Human Growth Hormone

Basically a peptide, the human growth hormone (HGH) is also known as somatotropin. The HGH is released by the anterior lobe in the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland, which is of the size of a pea, is located at the brain's base and it is thought to be the body's master gland because it makes a variety of hormones that take part in multiple different bodily functions. The human growth hormones are important because it encourages growth of almost all the tissues found in the human body, which also includes our bones.

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The anterior pituitary cells called somatotrophs synthesize as well as secrete human growth hormone. These are specialized cells and they secrete just one to two milligrams of this hormone in a day. The human growth hormones work by attaching itself to the HGH receptor and subsequently encourages a direct impact or commences the production of an insulin-like growth factor I (also known as IGF-I), which is among the most vital mediators of HGH effects.

While it has almost become a trend these days to use human growth hormones, scientists have been studying this hormone for years now. It may seem to be incredible, but the fact is that in the past scientists obtained human growth hormone from corpses to study it. In addition, they administered the hormone obtained from corpses to treat people who needed HGH.

In fact, human growth hormone, which is commonly known as HGH, is the basic controlling hormone, which is accountable for a variety of functions in the human body. This hormone provides the body with vitality, energy, youth, resilience and even beauty. The human growth hormone encourages the body tissues' normal growth. Basically, the HGH is the biggest hormone molecule produced by the pituitary gland, which is located just at the base of the brain. This is the main reason why children who suffer pituitary disorders usually have stunted growth. When the human growth hormone is absent it hampers the normal growth of the tissues. These are many factors that kindle the production and secretion of human growth hormone in the body.

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The hypothalamus secretes growth hormone–releasing hormone (GHRH) that regulates how much human growth hormone the somatotrophs should release. In addition, androgen, estrogen and other sex hormones can also influence the secretion of human growth hormone. It is interesting to note that deep sleep too plays a vital role in secreting HGH. Exercise as well as working out in the gym also contributes in synthesizing human growth hormone. Other factors that influence the secretion of this vital hormone include nutrition (for example nuts and protein diet), hypoglycemia and fasting.

Deficiency of growth hormone

During a normal child's development stage, human growth hormone is secreted naturally till puberty. However, as the aging process continues, HGH secretion becomes lesser because the pituitary gland is unable to make adequate amount of this hormone required for growth. In the early stages of life, the pituitary gland makes around 1 millilitre of somatotropin. However, in some instances the pituitary gland fails to produce sufficient amount of human growth hormone needed for the growth of muscles and bones as well as body composition. When this happens, people may experience deformities, especially in functioning of their bodies and cognitive.

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Functions of human growth hormone

The human growth hormone has direct as well as indirect affects that powers growth and also the metabolic processes in our body.

In fact, growth is an extremely multifarious process that needs synchronized actions of various hormones produced in our body - the main being the growth hormone. The primary work of this hormone is to stimulate growth. Human growth hormone achieves this objective by promoting the synthesis of Growth hormone–releasing hormone (GHRH) in the liver.

The resulting effects of HGH stimulating growth is described below:

Effects of human growth hormone on the muscles

IGF-I (insulin-like growth factor I) plays a vital role in the growth and development of the muscles. The cells that compose muscular tissue are known as myoblasts. IGF-I improves the separation of these muscle cells.

During the last few decades, people having been increasingly using human growth hormone supplements. Notwithstanding the fact the manner in which this hormone is administered in our body, eventually these supplements get into the blood stream and work as secretagogues of growth hormones or in the form of GH analogues.

In addition, IGF-I attaches to the GF receptors and set off cascades that, in turn, encourage protein synthesis inside the muscle tissues. Usually, proteins are the main nutrients that aid in body building. Quick and properly regulated protein synthesis inside the muscle cells result in muscle hypertrophy that helps in bodybuilding to a great extent.

A bodybuilder or an athlete needs loss of fat as well as muscle hypertrophy to occur simultaneously in order to be conspicuous among many competitors. And this is what human growth hormone does precisely by helping to build massive muscles and provide formidable strength by directly breaking down fat.

Effects of human growth hormone on bones

Cartilage cells, which are also called chondrocytes, mediate the development of bones. The growth hormone activates IFG-1, which causes the chondrocytes to proliferate, thereby resulting in enhanced growth as well as development of the bones. This is why a number of people use human growth hormone supplements with a view to boost the growth and overall bone strength of their bones.

Since human growth hormone helps to enhance the strength of bones, many bodybuilders, and even athletes use it to remain fit and enhance their performance. In addition, growth hormone also fuels the propagation of osteoclasts, which are specific cells that reabsorb bone. In this way, HGH helps to keep the metabolic process in the bones stable. This actually ensures that our bones are always healthy and strong.

Effects of human growth hormone on metabolism

Aside from making the growth and development of bones as well as muscles easier, this hormone also affects several metabolic processes in our body. This hormone plays a vital role in the metabolic process of three main energy sources - which include carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Human growth hormone is among those hormones that work to keep the levels of blood glucose within the standard range. Often, this hormone is called insulin antagonists as it helps to suppress insulin from enabling the body tissues to uptake glucose. Nevertheless, when this hormone is administered into our body, it also promotes insulin secretion.

Most of the human growth hormone supplements available in the market are not always comparable to the natural hormone. In other words, some of these supplements are not HGH analogs. Generally, majority of such supplements are secretagogues that help to promote the synthesis as well as secretion of human growth hormone by the pituitary glands.

What is human growth hormone used for?

Pharmaceutical companies were successful in developing synthetic human growth hormone for the first time in 1985. This is still considered to be a major milestone of the pharmaceutical industries. Soon after, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of synthetic human growth hormone for some specific uses in children as well as adults. Since then, synthetic HGH is being legally used as a medicine for short-term use to treat unknown reasons causing poor growth among people.

Conditions for which the FDA has approved the use of synthetic HGH to facilitate improved growth are described briefly below:

Turner syndrome

This condition only affects females. This genetic condition is responsible for various anomalies related to growth and development of a female - for instance cardiovascular imperfections, short height and pitiable development of reproductive compositions, especially in the ovaries. Generally, human growth hormone supplements are recommended for women enduring Turner syndrome. It especially helps to treat short stature.

Prader-Willi syndrome

This is also a genetic condition that occurs rarely. Prader-Willi syndrome is responsible for a number of physical, mental as well as behavioural problems. People enduring this genetic condition have poor levels of sex hormones, reduced muscle tone and they always feel hungry. Such anomalies related to development can be treated effectively by administering human growth hormone.

Chronic kidney disease

When children suffer from chronic kidney disease it has often been found to be associated with the alignment between human growth hormone (HGH) and IGF-1. As a result, it leads to retarded growth in children. Occasionally, doctors recommend administration of human growth hormone to people, especially children, suffering from chronic kidney disease with a view to put off growth retardation among them.

Children born small for brief gestational age

It has been found that some children are usually small owing to gestational age; perhaps because their parents are also small. In a number of instances, it is possible that babies would be small due to gestational age as they may be enduring problems related to growth that happened during pregnancy. Such condition is also known as intrauterine growth restriction. In case, a child is born with such condition, occasionally doctors will recommend growth hormone therapy to correct the growth anomalies. It is worth mentioning here that the child's improvement in height is more dependent on the dosage of human growth hormone in the short-term rather than dependent on dosage of the hormone in over a prolonged period.


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