Human Growth Hormone in Bodybuilding: A Scientific Perspective

✓Medically Reviewed By: Megan Soliman, MD (Last Updated On: June 29, 2024)

Human growth hormones have a considerable impact on the physical growth and development of the body. Growth hormones impact the body’s growth both physically and psychologically. There can be many consequences of deficiency of growth hormones. For those of you who want to build good muscles and improve body mass, HGH supplements can greatly help. These highly effective products, and natural growth hormone boosters can easily benefit your overall body growth.

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) has been a topic of interest in the bodybuilding community for decades. This paper aims to provide an overview of the scientific findings regarding HGH and bodybuilding, and it’s effects on muscle growth, body composition, and athletic performance.

What is HGH?

HGH is a peptide hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. It plays a vital role in growth, cell reproduction, and cell regeneration in humans. HGH stimulates the liver to produce insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which has growth-promoting effects on almost every cell in the body. Natural HGH production peaks during adolescence, promoting the growth of bones and muscles. However, HGH levels gradually decline with age, leading to interest in its potential as an antiaging and performance-enhancing substance.

HGH and Muscle Growth

HGH impact on bodybuildingOne of the primary reasons bodybuilders and athletes are drawn to HGH is its potential to increase muscle mass. Several studies have investigated the effects of HGH on muscle protein synthesis and muscle growth:

A study by Fryburg et al. found that HGH administration increased muscle protein synthesis in healthy young men.

Similarly, a review by Velloso concluded that HGH can stimulate muscle protein synthesis and increase muscle mass when combined with resistance exercise.

However, the extent of muscle growth attributed to HGH is often modest compared to other anabolic substances, such as testosterone:

HGH supplementation can result in lean body mass, which includes muscle, bone, and connective tissue. This increase is less pronounced than the effects observed with testosterone supplementation. Bodybuilding and HGH is a better combination.

Furthermore, the efficacy of HGH in promoting muscle growth appears to be influenced by factors such as age, sex, and the presence of resistance training:

A study found that HGH supplementation alone did not significantly increase muscle mass in elderly individuals. However, when combined with resistance exercise, HGH increased lean body mass and muscle strength in this population.

Body Composition Effects

HGH impact on body compositionIn addition to its potential effects on muscle growth, HGH has been studied for its impact on body composition. Research indicates that HGH can reduce body fat, particularly in the abdominal region:

A study by Rudman et al. found that HGH administration in elderly men with low HGH levels led to a 14.4% decrease in adipose tissue mass and an 8.8% increase in lean body mass after six months.

HGH’s lipolytic effects have been attributed to its ability to stimulate triglyceride breakdown and suppress lipids accumulation in adipose tissue. This fat-reducing effect has made HGH appealing to bodybuilders seeking a lean physique.

Moreover, HGH has been reported to have positive effects on skin elasticity and the reduction of wrinkles:

A study by Rudman et al. noted that HGH treatment led to a 7.1% increase in skin thickness, suggesting a potential antiaging benefit.

Performance Enhancement

HGH impact on performanceThe use of HGH for performance enhancement has been a topic of interest among athletes and bodybuilders. While some studies suggest that HGH may improve exercise capacity and recovery, evidence for direct performance enhancement in healthy adults is limited:

A study found that HGH supplementation improved aerobic exercise capacity in recreational athletes. The authors proposed that this effect could be due to HGH’s ability to increase red blood cell production and improve oxygen delivery to muscles.

Additionally, HGH has been reported to aid in recovery from intense training sessions. A study by Lange et al. observed that HGH administration reduced muscle fatigue and improved recovery following eccentric exercise in healthy individuals.

However, it is important to note that the ergogenic effects of HGH are often less pronounced than those of other performance-enhancing substances, such as anabolic steroids. Moreover, the International Olympic Committee and World Anti-Doping Agency prohibit the use of HGH in competitive sports due to its potential performance-enhancing effects and health risks.

