HGH, otherwise known as human growth hormone (or just growth hormone) or somatotropin, is a peptide based hormone produced naturally by the body where it is able to elicit a number of biological effects both via interaction with GH (growth hormone) receptors, and via non-receptor mediated means.
Natural growth hormone consists of a 191 amino acid sequence peptide, with synthetic forms that mimic this structure the best choices on the market. There also exists a modified version consisting of a 192 amino acid sequence, which may seem innocuous, but whose usage is more likely to result in undesirable effects.
Effects Of HGH Use
HGH on its own is a powerful anabolic hormone, though it is not specifically sought out for this purpose. Regardless, it can transform an individual’s body, sometimes leading to dramatic body recomposition.
That aside, it is often sought out for its ability to greatly enhance recuperative abilities, thanks to its beneficial effects on connective tissue and metabolism of macronutrients. What you have in turn is accelerated nutrient partitioning and regeneration of structural deficits. Combined with anabolic-androgenic steroids, HGH can provide a much needed insurance policy against soft tissue injury.
In addition to these effects, one of the most pronounced traits of exogenous HGH usage is elevated levels of IGF-1 (insulin like growth factor-1). IGF-1 is highly anabolic, and is believed to be responsible for many of HGH’s effects itself, especially noticeable when it comes to cellular recovery. While growth hormone is regarded as the fountain of youth, many of its actions to rejuvenate cells are due to IGF-1.
Other beneficial effects from HGH usage include improved skin tone, increased bone density, a more efficient metabolism, and enhanced sense of well-being.
When combined with anabolic steroid cycles, most people tolerate 4IU of HGH daily quite well. However, this can be too much especially in HGH naïve individuals, with it making more sense to do 2IU daily in such a case.
If administering 4IU daily, it is imperative to split dosing frequency to twice daily, with more frequent intervals even better yet if administration is not tedious. Higher doses are rarely used, being more likely in advanced athletes, though most people benefit from instead increasing anabolic steroid dose in place.
HGH can be administered intramuscularly or subcutaneously, though more people opt for the less invasive method of the latter.
Pharmacology Of HGH And IGF-1
HGH and IGF-1 share a love-hate relationship, synergistic in some aspects, but quite contradictory in others. Much of this relationship depends on the dose of HGH administered.
For instance, HGH administered at doses higher than natural production levels (supraphysiological) tend to negatively affect glucose metabolism and favor fat metabolism. This can cause a greater degree of fat loss, but can adversely cause fat storage in muscle cells.
At normal doses it does not negatively affect glucose metabolism, and is likely to work synergistically with IGF-1 to signal hypertrophy as well as skeletal muscle hyperplasia potential (hyperplasia refers to increasing number of cells, as opposed to mere size).
Possible Untoward Effects Of HGH
HGH displays a good degree of safety when administered in lower doses, but adverse effects are more common with higher doses. When daily doses exceed 2IU, the risk of the following are increased:
- Insulin resistance and glucose dysfunction
- Arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome or numbness in the extremities
- Increased serum triglycerides and VLDL levels (potentially raising cardiac risk)
- May promote growth of pre-cancerous cells
The use of HGH can absolutely promote muscle gain, favor body recomposition and even support healthy aging, but it does possess risks, especially when administered at higher doses for longer periods of time.
A sensible approach of lower dosing will yield the best dividends and support your goals.