Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is naturally secreted by the anterior pituitary gland and its main functions in the body include cell regeneration and the regulation of body composition (including body fluids, muscles and bone growth).
It is an anabolic substance which is highly sought after for its numerous benefits for the body. People with growth hormone deficiency and those who have reached an age where production of growth hormone is insufficient, are prescribed HGH in its exogenous form.
Today, synthetic HGH is sold and used for many different purposes (both medical and non-medical) because people understand the effects of HGH on the body and its benefits.
Effects on the Body
HGH, also known as growth hormone, is a peptide hormone which consists of 191 amino acids, single-chain polypeptide. It is a stress hormone that is naturally secreted to increase the concentration of glucose and free fatty acids in the body.
Growth hormone works to increase height in the childhood, which is stimulated by two mechanisms of the hormone:
- HGH is a polypeptide, so it is not a fat soluble. This means it can penetrate in cell membrane, where it binds to the receptors of specific cells. It then activates the MAPK/ERK pathway, which communicates with the DNA in the cell’s nucleus. This mechanism allows the hormone to stimulate the division and multiplication of the healthy cells found in cartilage.
- HGH also fuels the production of IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) through the JAK-STAT signaling pathway. The liver plays a huge role in this process and is the target organ of HGH. It is the main site for IGF-1 production, which can also take place within certain target tissues.
Other effects of HGH on the body include:
- Strengthening the mineralization of bones by raising calcium retention
- Through sarcomere hypotrophy, HGH increases muscle mass
- Enhances lipolysis
- Promotes protein synthesis
- Promotes the growth of all vital organs in the body (except the brain)
- HGH has a significant part in homeostasis
- Decreases the uptake of glucose by the liver
- Enables gluconeogenesis in the liver
- Plays a role in the smooth functioning of pancreatic islets
- Triggers the immune system
- Increases the deiodination of T4 to T3.
The abovementioned effects clarify that HGH plays a major role in the body, therefore its deficiency or excess can be very harmful.
Actions of HGH in the Body
The actions of HGH in the body can be classified into two different types:
- Indirect growth promoting hormone: In this action, HGH acts on the liver, which secretes somatomedin-C or IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) and this substance then acts on the skeletal and extraskeletal parts of the body. In the skeletal part of the body, the HGH activated IGF-1 widens the epiphyseal plates between the long bones, thus growing them linearly and increasing a person’s height. However, this natural effect only remains until the individual is 18 to 20 years of age. In extraskeletal part of the body, HGH induced protein synthesis brings about hypertrophy and hyperplasia, which allows growth of vital organs and body tissues.
- Direct anti-insulin action: HGH is a hyperglycemic agent, which promotes the metabolism of carbohydrates by reducing the peripheral usage of glucose and promoting gluconeogenesis in the liver. HGH also increases the metabolism of fat by acting on the adipose tissue and breaking down fats into free fatty acids (which serve as an energy source to the tissues). Moreover, HGH enhances the retention of sodium, potassium, calcium and phosphate.
However, these actions turn detrimental when there is an excessive amount of HGH in the body or even when an individual experiences HGH deficiency.
Timeline of the Effects of HGH
The growth hormone renders fast results because it is a fast-acting agent in the body. However, for a long lasting and significant effect, the user has to wait. Most users have seen its benefits within the first few weeks, but its long lasting effects can be evident after about six months. Typically, an HGH user will see and feel the effects along the following timeline:
- In the first month, a boost in energy and an optimistic attitude will become apparent. Improved sleep quality and efficiency in one’s daily tasks will also appear within the first month of taking HGH.
- By the second month, the regenerative benefits of using HGH will come forward, and skin, hair and nails will improve immensely. Muscles will be toned, weight loss will become easier, and a marked improvement in sexual drive are other noticeable changes.
- From month three to five, the above mentioned areas will improve more, and for those using HGH to enhance their physique, the lean muscle mass will be increased markedly. Libido will improve to the extent that it will reach the same level as it was in one’s adolescence or early adulthood. Other advances include better memory and ability to focus.
- At the end of the sixth month, the HGH user will attain his or her ideal weight, muscle tone and energy levels. Furthermore, immune and cardiopulmonary systems will also get stronger (although these improvements will not be as visible as others).
- A huge decrease in cholesterol levels, the reduction of cellulite, and better hair growth are other effects that are seen throughout the first six months.
HGH is widely used by actors, athletes, bodybuilders and others for its specific benefits to keep the body strong and healthy. Buying this anabolic substance is not difficult, but finding the original growth hormone can be an arduous task.
It is recommended to speak to your medical professional and let him examine your condition for the use of growth hormone. Sometimes, the physicians suggest using both HGH and Testosterone together for quicker and better results.
Revision 17.2.2020 – dead link removed.