What is HGH: Development history and what does HGH do ?
Human growth hormone is, by far, one of the most essential of all chemical messengers (hormones) in the body. It has many functions that fuel growth and development from conception to the end of life, and perhaps none is as vital as cellular regeneration.
There is much to understand about what is HGH, and how it affects a person’s life if it is secreted in too little or too great an amount. This vital hormone, produced in the pituitary gland, is often referred to as the body’s “master hormone” for the sheer volume of functions it has a role in each day.
- Cellular reproduction
- Brain functions
- Temperature regulation
- Heart health
- Internal organ growth and function
- Structural integrity of the musculoskeletal system
- Libido and sexual performance
For all of these reasons, understanding HGH facts is essential to maintaining a body that can meet its obligations and function properly on a day to day basis.
Factors that Stimulate the Natural Secretion of Human Growth Hormone
There are certain factors that can influence or stimulate the body’s natural secretion of human growth hormone. This can change the amount of pituitary-derived somatotropin that is released into the bloodstream each day. Proper dietary choices, exercise, sleep, and reduced stress can all aid HGH production, as well as the hormones ghrelin, GHRH, estrogen, and androgen hormones such as testosterone.
Factors influencing GH secretion include:
- Deep Sleep – perhaps nothing affects growth hormone secretion more than sleep since slow-wave sleep is where more than half of the day’s production of HGH is secreted. This takes place about an hour into deep sleep each night and continues during the third and fourth stages of REM sleep.
- Exercise – high-intensity, vigorous exercise is a stimulant for the release of pulsatile bursts of HGH into the bloodstream during the day.
- Fasting – poor dietary choices and continual grazing can interfere with somatotropin secretion. Fasting helps stimulate the release of HGH.
- Cortisol – this stress hormone rises when human growth hormone levels are low. Cortisol stimulates the body’s hunger hormones so that an increase in food is warranted. This also inhibits HGH production. High levels of cortisol in the evening also prevent the body’s ability to relax and fall asleep.
A person’s age and gender can also have an effect on the production of somatotropin, as growth hormone levels tend to decrease after the age of thirty with continual decline each year thereafter.
What Does HGH Do?
Understanding what is HGH and what it does in the body requires a fundamental knowledge of this vital chemical messenger. On a basic level – human growth hormone promotes homeostasis in the body. This “balance” is crucial to keeping the body strong and healthy. Fat regulation, immunity, energy, cellular regeneration, mental processes, metabolism, and glucose levels are all affected by HGH production.
Here is some beneficial information about HGH:
- HGH Terminology
Somatotropin is the technical, chemical name for growth hormone. Somatropin refers to the biologically identical HGH that is used to treat cases of GH deficiency.
- HGH Gene
Somatotropin is a peptide hormone with growth-promoting and lactogenic activity.
- HGH Structure
Human growth hormone is a single-chain, polypeptide hormone that consists of 191 amino acids.
- HGH Regulation
Somatotropin is manufactured, stored, and secreted by somatotropic cells located inside the lateral wings of the anterior portion of the pituitary gland. GHRH – growth hormone-releasing hormone – and ghrelin stimulate the somatotrophs to secrete HGH.
- HGH Function
The function of human growth hormone is anabolic in nature. This means that it has a building up effect on the body. HGH works to stimulate growth, cellular regeneration, and metabolic processes in the body by connecting and interacting with specific receptor points on the surface of cells. With receptor cells located in the brain, liver, muscles, bones, and other areas, the effect of HGH can be felt system-wide.
The History and Development of HGH
Human growth hormone deficiency was first diagnosed after the end of World War 1. Medical researchers first tried to develop medication from the growth hormone of different animals. When this did not work, HGH was then derived from the pituitary glands of human cadavers. The extremely limited supply of this medication was restricted for use in children dealing with severe idiopathic short stature. Even then, many of the treated children received only limited HGH therapy to help them function as adults, rather than to attain their full height.
