HGH (Human Growth Hormone) is a very powerful hormone to bodybuilders. Everyone seems to focus on the effects of testosterone, but it is not the whole story. Growth Hormone has a synergistic effect with testosterone and has it’s own intrinsic muscle building and fat loss properties. This may be why many pro-bodybuilders and athletes use it in combination with their steroid cycle regimen.
HGH Effects on Body:
Human Growth Hormone is produced from the pituitary gland in the brain. It is was causes our body to grow from a child size to an adult. Those with GH problems have to take GH injections as a kid in order to grow. On the flipside those suffering from “Giantism” (Very tall at a young age) have too much secretion of GH. Too much GH in the body can cause you to grow to abnormal size and proportions and cause harmful side effects.
HGH and Bodybuilding:
Bodybuilders take GH because they believe it will increase muscle, strength, and burn fat. Athletes use it because they know it will evade detection by steroid tests.
Does Growth Hormone work?
Bodybuilders spend thousands of dollars a month thinking Growth hormone works. Older individuals use it as a holy grail for the fountain of youth. I recently wrote a seperate in-depth article on these issues: Does Growth Hormone Work? that I encourage to you read.
Short Term Side Effects from HGH Abuse:
HGH abuse would be in the cases of bodybuilders taking supraphysiological does for cycles, like they do with steroids. Short term abuse side effects of HGH, likely appears to be more dramatic and serious than with testosterone.
Acromegaly is the name of a disease that is caused by too much HGH in the body. It is the overgrowth of the bones and connective tissue causing a portruding jaw and eyebrows. You will start to look like a “cro magnon” man. Your hands and feet become abnormally large and your internal organs grow, including your heart, which is irreversible. Liver and Thyroid damage and low insulin levels are also possible side effects of abuse. You may also possibly be putting yourself at risk of cancers and other health effects.
Long term health effects of growth hormone replacement therapy:
Despite the claims of the anti-aging bandwagon for growth hormone there is no real scientific evidence that growth hormone can improve your lifespan or health. In fact, some studies suggest that lifespan may be shortened due to higher natural levels of growth hormone in the body.
Many people are cautious of using it as a replacement therapy for older individuals because many doctors claim that HGH will cause cancer. The best evidence that we have against this notion is from the work of Dr. Chen and Dr. Terry. Chen and Terry who run a clinic where they perform HGH injections. From 1994 – 1996 they treated more than 800 patients with HGH injections. There have not been any reports of cancer from any of the patients.
Dr. Terry stated in Grow Young with HGH,
"With 800 people over the age of about 40, you would think that given normal incidence rate of cancer, some of these people would get cancer. It could be that there is some sort of protective effect from growth hormone replacement."
Some studies have even showed no increased risk of cancer from growth hormone supplementation. However, there is many conflicting studies for growth hormone for it’s role in causing cancer and it’s effect on the cardiovascular system. Many studies are not even sure the exact roles of how GH interacts with IGF-1 or IGF-11 in forming cancer. In one study of HIV patients who were on growth hormone long term, the majority had higher pancreatic enzymes, carpal tunnel syndrome, and higher blood glucose levels.
The best answer at this time is science doesn’t really know for sure the long term health effects of growth hormone replacement therapy. There really isn’t enough research out there to find a definitive answer for all possible side effects and risks with growth hormone.