There are heated debates about whether the human growth hormone (HGH) can help you lose weight. HGH occurs naturally and is produced by the pituitary gland which is located in the brain. In an effort to lose weight, some people have gone to the extent of using HGH. This is available in form of powders, pills, and injections.
Some small studies have shown an association between HGH injections and fat loss. However, only minimal changes have been found while the risks and potential side effects were higher. In reference to some medical experts, HGH is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for weight loss.
Why HGH Sparked Interest
Interest in the use of HGH for weight loss hails back to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The 1990 study demonstrated that injections of synthetic HGH resulted in 14% body fat loss and 8.8% gain in muscle mass without dietary changes or exercise. Though the study seemed very promising, later studies refuted the claims.
The New England Journal of Medicine in 2003 denounced the misuse of the 1990 study, stating clearly subsequent reports found no reason to be optimistic.
Surprisingly, the 1990 study is being used to promote the use of HGH for weight loss through Internet sales.
Two other Small Studies
In one small study, it was found that the administration of lower doses of HCG can help in fat loss and muscle gain. In 2009, the Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism published a report from a study which involved 39 obese men and women. The participants were administered HGH in lower doses for 6 months. After using diet and exercise, they lost 5 pounds of body fat on average. They managed to keep the weight off for an average of 9 months.
Another study in 2001 involving lab mice demonstrated similar results. According to a publication in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, HGH helped the mice to shed weight by burning fat.
HGH Mode of Action
HGH promotes growth and development in children. It usually peaks during the 20s and starts to dwindle when a person reaches 40 years. The HGH maintains some bodily functions, such as muscle growth, tissue repair, metabolism, energy production, and brain function.
Studies have demonstrated that adults who are obese tend to have lower levels of HGH than those with normal weights. The decline in HGH levels has ignited some debates about whether the administration of HGH to the obese can help in weight loss.
The use of HGH is banned in the Olympics and other roles as it has gained a reputation as to assist in muscle building. Nevertheless, it remains unclear about whether it can enhance performance in athletics.
Studies conducted using higher levels of HGH indicate that it can lead to undesired side effects. These include high blood pressure, swelling in arms and legs, and muscle or joint pain. Additionally, it can trigger glucose intolerance and put you at a higher risk of diabetes. In reference to Dr. James G. Beckerman, very few studies have been conducted and more comprehensive long-term studies are required. HGH is not properly regulated and one can purchase one that is sterile or impure. Additionally, the FDA has not approved HGH as a weight loss remedy due to various reasons, including the cost (approximately $ 1,000 per month). It is also worth noting that HGH will get broken down in the stomach when used orally. Thus, it can only be effective when administered through injection.
Synthetic HGH, such as Sermorelin, is usually prescribed to patients with genetic defects or tumor on the pituitary gland that lowers production of HGH. According to Hole’s Human Anatomy and Physiology, HGH can be given to patients with AIDs to help boost the growth of muscles. Patients undergoing organ transplants also qualify for HGH prescription.
You are not supposed to take HGH without consulting your doctor. It can lead to serious health complications or simply have no effect.
The Bottom Line
The use of HGH for weight loss, muscle gain, or anti-aging is a controversial debate that is still in experimental stages. It is believed that HGH injections can help to slightly decrease the storage of fat in the body and promote muscle growth. However, studies are yet to demonstrate how safe and effective for weight loss.
Unless more studies are carried out to reveal the long-term benefits and effectiveness of HGH for weight loss, avoiding it is a good idea.
Sadly, you can’t find a miraculous pill when trying to solve those extra pounds. To lose weight in a healthy way, burn more calories than you consume every day. This entails eating a healthy diet (loaded with fruits and vegetable) and exercising regularly.