After extraction from cadaver brains, and subsequent purification, this form of HGH was then administered to patients. In 1985, numerous cases of the neurological disorder Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (also referred to as mad cow disease) were observed in individuals who had previously received this treatment ten to fifteen years earlier. At that time, cadaver-derived HGH was removed from the market.
Development of the Synthetic HGH
1985 marked a turning point in human growth hormone supplementation. Medical science now had to find another method of producing HGH for use. This method would be via recombinant DNA technology. It wasn’t until 1991 that the first synthetic HGH was developed by pharmaceutical manufacturer Genentech. Of course, due to its long production development phase, and the expense that went into it, HGH therapy was extremely high in price at this point.
In 1999, Nutropin Depot (Genentech) was released. This sustained release formulation required fewer injections – every 2 to 4 weeks – but was discontinued in 2004 due to its high cost of production. By the year 2005, Norditropin (Novo Nordisk), Humatrope (Eli Lilly), Genotropin (Pfizer), and Saizen (Merck Serono) were all available for use. 2006 saw the availability of Omnitrope (Sandoz).
Human growth hormone is vital throughout the course of an individual’s life. Although vertical growth no longer needs to be fueled once puberty and adolescence come to an end, muscle, hair, bone, nail, and internal organ growth continue throughout adulthood.
Here are some key facts about what HGH does for the body:
- Stimulates the body’s immune system to fend off intruding germs and promotes fast recovery from illness and injury
- Reduces the liver’s absorption (uptake) of glucose and stimulates the production of Insulin Growth Factor 1
- Promotes a process called gluconeogenesis – the production of glucose from amino acids located in the liver
- Increases calcium retention and strengthens bone mineralization
- Encourages the breakdown of fats (lipids) and triglycerides
- Improves protein synthesis
- Helps regulate cellular regeneration
- Increases lean muscle mass
- Stimulates sex drive and performance
- Maintains hair growth and color
- Helps prevent premature aging
- Promotes proper brain functions: memory, learning, cognitive performance, focus
What if You Have Too Much HGH?
An excess of growth hormone in the body can be caused by two things – too much bioidentical HGH or a pituitary tumor. This type of tumor often grows slowly – increasing GH production. Although typically benign, when it gets too large in size, a pituitary tumor can lead to impaired vision due to pressure on the optic nerves, headaches, or disrupt other pituitary based hormones. These types of tumors are most commonly seen when a person is in his or her forties. They are extremely rare in childhood. Surgical removal of the tumor is often utilized, although radiation to cause shrinkage or blockage may be employed.
Acromegaly – a condition that is evident by thickening of the hands, fingers, toes, tongue, and jaw bones – is another effect of too much GH.
Other issues that can be present when either the body is making too much HGH, or when a larger than needed dosage of human growth hormone is being administered to the body include:
- Muscle and joint weakness and pain
- Excessive sweating
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes
- High cholesterol
For individuals who are prescribed HGH therapy and discover adverse side effects, the doctor will typically reduce the dosage of the human growth hormone injections to reverse the side effects while still maintaining positive results.
What if You Have Too Little HGH?
Human growth hormone deficiency in adults can interfere with daily life. It can cause a person to feel tired all of the time, not get adequate sleep, and become susceptible to frequent illness. Libido, muscle and bone durability, skin texture, hair growth, eyesight, and temperature sensitivity may all be affected by a decline in somatotropin. Depression is frequently reported.
It is essential to understand all of the HGH facts before deciding on a course of treatment with human growth hormone therapy. An HRT specialist will run diagnostic blood tests before prescribing HGH injections for use. A thorough medical history must be provided, and physical examination is the final part of the diagnostic process.
Treatment with HGH injections that are prescribed by a specialist will increase the amount of human growth hormone the body has at its disposal. This will help to promote proper cellular reproduction, increase bone and muscle growth, increase energy, improve skin appearance, revitalize immunity, sharpen memory and cognitive skills, and even restore a robust libido.
The overall quality of life is significantly increased when HGH therapy is prescribed to adults with a GH deficiency. The doctors at National HRT® offer diagnostic testing, medications, and support to adults throughout the US. Consultations are provided free of charge.