In the past, research on human growth hormone, or HGH research, has revealed a lot about the hormone and what its functions are in the human body. We now know that human growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland, that it regulates growth in children and young adults, and that the levels produced in humans drop off quickly after growth is complete. Both too little and too much of the hormone cause significant health problems in humans of any age. Scientists have also learned how to produce the hormone artificially in the laboratory.
HGH studies on the role of the hormone in later life are more recent and more controversial than the work on childhood abnormalities. It seems that, in adults, this essential hormone is responsible for the maintenance of bone density, lean body mass, and muscle strength. It regulates fat storage and blood sugar. Various scientific papers reporting on the results of HGH research have been interpreted as evidence that human growth hormone holds the key to longevity, possibly even lasting youth. The majority of this work looked at treating elderly people with age related health problems, rather than healthy aging people seeking anti-aging therapy. Results are inconclusive: growth hormone therapy can make us look younger, but it may not be the proverbial fountain of youth.
Amidst all the claims being made for human growth hormone, it's important to uncover the HGH facts, the things we really do know about the effects of hormone supplementation. First, HGH studies have shown that it doesn't enter the bloodstream when it is ingested: in order to get any effect from therapeutic growth hormone, it has to be injected. Injections do bring results - younger looking skin, leaner body mass and sometimes increased bone density. HGH research has also shown, however, that undesirable side effects are very common.
Unpopular HGH facts include the information that when human hormone therapy has been used on elderly patients, HGH studies have not documented significant improvement in age-related health problems. Mental and emotional functioning doesn't improve and most marked physical changes are primarily cosmetic. HGH research in mice suggests that increased levels of the hormone may actually shorten lifespan. Added to this, hormone injections are prohibitively expensive and have to be prescribed by a medical doctor.
Few large, long term, properly conducted HGH studies have been done on the relative benefits and risks of therapy with this hormone. We simply don't know what the long term effects of using the treatment might be. From the HGH facts that are known, however, it seems clear that the majority of the real benefits can be realized by other established methods with none of the risk. Exercise produces leaner body mass. Other hormone treatment can increase bone density. A quality vitamin and mineral supplement will provide nutrients and antioxidants that from part of a healthy anti aging routine. Discuss HGH research and other alternatives with your doctor if you are considering trying this type of hormone therapy.
R. Drysdale is a freelance writer with more than 25 years experience as a health care professional. You can learn more about HGH research on the AntiAging Information site.