When most people think of growth hormone, they picture weight lifters that look like their muscles are literally about to explode. While this may be the case for some, in reality growth hormone has a wide variety of uses.
What Is The Human Growth Hormone
Growth hormone is a protein based peptide hormone that accelerates cell reproduction, regeneration and growth in both animals and humans. One variant of this hormone is produced naturally whilst another (HGH or Human Growth Hormone) is produced through recombinant DNA technology.
Growth hormone has been used for some time now as a prescription drug for a variety of purposes. If a child was identified with a growth disorder, they were often prescribed growth hormone to accelerate or foster additional growth. Recently, it has been prescribed to elder patients with growth hormone deficiencies to increase vitality.
Because GH is such a complex hormone, much about it is still not understood. While new uses are being identified and tested on an almost yearly basis, little research has thus far been performed on these emerging capabilities.
Human Growth Hormone Abuse in Sports
As an anabolic agent (capable of building up mass), HGH has been abused throughout the sports world since approximately the 1970’s. A variety of sporting agencies and regulatory bodies banned the substance, however blood tests that could distinguish between natural and artificial growth hormone were not developed until the early 2000’s, which is when the bans were first effectively enforced.
It is widely believed that these “steroids” supply an unfair advantage to their abusers, as those using them tend to develop muscle mass both with less effort and significantly greater speed. Almost every major sport has had its own version of the “steroid” scandal.
Some of these athletes, however, may have obtained the hormone through legitimate avenues such as a prescription.
Unfortunately, because this substance is rather easy to develop, it can be found both online and in a variety of offshore or cross-border drugstores.
The abuse of HGH in sports has tarnished the reputation of growth hormone across the world even though it has a number of completely valid uses.
In the United States, only one form of growth hormone has been approved for commercial use, and this is the bovine-specific form used to stimulate milk production in dairy cows. Because of the controversy surrounding “genetic engineering” in agriculture, companies are now permitted to label whether or not their products use this hormone.
In clinical medicine, growth hormone is usually used to treat growth disorders whether or not they are actually related to growth hormone production itself.
Growth Hormone has been touted by the Anti-Aging movement as far back as the 1990’s when it was given to a group of 12 men over 60. Compared to the control group, they exhibited less fat, leaner body mass, and better bone composition.
While this study did not seem to indicate the use of growth hormone as an anti-aging solution, it did state that these effects were the exact opposite of what one would expect individuals in this age group to exhibit over a ten year period.