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What is a Human Growth Hormone Enhancer?

By Marlene Garcia
Updated May 17, 2024
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A human growth hormone (HGH) enhancer is a dietary supplement claiming to build muscle, prevent the negative effects of aging, and promote weight loss. Distributors of these products say the supplements prompt the body's pituitary gland to generate human growth hormone naturally. The synthetic human growth hormone enhancer is sold as pills, sprays, or powders without a prescription because supplements are not regulated in some countries.

The human body produces HGH during childhood and adolescence to enable normal growth, and is secreted by the pituitary gland located at the bottom of the brain. Once a person stops growing, the amount of HGH produced gradually declines. It is estimated that by age 40, the level of HGH is 60 percent less than during growth periods. Retailers claim supplements can induce the pituitary gland to produce additional HGH, but scientific evidence is lacking.

There is evidence that HGH injections promote growth in children who are deficient in the hormone. In the 1950s, it was given to youngsters who were deficient in HGH to enable them to reach normal height. The growth hormone used for this purpose came from the pituitary glands of corpses, and was injected under a doctor's supervision. When research linked the injections to an increased risk of developing Creutzfeld-Jakob disease years after the shots were administered, its use was discontinued in favor of a synthetic human growth hormone enhancer.

Supplements advertised as a human growth hormone enhancer make claims such as promoting youthful-looking skin and increasing energy. Others are marketed to body builders to generate muscle mass, and improve performance and strength. Some companies that sell human growth hormone enhancers have been fined by government agencies for deceptive advertising that is not backed up by scientific evidence.

Professional athletes in most regions are banned from using HGH, along with steroids. The International Olympic Committee also has prohibited its use in Olympic competition. Some athletes use HGH injections to recover from injuries and speed healing after surgery. No routine test is administered to detect the hormone in pro athletes.

People who believe a human growth hormone enhancer is effective often purchase supplements because injections are illegal in some countries when used as an anti-aging agent. Injections of HGH commonly require a doctor's prescription and are costly. Those seeking restored youth sometimes risk side effects that include increased sweating, and an increased risk of developing diabetes. HGH may also cause growth of the hands, feet, and internal organs.

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Discussion Comments

By SteamLouis — On Aug 17, 2014

Human growth hormone enhancer actually hasn't been studied enough. Some studies were done on it but the results don't conclude enough about its use, it's effects and side effects.

For example, in one study, all of the participants remained healthy after using human growth hormone enhancer, but one developed cancer. They couldn't identify for sure if the growth hormone enhancer contributed to the cancer. So I think that more studies need to be done on it. So far, the consensus seems to be that it's bad with continued use. But nothing is certain.

By bear78 — On Aug 17, 2014

@SarahGen-- I agree, it's highly dangerous. I'm glad that athletes are banned from using it. Not only does it affect performance, it's just very dangerous health-wise.

By SarahGen — On Aug 16, 2014

I recently read an article about a foreign celebrity who was given human growth hormone injections as a child so that she would develop and mature faster. I don't know if this was true or not but I saw pictures of the child who looked like a regular nine year old in one picture and when she was twelve, she looked like she was twenty. They say that her parents had her get these injections so that she could star in films sooner.

I don't know if this is true but I think it's a horrific thing to do to a child. Especially when there is no condition requiring its use. This girl later on developed some health problems including excessive weight gain. Everyone assumed the weight gain to be side effects of the human growth hormone enhancer. We'll never know whether this is true, but I'm personally against the use of this hormone, except in cases where a medical condition requires it.

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