Potential Side Effects

While HGH has been associated with some potential benefits, its use also carries risks and side effects:

One of the most common side effects reported with HGH use is joint pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. A study found that over 30% of patients treated with HGH experienced joint pain and swelling.

HGH and bodybuilding has also been linked to insulin resistance and a potential increased risk of type 2 diabetes. A review by Møller and Jørgensen highlighted that HGH can induce insulin resistance by impairing glucose uptake in peripheral tissues and increasing hepatic glucose production.

Long-term use of HGH, especially in high doses, can lead to a condition called acromegaly, characterized by the abnormal growth of hands, feet, and facial features. Acromegaly is associated with a range of health complications, including cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, and joint problems.

Furthermore, there is concern about the potential increased risk of certain cancers associated with HGH use. While direct causal links have not been established, some studies have suggested a possible association between HGH and an increased risk of colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

The use of HGH for non-medical purposes is illegal in many countries, including the United States, where it is classified as a controlled substance under the Anabolic Steroids Control Act. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) also prohibits the use of HGH in competitive sports.

The illegal distribution and use of HGH have raised concerns about the quality and safety of black-market products. Counterfeit HGH preparations may contain impurities or be of substandard quality, posing additional health risks to users.

Moreover, the use of HGH for performance enhancement raises ethical questions about fairness in competition and the potential pressure it places on athletes to engage in doping practices to remain competitive.

Oral HGH supplements offer a solution

Oral HGH supplements are potential amino acids that are pituitary gland stimulants. These supplements reactivate dormant pituitary cells to increase the production of natural growth hormones in the body. This increase in the production of natural growth hormones has many impacts. Protein synthesis is enhanced with boosted levels of growth hormones. This improves muscle reproduction in the body, substantially impacting the development of internal tissues and cells. With proper administration of HGH supplements, age-related side effects like loosening muscles, loss of mass, and increased body fat can be dealt with easily.

A New England Journal Publication states, “Men who supplemented HGH for six months using injections saw an 8.8% increase in lean body mass, a 14.4% decrease in adipose-tissue mass (i.e., fat), and a 7.1% increase in skin thickness. The effects of six months of HGH on lean body mass and adipose tissue were equivalent in magnitude to the changes incurred during 10-20 years of aging.”

All these problems can be easily prevented by constantly boosting growth hormone levels in your body.

The Benefits of Natural HGH Supplements

Human Growth Hormone in Bodybuilding A Scientific PerspectiveBest HGH supplements can very much boost your body’s energy. The process of cell reproduction and protein synthesis is enhanced, which leads to the following benefits:

  1. Improved production of new muscles
  2. Burning down of body fat, making way for new muscles
  3. Improved density of bones, which make them stronger
  4. Slowing down of aging which helps in improving muscle loss from the body
  5. Reproduction of tissues enhances the recovery timing
  6. Enhanced stamina and endurance

All these benefits help in improving the production of muscles in the body.

HGH supplements also improve the cholesterol profile, enhancing the body’s cardiac output, making it stronger. This also improves blood circulation in the internal organs, improving their functioning. The liver starts producing more IGF-1, a highly potential growth factor necessary for body growth.

Conclusion

Human Growth Hormone has garnered attention in the bodybuilding community for its potential effects on muscle growth, body composition, and athletic performance. While scientific evidence suggests that HGH can increase lean body mass, reduce body fat, and improve exercise capacity to some extent, its effects are generally less pronounced than those of other anabolic substances.

The use of HGH also carries potential risks and side effects, including joint pain, insulin resistance, acromegaly, and a possible increased risk of certain cancers. Additionally, the use of synthetic HGH for bodybuilding or non-medical purposes is illegal in many jurisdictions and prohibited by sports organizations.

Bodybuilders and athletes considering HGH use should be aware of the legal and health risks associated with its use. It is crucial to prioritize safety and adhere to the guidelines set by regulatory bodies and sports organizations.

