Improvement in standard of living has become more widespread in some places over the past few decades. While this is a welcome phenomenon that many yearn for, it has its downsides at the same time. One of such is the obesity epidemic of sort that is being witnessed in modern societies. Regular tasks have seemingly become a lot easier and many people are becoming less active in their daily routines. This, in part, possibly leads to serious weight issues. So the problem today, especially in the Western Hemisphere, is not that of malnutrition, but of obesity which impacts negatively on overall health.
A lot of individuals, especially women, now have to endure stringent diet and exercise routines to promote weight loss. These do so to maintain a healthy and attractive shape while also keeping medical problems at bay. One of the remedies for obesity that has been suggested in some quarters is human growth hormone (HGH). But does this hormone really help?
Human growth hormone is a naturally-occurring substance that is produced in the body by the pituitary gland. Production of the protein-based substance in humans starts from the womb and continues for a person’s entire life, albeit at a lower rate in the later stages. It plays a crucial role in growth and development and, for this reason, is highest in children and adolescents. HGH is also vital for numerous functions in the body, including metabolism, tissue repair and muscle growth.
The levels of this master hormone start to drop after puberty. They slump to about a sixth of the peak levels somewhere in middle age. With this decline come some unpleasant physical changes, one of which is weight gain. It has been shown that adults with obesity issues have lower HGH levels than their normal-weight peers. This suggests that supplementing with the hormone might just be useful in keeping off body fat.
The question that may be playing on your mind is: how does HGH really helps in burning body fat? Insulin is released by the pancreas after eating to convert the carbohydrates in your food into glucose, with this stored in fat cells. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) – the production of which is stimulated by growth hormone – prevents storage of glucose in cells and forces the body to use it up before turning to other sources of energy. By so doing, HGH increases your body’s ability to shed unnecessary body weight. It influences the actions of hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) and lipoprotein lipase (LPL). This enables it to inhibit fat cells accumulation and promote their breakdown at the same time.
A number of studies have been carried out indicating how (if at all) human growth hormone can help those looking to achieve healthy weight loss. Perhaps, the most popular of these was the 1990 study by Dr. Rudman published in the New England Journal of Medicine. About 14 percent reduction in body fat and 8.8 percent increase in muscle mass were reported after administration of synthetic HGH (somatropin) on some men for a period. These were supposedly achieved without a special diet or exercise.
Two double-blind studies performed by Dr. David Clemmons at the University of Carolina also showed that impressive results can be when HGH therapy is accompanied with dieting. This raised the rate of fat loss by 25 percent, compared to when only diet was the focus. In addition to burning more body fat, those in the treatment group did not experience muscle mass loss, which was observed among those only on a diet.
It was demonstrated in a 2001 mice study which appeared in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorder that HGH may be helpful to those looking to lose weight. The therapy promoted breakdown of fat in the mice enabling them to lose weight. Another six-month study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2009 revealed that some men and women put on diet, exercise and small HGH doses lost five pounds of fat.
Some Brazilian researchers investigating the benefits of HGH therapy on growth hormone-deficient adults also observed that it could possibly be of use to obese individual. Participants in the study published in the European Journal of Endocrinology in 2005 were said to have experienced significant weight loss after being placed on low doses of HGH for a year. These also experienced noticeable increase in lean body mass. The study authors, however, noted that the treatment also caused insulin levels to rise in the subjects.
Human growth hormone is measured in international unit (IU). The amount you take will depend on the purpose for which you are using it. The suggested dose for people interested in trying it out is put in the range 4-6 UIs per day. HGH is administered via injections. Intravenous injection will work for weight loss purpose, but intramuscular injections may be more effective if you are also interested in bodybuilding.
Just as is the case with bodybuilding using HGH, there are contrasting views on the efficacy of this substance for the promotion of weight loss. It is agreed that growth hormone enhances body composition. It can improve lean muscle mass and bone mass while also driving breakdown of stored fat in the body. Nicholas Tritos, MD, categorically told WebMD that this hormone does not promote weight loss in obese individuals.
Well, the reality here is that is there is no consensus on the effectiveness – or otherwise – of growth hormone use for weight loss. The procedure used in executing some of these studies have been suggested as possibly influencing the eventual results showing diverse levels of efficacy. For example, an overdose of HGH could in fact result in fat formation, negating the lipolytic (fat breakdown) effect of the substance.
You should be aware – if you are not already – that the use of HGH for weight loss may be accompanied by possibly unpleasant side effects. It could result in glucose intolerance, possibly leading to diabetes. You may experience fluid retention, joint pains, carpal tunnel syndrome and high blood pressure when on HGH therapy. These are more likely to occur when taking high amount of the hormone. Typically, they are expected to vanish after stopping therapy. It is also feared that growth hormone could worsen the growth of tumors in the body.
It should be stated that synthetic growth hormone is not approved to be used for shedding body fat. HGH is a prescription, strictly-regulated drug in the United States and is meant to be used only for those with growth hormone deficiency. It is illegal for it to be prescribed for purposes such as weight loss and bodybuilding. This means you will be dealing with the black market when looking to buy the substance for fat burning and this is risky in itself. Products on the black market may be fake and unsafe since they are unregulated.
Real HGH comes in injectable form and is expensive. Chances are that you may be presented with pills and powder supposedly containing synthetic hormone. Do not be fooled; somatropin is not designed to be used to orally. Usage via oral route will not deliver desired benefits.
The decision to use HGH for weight loss is yours to make for the most part. There is lack of consensus on the effectiveness of the treatment and this is somewhat worrisome considering how expensive it comes. But then, growth hormone is not recommended for bodybuilding and several other off-label benefits as well; yet, some people claim that it works for such purposes. In the case of bodybuilding, majority of pros are said to have HGH in their regimen these days. Expect best results when diet and exercise is brought into the equation, if you decided to go ahead with HGH use.
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