The Dawn of GH Therapy
Over the last decade a number of clinical studies have shown that administration of GH by injections or by oral preparations that increase GH release from the pituitary and/or increase GH activity by receptor action can effectively alleviate many of the symptoms of aging.
Bio-markers that are improved with GH replacement therapy:
1. Body Composition - GH replacement therapy can increase lean muscle mass and decrease body fat
2. Lipid Metabolism - GH replacement therapy can improve lipid ratios with studies showing a lowering of LDL cholesterol and raising of HDL cholesterol
3. Bone Density - GH replacement therapy can improve bone density.
4. Cardiovascular Function - Improvements in exercise capacity and cardiac function have been demonstrated among GH-deficient patients receiving GH replacement.
5. Lung Function - increases in some individuals on GH replacement therapy.
6. Skin Thickness and Elasticity will increase with GH replacement therapy. These effects can be further accelerated by the addition of topical and oral fibroblastic growth factors.
At first growth hormone was available only in the form of injections, but GH injections have a number of problems with potentially serious side effects.
Because growth hormone is a fairly large molecule it is expensive to synthesize and is ineffective in an oral form. Pure GH must be given as an injection. The problems with subcutaneous injections of synthetic growth hormone are that the GH must be taken in multiple doses in order to mimic the natural release of the body’s own growth hormone. These injections are inconvenient and the pharmacological doses make synthetic growth hormone therapy very expensive and potentially hazardous. When large doses of synthetic GH are given by injection for prolonged periods of time the body may slow its own production of GH and the GH cell receptors may become less sensitive. In many individuals it is necessary to escalate the dose in order to maintain the anti-aging effects of the GH injections.
Side effects of GH injections:
1. Long-term pharmacological treatment with GH injections may make tissues resistant to the effect of insulin to stimulate cellular glucose uptake leading to a rise in blood glucose levels and a corresponding rise in blood insulin levels. Thus, GH injections may promote glucose intolerance and diabetes. In my opinion side effects like this certainly indicate that physiologic approaches (like a science-based nutraceutical formulation) that promote physiologic rebalancing of natural GH secretion and GH activity at the GH receptor are superior to pharmacological GH injections.
2. Because GH injections can cause the body to retain sodium, pharmacological use of GH injections can cause hypertension in some individuals.
3. The most common side effect of GH injections are mild to moderate symptoms of fluid retention including swelling of extremities, painful joints, stiffness of the extremities and muscle pain.
4. Some patients have experienced abnormal sensations, burning in the skin or decreased sensitivity to touch.
5. Patients taking GH injections have also experienced carpal tunnel syndrome. Clinicians have found that using very low doses and dividing the daily dosage in half taking one half in the morning and one half before bedtime will reduce the possibility of developing side effects, but the expense of GH injections still limits its use to affluent individuals.
In addition to these adverse side affects, GH injections are expensive and must be administered by a doctor.
Because of these issues, other approaches were developed and can be classified under the Second Generation of GH Therapy
Concerns about the risks of GH injections led to the development of oral, sublingual, transdermal and homeopathic preparations designed to increase GH levels.
Pharmaceutical companies and nutrient manufacturers began making oral supplements that could release GH from the pituitary after research showed that the pituitary glands of many older people could still make GH and store GH, but that the stored GH was not being released. These types of products (GH releasers) are known as secretagogues. Most of these products are based on formulations that utilize a group of amino acids known to trigger the anterior pituitary gland’s release of GH, rather than the use of the GH itself. Secretagogues are oral supplements that can naturally and harmlessly release the body’s own pituitary stores of growth hormone. While such products may produce a temporary elevation in blood GH levels, the release of GH is just the beginning and only solves part of the problem.
Amino acid stackers were one of the first oral forms developed and marketed; however amino acid stackers primarily increase IGF-1 levels with lesser effect on raising GH levels. The goal in GH therapy is not to create pharmacological effects with natural compounds, but to restore physiologic GH activity. Many people think that if a little bit is good then a whole lot must be better, but this logic is erroneous when it comes to biological response modifiers like GH which works in extremely small amounts. When too little GH is present a condition of GH deficiency results, but when GH is in excess medical conditions emerge with the most extreme case being the condition of acromegaly.
Oral human growth hormone sprays have also been brought to market, but these are also problematic since it is illegal to market OTC products containing substantial amounts of GH. GH is such a large molecule that it cannot easily pass through the oral mucosa into the bloodstream. Unless GH is delivered through the oral mucosa into the blood stream such preparations are generally ineffective.
