate redundant cholesterol from the blood to promote good health. High HDL particle concentration is associated with good health.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – This is what people make reference to when you hear them talk about "bad cholesterol." LDL is virtually useless to the body and its presence constitutes serious health risks. When left unchecked in significant number, this lipoprotein can transform into plaque causing arteries to become clogged. These plaques can cause strokes, heart attacks and several other scary health conditions.
The normal, healthy level of cholesterol in the blood is described as less than 200 mg/dL, while anything beyond that level should be a cause for concern. HDL cholesterol level of 60 mg/dL or higher means a person is well protected against risk of heart diseases and other medical conditions, but a measure below 40 mg/dL means you are at greater risk of suffering from a heart disease. A level of LDL below 100 mg/dL is considered normal for your health, while anything higher indicates you need to take steps to cut down on bad cholesterol in your body – LDL amount higher than 190 mg/dL points to grave health risk.
From the foregoing, you probably can tell that maintaining a fine balance between the good cholesterol and bad cholesterol is highly essential for your cardiovascular and overall health. As a rule of thumb, it is advised that your LDL-HDL ratio should be lower than 2.5 to keep your heart in great shape. The suggested ratio can be taken as a determinant of the potential of a person suffering atherosclerosis, heart attack, coronary cardiac disease or other cardiovascular issues. Intake of foods containing saturated and Trans fatty acids are major culprits when it comes to elevated cholesterol levels in the body.
So where does HGH come in in all of these, you might ask. Reduction in the level of growth hormone in the human body causes the level of LDL to rise, giving you a major reason to worry over your heart and general health. HGH level do not stay the same over the entire course of the human life; it drops with age, starting from the twenties. The extent of decline in the levels increases as years pass by. With this drop, some physical and psychological changes, including increased body fat, wrinkles and poor concentration, become more manifest. It is easier to understand why cardiac issues are more common among older individuals when thinking from this perspective. Disruption in HGH production may also occur as a result of brain surgery. It is in order to halt or delay the onset of these worrying signs and conditions that make people resort to growth hormone supplementation. HGH therapy is quite popular these days and has even been featured on Oprah and Dateline, among other popular media platforms.
An inverse relationship has between observed between HGH levels and bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in the body – when one rises, the other falls. What this essentially means is that keeping the amount of growth hormone in your body at an optimal level may save you from untimely death that could be brought about by cardiac disorders. In addition to lowering LDL levels, HGH can also help to boost concentration of good cholesterol to enhance your cardiac health and overall wellbeing.
Studies have shown that growth hormone can help to manage cholesterol levels, although the results have been rather mixed. While some have reported bad cholesterol and/or total cholesterol levels dropped after raising HGH levels, some others came to the conclusion that synthetic HGH does not have any impact on cholesterol levels.
A major double-blind study carried out by Johannsson, Bengtson and co. at Salgrenska University Hospital in 1997 has been frequently cited in support of how HGH can help lower cholesterol levels. Thirty men in the control group, aged between 48 and 66 years, exhibited noteworthy improvement in overall cholesterol and triglyceride levels, with reduced LDL and increased HDL concentrations.
In a study by University of Goteborg's Bengtsson, the cholesterol levels of 333 patients suffering from severe growth hormone deficiency were checked. The levels were observed to be normal. But when a distinction was made between HDL and LDL, the patients were observed to have very high concentrations of bad cholesterol and low amounts of good cholesterol. The researcher associated the observations made to high incidence of cardiovascular disorders among the patients. A six-month HGH therapy led to a drop in the level of LDL and rise in that of HDL.
The results from these studies are interesting, especially when you consider modern medicine has not proved useful in controlling cholesterol levels. The medications available also come with side effects, including possible organ failure. Doctors mostly recommend dietary and lifestyle changes for this purpose. HGH therapy helps to raise the level of hormone in the body, thereby lowering bad cholesterol levels.
Growth hormone can be quite useful in keeping the cholesterol level in your body under control. However, HGH supplementation needs to be combined with dietary and lifestyle changes for more significant benefits.
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