There are dozens, if not hundreds, of products on the market labeled as natural HGH (nHGH) supplements. But this term “natural HGH supplements” is often met with confusion. What are they for? What are they made of? Are the safe? How effective will they be?
Let’s see if we can’t cut through the confusion to understand what to expect with an nHGH product.
Why Do We Need HGH?
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is arguably the most important hormone for growth and development. It is necessary for proper childhood growth, as well as tissue and organ maintenance throughout life.
The pituitary gland is primarily responsible for the production and regulation of HGH in your body. While the pituitary gland active produces HGH when we are young and growing, production decreases with age. Over-production of growth hormone into adulthood may place iniviuals at risk for health complications such as gigantism and acromegaly, both resulting in over-growth of the body.
While reduction of HGH in adulthood is important, it is also partly to blame for many signs of aging. Decreases in muscle tone, bone density, endurance, metabolism, and healing and recovery time are all associated with the natural HGH reduction.
nHGH supplements focus on increasing HGH production, to alleviate some of these symptoms.
How do Natural HGH Supplements Work?
Contrary to the name, nHGH supplements do not contain any hormones or steroids. They are not a form of hormone replacement therapy and should not be confused with HGH injections, which contain synthetic hormones.
Through a blend of amino acids and herbal extracts, nHGH supplements stimulate the pituitary gland to produce HGH. nHGH supplements may also contain ingredients to stimulate muscle growth, increase energy and endurance, improve sleep patterns, and reduce recovery time.
Studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of Endocrinology have shown that L-dopa induces a rise in HGH blood plasma levels.[4,5] Patients were given varying doses of L-dopa either orally or intravenously. Researchers then measured plasma growth hormone levels in blood samples taken from both the control group and patients receiving L-dopa. The studies showed that individuals receving L-dopa had increased levels of plasma growth hormone as compared with the control groups.
While ingredients such as L-dopa have been studied in depth, nHGH supplements as a whole have yet to be the focus of many scientific studies. Despite the lack of scientific studies proving the effectiveness of such products, there are hundreds of forums, testimonials, reviews, and stories citing amazing results from taking nHGH supplements.
Natural HGH Supplements vs. HGH Injections
nHGH supplements are often confused with prescription HGH injections. However, as discussed above, nHGH supplements contain neither hormones nor steroids.
HGH injections contain synthetically produced human growth hormone that is all but identical to real growth hormone. These injections are FDA approved to treat diseases in which the boy does not produce enough HGH, including Turner’s syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, kidney disease, and muscle wasting associated with diseases like H.I.V.
Surprisingly, the majority of HGH injections are given for non-FDA approved uses. HGH injections have become a popular and expensive trend as the latest anti-aging therapy. Additionally, athletes have used HGH injections to improve performance.
HGH injections can be dangerous and cause serious side effects. Short term side effects include swollen and painful joints, carpal tunnel, and enlarged breast tissue in men. Long term side effects include increased risk of cancer, heart failure, and diabetes.
Side Effects of nHGH Supplement
Compared with HGH injections, nHGH supplements are much safer. nHGH supplements have virtually no negative side effects.
The May Clinic states that although nHGH supplements may promote increased muscle size, muscles may not actually increase in strength.
nHGH supplements may promote positive changes in body composition and increased endurance and stamina during workouts. They may also help you sleep better at night, leading to increased energy during the day and even boost sex drive.
The Bottom Line
nHGH supplements are becoming a popular trend. And with supporters praising the anti-aging effects of such products and the negligible risk of side effects, the trend continues to gain strength. Consumers will no doubt benefit from this trend because the demand for scientific research will increase. While results are largely based upon consumer experiences, stay tuned as more scientific research is bound to explode.
-  Sattler, Fred R. “Testosterone and Growth Hormone Improve Body Composition and Muscle Performance in Older Men.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism94.6 (2009): n. pag. Web. 15 Nov. 2012.
-  Zeman, Ned. “Hollywood’s Vial Bodies.” Vanity Fair. N.p., Mar. 2012. Web. 15 Nov. 2012.
-  Vance, Mary Lee, and Donald L. Kaiser. “Role of Dopamine in the Regulation of Growth Hormone Secretion: Dopamine and Bromocriptine Augment Growth Hormone (GH)-Releasing Hormone-Stimulated GH Secretion in Normal Man.” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 64.6 (1987): 1136. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. The Endocrine Society. Web. 29 Nov. 2012.
-  Boyd, A. E., Harold E. Lebovitz, and John B. Pfieffer. “Stimulation of Human-Growth-Hormone Secretion by L-dopa.” PsycNET. N.p., 1970. Web. 28 Nov. 2012.
-  Cavagnini, F., M. Peracchi, and G. Scotti. “Effect of L-Dopa Administration on Growth Hormone Secretion in Normal Subjects and Parkinson’s Patients.” Journal of Endocrinology 54 (1972): 425-38. Journal of Endocrinology. Society for Endocrinology and European Society of Endocrinology. Web. 29 Nov. 2012.
-  Cee, Jenna. “Do Natural HGH Supplements Really Work?” LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., June 2011. Web. 28 Nov. 2012.