What is Human Growth Hormone (HGH)? We hear about it in the news pretty often these days. What is it, exactly? What does it do? The answers to these and other questions about HGH are provided here.
Human Growth Hormone is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. The pituitary gland is also responsible for the production of hormones like testosterone and estrogen. HGH acts on the liver and other tissues to stimulate production of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I). HGH is critical to cell growth and our bodies produce a lot of HGH when we’re young to aid in healthy bone and muscle development. Doctors sometimes prescribe HGH supplements for children who aren’t growing properly or who are smaller than average for their age.
The body’s production of HGH peaks sometime between the ages of 20 and 31. After this time, HGH production sharply declines. As the production of HGH slackens, our bodies have a harder time maintaining healthy cell growth. This reduction of HGH leads to signs of aging such as hair loss, brittle bones, loose and thinning skin, decreased mental function, decreased sexual performance, increase in body fat, and loss of lean muscle mass.
In order to combat these symptoms of aging, some people undergo a process called Human Growth Hormone replacement therapy. This procedure can involve the injection of HGH beneath the skin or the ingestion of HGH Releasers, which combine amino acids and vitamins that help the body produce more HGH.
Reduced HGH levels aren’t necessarily a bad thing. One study suggests that people with a higher HGH level are likely to die at a younger age than those with a lower level of HGH. Studies such as these cast doubt on the health benefits of HGH replacement therapy for anyone other than those who suffer from a profound lack of the hormone.