HGH Benefits and Side Effects – Why Bodybuilders Use It
Chemical HGH boosters have become very popular over the last decade. Bodybuilders and even fitness models use them to improve physical conditioning. The issue is that there is a very dark side to HGH. In this article, I will discuss HGH benefits and side effects.
Growth hormone is a substance that is used by bodybuilders. It can help increase strength, eliminate body fat and enhance physical performance. Many believe the side effects caused by growth hormone are not serious but long-term use can be more serious than most are led to believe.
What is HGH?
HGH also known as human growth hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is a small pea shape gland located close to your brain towards the bottom of the skull. Its main function is to help you grow. Low growth hormone levels in children can cause physical development issues.
History of Growth Hormone
Growth hormone has been around since the 1920's but doctors did not begin to use growth hormone until the 1960's. It was used to treat children who suffered from poor development. Even then, growth hormone was in short supply, so it was only used in severe cases.
Something most people are not aware of is that the original source of growth hormone came from human and animal cadavers. Yes, Growth hormone was harvested from dead people and animals.
This harvesting procedure would continue for 20 years. Production was stopped completely when they found that several samples of the drug were contaminated by a disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (similar to mad cow disease).
The symptoms of the disease caused brain degeneration similar to Alzheimer's. Unfortunately, there was no treatment for CJD and because of this, a total of 26 people died from contaminated growth hormone between 1960 and 1970. We can only imagine the agony that those people faced from being treated with growth hormone, not knowing if later on the disease would affect them or not.
Due to past contamination, the FDA finally halted distribution of all cadaver harvested growth hormone. This was not the end of growth hormone but a new beginning for what we now know as synthetic HGH.
in 1985 A new source of HGH was being developd by Genentech and the drug company Eli Lilly
Both companies were developing a synthetic HGH recombinant bacteria.
What are recombinant bacteria you ask?
Recombinant bacteria is where a human gene is inserted into the genetic material of bacteria, this microorganism can now produce a human gene protein. In this case, it can be used to produce an HGH protein. This genetic transformation allows pharmaceutical companies to produce unlimited amounts of HGH without the risk of contamination.
Six months after the FDA banned cadaver harvested HGH the FDA approved a recombinant HGH drug sold under the name Protropin. This has since provided a safe source of HGH that can be used to treat growth disorders in children.
HGH is now sold under many different names that include the following:
HGH Use Among Bodybuilders
Without a doubt anabolic steroids are still one of the main substances that are used by bodybuilders, however, athletes will go to extreme measures to beat the competition which is why HGH use has become mainstream among profesional bodybuilders.
The average human circulates about 5 nanograms of HGH per milliliter of blood. Growth hormone helps preserve brain, muscle, and organ tissue. When HGH is secreted it only lasts for a few minutes in the bloodstream, however, this is still enough time for the liver to metabolize it and convert it into IGF-1 and insulin. A combination of both can help increase muscle and help prevent fat buildup.
Bodybuilders have taken HGH for several decades because of the results it has to offer, these include increased muscle mass, bone density, performance enhancement, and less body fat. This gives bodybuilders a hard looking muscular and vascular body.
Most tend to think that HGH is a magic substance that will instantly help them pack on muscle. This is not the case. Just like with anabolic steroids they can only enhance what you already have. Meaning you cant take HGH by itself and expect an immediate physical transformation.
If you already have proper conditioning and good genetics taking HGH should help you put the finishing touches on an already good physique. In other words, you can expect a benefit of around 15%.
Why Do Bodybuilders Use HGH?
Bodybuilders take HGH to enhance nitrogen retention which is needed for increasing protein synthesis within the muscle. Many bodybuilders will take HGH to prevent muscle loss in between steroid cycles.
Other benefits of taking HGH include:
- Stimulate protein anabolism in muscle tissue
- Increase protein synthesis
- Reduce the oxidation of proteins
- Increase amino acid absorption
- Enhances your bodies ability to use fat by breaking down triglycerides
Taking HGH by itself will do very little to enhance your physique
Taking HGH in optimal doses will give you the best results. It's most likely that the people you see taking extreme amounts of HGH are novice bodybuilders. They think that taking large doses will help them transform their physique faster which is not true.
Taking large amounts of HGH will cause a lot of bloat and water retention.
What Dose is Recommended?
There is really no set standard, a lot depends on a persons weight, genetics and a persons response to growth hormone. Having said that most pro bodybuilders will consult with professional trainers and medical professionals.
Human growth hormone is measured in IU's and milligrams. 1 milligram is equivalent to 2 IU's 1 IU is equivalent to 0.33mg. People who use growth hormone for anti-aging will generally take no more than 2IU, bodybuilders take more, much more. Some bodybuilders will inject 4-6IU's (usually splitting the dose in half (morning and afternoon) others will inject as much as 16IU's every other day.
What we do know is that anything above 3 IU's a day will begin to cause noticeable side effects.
Just like anabolic steroids, HGH does have a half-life but it is much shorter than what you would expect. The half-life of HGH is about 15-20 minutes after injected, the effect will peak within 3 hours.
Why HGH is Dangerous
Most bodybuilders will shrug off the potential side effects of HGH, on the surface, HGH might not seem that harmful but it can be.
One thing that often goes unmentioned about long-term HGH use is that it also increases the size of internal organs including the heart, liver, kidneys and even intestines. This is one of the reasons bodybuilders tend to have a bubble or distended stomach.
Probably the biggest concern would be an enlarged heart due to prolonged growth hormone use, this could lead to cardiovascular complications or even death.
These are other symptoms that can occur in bodybuilders who take to much HGH. Other side effects from long-term HGH use may include the following:
- Increase bone size
- Noticeable increase in jaw bone and nose
- Causes internal organs to grow including the heart muscle
- Deepening of the voice
- Edema (swelling in the arms and ankles)
- Joint and muscle pain
- High Cholesterol
- Numbness in the skin
Real HGH is Expensive and Hard to Find
Most of the HGH sold online is fake, the only real HGH comes in the form of lyophilized powder, if you see it in another presentation it is most likely not a genuine product. Even if you do find it online HGH is a fragile substance that can go bad if exposed to sunlight or heat.
HGH can be very expensive which is why it is one of the less used substances for performance enhancement, that is unless you are a pro bodybuilder. If you do a search on the net you will find varying prices.
Some companies sell kits that range between $300.00- $1200.00 U.S.D depending on the quality of the product. It's not cheap!
Natural Ways to Boost Growth Hormone
There are natural ways to increase HGH levels by supplementing your diet with Glutamine and Arginine. Young men and women normally produce adequate amounts of HGH, older men are the ones that will struggle more because as they age HGH production tends to drop.
Intense exercise has also been shown to boost HGH levels this means short bursts with high-intensity training.
HGH is a drug that requires long-term use to see the full benefits. Most men will not see significant gains by taking HGH by itself. Most bodybuilders will stack HGH with a variety of anabolic steroids.
If you think you really need to boost HGH production there are many natural supplements that can similar benefits that cost less and deliver similar results.