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What About HGH – Again!

Written by Wellness Club on April 19, 2010 – 7:43 pm -

What About HGH – Again!

 

By Nurse Mark

 

Our friend Ron asks us some good questions: As a bodybuilder he is always looking to improve his physique, and like so many people he is looking for that “magic bullet” that will take the hard work out of it. We hear this often – variations of “I don’t want to change my diet, I don’t want to have to exercise, and I don’t want to have to remember to take all those vitamins – don’t ask me to change my lifestyle, just give me a pill or a shot that will make me slim and strong and young!”

Here is Ron’s question:

Hey Doc, as always I ask you first… Tell me about HGH. A friend of mine takes the injectable type. $400.00 a month. Is the stuff good / bad?? He does get it from a Doc. But I do know not all Docs are created equal…   Thanks  Ron

Hi Ron,

Here we go again with the hGH… We’ve talked about hGH before, and our thoughts on this subject have not changed – while hGH is not necessarily harmful, there are far better ways to spend $400 a month.

Here is a tidbit taken from the Wikipedia website – a good source of information for so many things:

Some old scientific articles have demonstrated that hGH supplementation does not significantly increase muscle strength or aerobic exercise capacity in healthy individuals. While it is possible that there are some advantages, such as an increase in lean body mass, it is also evident that benefits are being exaggerated by some for commercial gain and ineffective products are being sold to unsuspecting consumers. [emphasis added]

Newer studies have shown that hGH supplementation in adults can improve body composition by increasing muscle mass and decreasing fat mass. It may also improve bone density, improve muscle strength, improve cardiovascular parameters such as LDL cholesterol, and improving the quality of life. In my opinion it is highly likely that these improvements are as much a result of the exercise and workouts that the people who use hGH do as they are to the hGH alone. In other words, if you diet, exercise and work out you are going to see improvements – hGH or not!

The use of moderate doses usually has no side effects. However – BUT – and this is a big BUT – hGH is not a “magic bullet.” You cannot be given an injection of hGH and expect to be miraculously transformed into some sort of real-life “Incredible Hulk” as Lou Ferrigno was in the movies. You cannot expect to lose fat mass without reducing your dietary intake, and you cannot expect to increase muscle mass and strength without exercising. It just ain’t gonna happen!

Now, as for your friend:

Fortunately he is being sold “the injectable type” – so he is not being totally “ripped off.” The pills and sprays and other potions that claim to provide hGH are bogus. The hGH molecule can ONLY be absorbed into the body when it is injected. When it is “snorted” in a spray it is too large to be transported across the mucous membranes into circulation and when it is ingested orally it is simply broken down and digested. Taken from the DEA website:

Various oral preparations (e.g., sprays and pills) purported to contain hGH are also marketed and distributed. However, hGH is only bioavailable in the injectable form. The hGH molecule is too large for absorption across the lining of the oral mucosa and the hormone is digested by the stomach before absorption can occur.

Now, you remember that I said moderate hGH use usually has no side effects – but not always. Some side effects reported by previously healthy adults after taking high hGH doses include:

  • Edema (fluid retention and swelling)
  • Joint pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (possibly related to edema)
  • Hypertension (possibly related to fluid retention)
  • Insulin resistance, diabetes and other problems with glucose metabolism
  • Gynecomastia (enlargement of male breasts) This is “man boobs” and NOT larger pecs!

Long-term hGH use is not well studied, except in children for acute growth deficiencies. An increase in colon cancer and Hodgkin’s Disease has been observed with long-term use in children.

The bad news for your friend, or more correctly for your friend’s doctor, is that unless he is prescribing and dispensing hGH for a proven deficiency of hGH (beyond the normal decrease in levels that comes with ageing) he is doing a very risky dance with the DEA, the FDA and with his medical licensing board. The government and medical boards have absolutely no sense of humor when it comes to the use of hGH for athletic performance enhancement and consider it to be a very serious offense. Here is a quote regarding “legal” uses of hGH taken from the DEA on their “drug diversion” webpage:

Accepted medical uses in adults include but are not limited to the treatment of the wasting syndrome of HIV/AIDS and hGH deficiency.

I’m certain that I would not want to put myself in a position where the “friendly, helpful folks” from either the DEA or the FDA might visit me to ask questions about how and why I was being given this drug – again from the DEA webpage:

Human growth hormone is not controlled under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). However, as part of the 1990 Anabolic Steroids Control Act, the distribution and possession, with the intent to distribute, of hGH “for any use…other than the treatment of a disease or other recognized medical condition, where such use has been authorized by the Secretary of Health and Human Services…and pursuant to the order of a physician…” was criminalized as a five-year felony under the penalties chapter of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act of the FDA.

Yikes! A federal felony conviction and five years in the slam!

So, just what could a person do with that $400 a month that might be more effective and legal than hGH injections?

(As always, be sure to follow the links for more detailed information and references on each of these items.)

Start with the basic foundation of a good optimal-dose multiple vitamin like Maxi-Multi : $39.95

Add a high-potency, top quality fish oil like Maxi Marine O3 to provide Omega-3 essential fatty acids important to muscle and heart health and for their anti-inflammatory effects : $54.95

Be sure to take CoEnzyme Q 10 – a supplement that has solid research showing that it increased athletic performance. It is important for cellular energy and vital for heart health : $35.95

Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Alpha Lipoic Acid are both proven to be extremely important in the transport of free fatty acids into the cells and in the proper utilization of carbohydrates as energy – something that is necessary for anyone wanting to reduce fat mass and build muscle mass : $24.95 and $19.95 each.

There you have it – a basic supplement regimen for fat loss and muscle-building for just $175.75 a month.

Whether you supplement with hGH or not, you are going to have to work out to build muscle. hGH will not make muscle magically appear out of nowhere. Without some raw materials what will you build that muscle with?

That leaves plenty for some add-ons like Super Shake fixin’s – the pure high-quality protein and other ingredients will go a long way to supplying you with the raw materials your body needs to build muscle without extra carbs that will be simply stored as fat. Two Super Shakes a day for a month will set you back $231.60 and your body will thank you.

So, for about the same as the cost of hGH injections which aren’t going to magically increase muscle mass (at least not the way body-builders want muscle mass!) you can nourish your body with fat-burning, muscle-building-specific supplements. You can give your body the raw materials and the energy-transporting machinery it needs when you do your workouts.

Why would anyone take the chances involved with hGH steroid use for athletic performance enhancement?

One last tidbit from the DEA:

hGH is listed by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee as a performance enhancing drug barring athletes from using it.

So, Ron, here is my thought on the issue: Do it right, do it honestly, do it legally, and when you have the physique that you want you can know that you have done it “fair and square” – no tricks, no drugs, no cheating.

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