About Human Growth Hormone
AgeForce® Research Paper
Growth hormone (GH or HGH), or somatotropin as scientists say, is a peptide hormone with far-reaching effects on human cell growth and metabolism. Growth hormone is produced within the lateral wings of the anterior pituitary gland. It is one of the most complex peptide hormones in the human body and can be delivered into the bloodstream only via injections or specifically engineered transdermal patches – orally consumed somatotropin would instantly fall apart, when it is exposed to the acidic of the human gastrointestinal tract.
In addition to its well-known effects on cellular growth and repair, human growth hormone has been shown to have significant beneficial effects on protein synthesis, fatty acid oxidation and body composition.
Natural Declines In Growth HormoneProduction As We Age Affects Us All
As early as in the 1960s, scientists discovered that the regular ups and downs of growth hormone are impaired in both obese and diabetic patients (Yalow. 1965).
Figure 1: The natural growth hormone production is significantly reduced with aging (Corpas. 1993)
Obesity and diabetes are yet not the only reasons for our growth hormone levels to drop. Studies have shown that with advancing age, even men and women with no clinical evidence of pituitary pathology develop significant decreases in GH secretion (Corpas. 1993). Against that background it is not surprising that growth hormone therapy is associated with significant improvements in several health-relevant parameters in the aging population:
- Holloway et al. (1994), for example, found significant reductions in body fat (2%), improvements in bone mineral density and reduction in LDL and total cholesterol in 27 elderly women (66.7 +/- 3.0 years).
- Even more pronounced benefits were reported by Rudman et al. who observed a 6% increase in lean and a -15% reduction in fat mass in a 1991 study in forty-five 61+ year-old male subjects who were subject to the common age-related decline in growth hormone production (Rudman. 1992).
- Ten years later, Blackman et al. who compared the effects of growth hormone treatment on healthy older men and women found increases in lean body mass and decrease in fat mass in both men and women, as well as increases in cardiovascular endurance and muscle strength in men and women on estrogen replacement therapy (Blackman. 2002).
The latest reviews clearly confirm these earlier studies and highlight that the therapeutic administration of human growth hormone will also prevent the age-induced decline in collagen expression in the musculotendinous tissue and effectively increase tendon and bone strength (Boesen. 2014).
The number of young(er) individuals with suboptimal growth hormone levels increases
Only recently, researchers from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center observed that there is a growing number of people being diagnosed with what scientists and doctors call "idiopathic GH deficiency in adults" (Melmed. 2013) – a condition, that is characterized by chronically suppressed growth hormone levels in the absence of pathological triggers or external cause of growth hormone deficiency
Just like older individuals, young people who suffer from idiopathic growth hormone deficiency exhibit somatic changes in body composition, total energy expenditure and fatty acid metabolism that occur in response to the absence of adequate growth hormone levels. Changes that are, just as it is the case in older individuals reversible by the means therapeutic growth hormone treatment as it is now available to everyone with AgeForce's unique transdermal growth hormone patches.
Over the past decade, the list of scientifically confirmed benefits of growth hormone therapy has expanded. As of now, the following benefits have been scientifically confirmed (Carroll. 1998):
- osteo-anabolic (=bone building) effects
- increased muscle size and strength
- increases in red blood cells and subsequent improvements in exercise performance
- normalization of heart function and pathological changes in cardiac morphology
- increases in energy expenditure, fatty acid oxidation and muscular protein synthesis
- reductions in "bad" LDL cholesterol and improvements of the HDL/LDL ratio, which are directly associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease
- normalization of glucose metabolism (w/ long-term treatment)
- improvements in several measures of quality of life and psychological well-being
While previous research focused almost completely on physiological benefits, the psychological and cognitive benefits of growth hormone therapy have gained more and more attention within the scientific community over the past decade. Van Dam et al. highlight that
"[...b]ased on the available data, one might hypothesize that relative GH or IGF-I deficiency could contribute to the deterioration of cognitive functions observed in the elderly." (Van Dam. 2000)
Due to the complex interactions between human growth hormone and the neuro-endocrine axis, experts expect to find further neurological benefits in future trials. Only recenty, Nyberg & Halberg speculated that growth hormone "might interact with specific receptors located in areas of the CNS that are associated with the functional anatomy of these behaviours" (Nyberg. 2013) and thus contribute directly to increases in synaptic plasticity and human cognitive capacity in people with and without growth hormone deficiency.
Blackman, Marc R., et al. "Growth hormone and sex steroid administration in healthy aged women and men: a randomized controlled trial." Jama 288.18 (2002): 2282-2292.
Boesen, Anders Ploug, et al. "Effect of growth hormone on aging connective tissue in muscle and tendon: gene expression, morphology, and function following immobilization and rehabilitation." Journal of Applied Physiology 116.2 (2014): 192-203.
Carroll, Paul V., et al. "Growth hormone deficiency in adulthood and the effects of growth hormone replacement: a review." The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 83.2 (1998): 382-395.
Corpas, Emiliano, S. Mitchell Harman, and Marc R. Blackman. "Human growth hormone and human aging." Endocrine reviews 14.1 (1993): 20-39.
Friedman, Seth D., et al. "Growth Hormone–Releasing Hormone Effects on Brain γ-Aminobutyric Acid Levels in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Healthy Aging." JAMA neurology 70.7 (2013): 883-890.
Melmed, Shlomo. "Idiopathic adult growth hormone deficiency." The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 98.6 (2013): 2187-2197.
Holloway, L. E. A. H., et al. "Effects of recombinant human growth hormone on metabolic indices, body composition, and bone turnover in healthy elderly women." The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 79.2 (1994): 470-479.
Nyberg, Fred, and Mathias Hallberg. "Growth hormone and cognitive function." Nature Reviews Endocrinology 9.6 (2013): 357-365.
Rudman, D., et al. "Effects of human growth hormone on body composition in elderly men." Hormone Research in Paediatrics 36.Suppl. 1 (1991): 73-81.
Van Dam, P. S., et al. "Growth hormone, insulin-like growthfactor I and cognitive function in adults." Growth Hormone & IGF Research 10 (2000): S69-S73.
Yalow, Rosalyn S., et al. "Plasma insulin and growth hormone levels in obesity and diabetes." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 131.1 (1965): 357-373.