However, oral HGH supplements can offer all the benefits without side effects. For maximum benefits, make sure that you use only quality products that are tested for their benefits. This will save you from any side effects as well. So, if you wish to build your muscles and body, it is best to opt for some reliable and safe HGH releasers out there.

Evidence-Based Research and Studies References Used

1. Bartke, A. (2008). Growth hormone and aging: a challenging controversy. Clinical interventions in aging, 3(4), 659-665.

2. Baumann, G. P. (2012). Growth hormone doping in sports: a critical review of use and detection strategies. Endocrine Reviews, 33(2), 155-186.

3. Blackman, M. R., Sorkin, J. D., Münzer, T., Bellantoni, M. F., Busby-Whitehead, J., Stevens, T. E., … & Harman, S. M. (2002). Growth hormone and sex steroid administration in healthy aged women and men: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 288(18), 2282-2292.

4. Cohn, L., Feller, A. G., Draper, M. W., Rudman, I. W., & Rudman, D. (1993). Carpal tunnel syndrome and gynecomastia during growth hormone treatment of elderly men with low circulating IGF-I concentrations. Clinical endocrinology, 39(4), 417-425.

5. Fryburg, D. A., Gelfand, R. A., & Barrett, E. J. (1991). Growth hormone acutely stimulates forearm muscle protein synthesis in normal humans. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology And Metabolism, 260(3), E499-E504.

6. Jenkins, P. J., Mukherjee, A., & Shalet, S. M. (2006). Does growth hormone cause cancer? Clinical endocrinology, 64(2), 115-121.

7. Lange, K. H., Andersen, J. L., Beyer, N., Isaksson, F., Larsson, B., Rasmussen, M. H., … & Kjær, M. (2002). GH administration changes myosin-heavy chain isoforms in skeletal muscle but does not augment muscle strength or hypertrophy, alone or combined with resistance exercise training in healthy elderly men. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 87(2), 513-523.

8. Liu, H., Bravata, D. M., Olkin, I., Friedlander, A., Liu, V., Roberts, B., … & Hoffman, A. R. (2008). Systematic review: the effects of growth hormone on athletic performance. Annals of internal medicine, 148(10), 747-758.

9. Mavalli, M. D., DiGirolamo, D. J., Fan, Y., Riddle, R. C., Campbell, K. S., van Groen, T., … & Clemens, T. L. (2010). Distinct growth hormone receptor signaling modes regulate skeletal muscle development and insulin sensitivity in mice. The Journal of clinical investigation, 120(11), 4007-4020.

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11. Møller, N., & Jørgensen, J. O. (2009). Effects of growth hormone on glucose, lipid, and protein metabolism in human subjects. Endocrine reviews, 30(2), 152-177.

12. Perls, T. T., Reisman, N. R., & Olshansky, S. J. (2005). Provision or distribution of growth hormone for “antiaging”: clinical and legal issues. JAMA, 294(16), 2086-2090.

13. Rudman, D., Feller, A. G., Nagraj, H. S., Gergans, G. A., Lalitha, P. Y., Goldberg, A. F., … & Mattson, D. E. (1990). Effects of human growth hormone in men over 60 years old. New England Journal of Medicine, 323(1), 1-6.

14. Sanmarti, A., Lucas, A., Hawkins, F., Webb, S. M., & Ulied, A. (1991). Observational study in adufabetlts with acromegaly treated with rapid-release lanreotide: efficacy, safety and quality of life. The Scientific World Journal, 1, 759-765.

15. Swerdlow, A. J., Higgins, C. D., Adlard, P., & Preece, M. A. (2002). Risk of cancer in patients treated with human pituitary growth hormone in the UK, 1959–85: a cohort study. The Lancet, 360(9329), 273-277.

16. Velloso, C. P. (2008). Regulation of muscle mass by growth hormone and IGF-I. British journal of pharmacology, 154(3), 557-568.