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HGH and Weight Loss

Can an Increase in HGH Help You Lose Weight?

Human Growth Hormone, or HGH, is the latest craze, especially with popular celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone and Alana Stewart singing its praises. “Any actor over 60 you’re still seeing with a ripped stomach and veins in his forearms is probably taking HGH,” explains a talent manager in the March issue of Vanity Fair.[1]

The hormone has been proclaimed as a “fountain of youth in a syringe” and “sex in a capsule.” It is said to slow aging, decrease fatigue, eliminate wrinkles, build muscle, and even promote weight loss.

Dr. Uzzi Reiss, an anti-aging specialist, admits he’s been taking HGH for many years. “I have the energy and vibrancy of a man half my age . . . I don’t get sick, don’t get jet-lagged. I can’t see why anybody would inject HGH if it doesn’t have any benefits.”[2]

Consumers around the world are reaching for HGH pills, powders, and injections in hopes of obtaining that perfectly defined, youthful and healthy body, but is there research to back the hype?

What is HGH?

Human Growth Hormone is a naturally occurring hormone produced by the pituitary gland. It fuels growth and development in children then peaks during teenage years. HGH increases height, weight, and bone structure, triggering the transformation from child to adult.

Additionally, HGH is the “master hormone,” responsible for regulating countless biological processes, including metabolism, muscle mass, and energy – all of which are necessary for maintaining a healthy weight.

Unfortunately, HGH production decreases slowly with age. By age 60, your HGH levels drop to 80% less than when you were twenty.[3] HGH deficiencies often result in increased fatigue, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and decreased libido and stamina. Furthermore, low HGH levels are tied with increased weight gain and obesity.

The Link Between HGH and Weight Loss

Because low HGH levels are often linked with obesity, many individuals wonder if an extra boost of HGH could promote weight loss.

According to experts at WebMD, interest in HGH’s potential for weight loss originally stemmed from a 1990 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers observed that synthetic HGH injections triggered an 8.8% gain in muscle mass as well as a 14% loss in body fat without any change in diet or exercise.[4]

While this study was promising, the New England Journal of Medicine later denounced the misuse of this study and pointed out recent research contradicts these rather optimistic results.[5]

However, that doesn’t mean we should dismiss HGH for weight loss entirely.

Nicholas Tritos, MD, evaluated the effectiveness of HGH for obese individuals in a different study . “Our results showed small improvements in body composition, a small reduction in body fat, and increase in muscle mass . . . more notable changes are seen when an individual is deficient in growth hormone from true pituitary disease.”[6]

Additionally, a systematic review conducted by Annals of Internal Medicine reports, “growth hormone significantly increased lean body mass and was associated with a near-significant trend toward decreased fat mass.”[7]

Tips for Increasing HGH (and Losing Weight) Naturally

Unfortunately, HGH injections are risky at best, causing numerous side effects such as carpel tunnel syndrome, insulin resistance, and painful swelling in the arms and legs.

When you factor in the limited research on HGH with the difficulty of obtaining HGH legally, increasing your HGH levels may seem more trouble than it’s worth.

Fortunately, there are simple methods to increase HGH naturally and improve your overall body composition at the same time.

1. Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

Diets high in carbohydrates and low in nutrients trigger a significant increase in insulin secretion. Unfortunately, insulin and HGH act antagonistically toward each other. Increased insulin inhibits HGH production, and increased HGH levels inhibit insulin’s effectiveness.

While eliminating carbohydrates completely from your diet is unnecessary, dieters should aim to find a healthy balance between carbs, proteins, fats, fruits, and vegetables.

Pharmacologist James Jamieson gives us this suggestion for optimizing HGH production: “Growth hormone levels increase significantly when insulin levels are low, about four hours after a meal . . . By avoiding food during the last four hours before bedtime we may enhance circadian growth hormone release, and fat burning potential.”[8]

2. Exercise Regularly

In addition to watching carb and calorie intake, dieters should participate in frequent, regular exercise to optimize HGH production and lose weight.

Researchers at Brunel University have revealed that intense bouts of exercise for a minimum of 10 minutes trigger a significant response in HGH secretion. “Exercise training above the lactate threshold may amplify the pulsatile release of HGH at rest, increasing 24-hour HGH secretion.”[9]

Lactate threshold training involves any form of intensive exercise that results in lactic acid accumulation in the muscles. If you “feel the burn,” you’re on the right track.

3. Get Adequate Sleep

While HGH is secreted in pulses throughout the day, but the largest pulse is secreted during the slow wave sleep stage (about an hour after the onset of night-time sleep).

Researchers observed that individuals who were deprived of slow wave sleep stages experienced a decrease in HGH production. “[HGH] release is related to the physiologic state of sleep itself and is not dependent of an inherent circadian rhythm. . . the data suggest that deprivation of SWS [slow wave sleep] results in diminished and delayed secretion of HGH in sleep.”[10]

4. Eliminate Unnecessary Stress

Although it’s impossible to eliminate every stressful thing in your life, cutting back on stress and simplifying your life is a great way to optimize HGH production.

Excess stress causes an increase in cortisol production, which can have a negative impact on your health and your weight.

Dr. Nicholas Perricone explains, “Cortisol in large amounts for long periods of time is extremely toxic. Our brain cells, or neurons, are extremely sensitive to the effects of cortisol. Cortisol causes death to brain cells when it is circulating at a high level. . . Cortisol is deadly and stress produces cortisol. So, therefore, we must control stress.”[11]

Additionally, in a study published by the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology, and Metabolism, high cortisol to HGH ratio resulted in abdominal obesity in women.[12]

Not sure how to combat stress? Try participating in a relaxing exercise such as yoga or tai chi. You’ll not only feel more connected with your body, but you’ll lose weight and optimize HGH production.

Work With Your Body

Many individuals are under the impression that the perfect body can be found in a pill (or a needle). After all, if your favorite celebrity found success by injecting HGH, why not you?

While increasing HGH levels is a great way to improve your overall health and body composition, you don’t need to follow celebrities’ examples to enjoy its benefits. By working with your body and using natural HGH increasing techniques, you can optimize HGH production while losing the extra weight – no expensive injections required.


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