Third Generation (Advanced Science-based Nutraceutical Formulas)
Both clinicians and consumers are constantly looking for new, natural, effective and affordable growth hormone enhancement therapies.
Thousands of doctors and scientists are now involved in the science of anti-aging medicine. These professionals have found that a combination of hormone replacement, nutritional supplements, exercise and personal development can slow aging. Out of the recognition that hormone replacement and some nutritional supplements can have a dramatic anti-aging effect have come guidelines for a science-based nutraceutical GH rejuvenation formula.
Responding to consumer demand and preferring more natural, less expensive, and safer approaches than GH injections, a growing number of physicians specializing in anti-aging and longevity are opting for science-based oral and topical formulations designed to address the fundamental causes responsible for the age-related decline in human growth hormone levels. These causes have been identified as:
Decline in growth hormone release by the pituitary gland due to desensitization of pituitary receptors to GHRH (growth hormone releasing hormone) and increased somatostatin inhibition of pituitary GH release (somatostatin is an inhibitory peptide secreted by the hypothalamus that blocks pituitary secretion of GH)
Desensitization of GH cell receptors
Age related increases in blood sugar and insulin production, which interferes with GH activity
A three month study on athletes conducted by Dr. Page Gold, M.D., of a science-based formula consisting of amino acids to encourage growth hormone release by the anterior pituitary gland, peptides to re-sensitize cell receptors, and Novel Polyose Complex to regulate insulin levels demonstrated significant increases in growth hormone levels. In the same study, athletes using sublingual GH sprays did not demonstrate any increase in GH levels at all. To date, no studies have been conducted on the herbal preparations, but it is doubtful that, without addressing the three factors responsible for GH decline listed above, that any GH supplement has a chance of producing significant results.
The focus of the new science-based formulations is to naturally increase the pituitary release and cellular utilization of human GH. These effects can be achieved by using specific combinations of amino acids and anterior pituitary peptide secretagogues to encourage and assist growth hormone release and re-establish the two-way communication between the pituitary gland and the cells. Mono, poly and oligo saccharides are included in these formulations to reduce the effect of high blood sugar and insulin levels on GH activity. To be effective, these science-based formulas must efficiently transport their ingredients through the digestive tract and into the blood stream. It is highly unlikely that a formulation that does not address all of the fundamental factors behind the age-related decline in human growth hormone levels could possibly be as efficient as a product that does.
Science-based nutraceutical GH therapies that address both GH secretion and GH receptor desensitization are currently the most advanced forms of oral and topical GH therapy. A Science-based nutraceutical GH enhancement formula is quite different from common GH releasing nutritional supplements that only contain secretagogues. Even though adequate GH secretion can be maintained throughout life, as we age, most of it remains in a sequestered state because of blockage of cellular receptors and the resulting decline in GH release by the pituitary. While secretagogue formulas can increase GH secretion, eventually inhibition of GH effectiveness will occur without efforts to correct GH receptor desensitization and regulation of excessive blood glucose and insulin levels. Without addressing the GH cell receptor and insulin issues, secretagogues alone will not produce the sustained results that can be achieved with a science-based nutraceutical GH enhancement formula.
An effective oral science-based nutraceutical rejuvenation formula should include a synergistic blend of a GH secretagogue such as (GHRP-2), amino acids, transport nutrients and other nutrients to enhance the body’s natural production and cellular activity of GH and IGF-1. Such a formula is designed to naturally enhance pituitary release of GH, sensitize cell GH receptors and increase cellular activity of human GH and IGF-1, so that cells can regain their two-way communication with the pituitary gland. This is accomplished through the utilization of a specific combination of amino acids, anterior pituitary peptides, and a special blend of mono, poly, and oligo saccharides. Research studies have shown that a combination of the amino acids arginine, glutamine, glycine, tyrosine and lysine along with the GH secretagogue GHRP-2, GABA, pyroglutamic acid and Vicia Faba Major can significantly increase the production of GH and IGF-1. The addition of Novel Polyose Complex would stabilize insulin levels and enhance GH receptor activity. An oral formula like this would simplify the approach of GH enhancement by combining a synergistic group of nutrients into an effervescent powder.
A science-based nutraceutical GH rejuvenation program that combines both oral and topical preparations provides the best internal and topical solution to aging available today. Such a program can dramatically improve your mental and physical performance, fitness and appearance. Science-based nutraceutical formulas are now being recommended by many anti-aging professionals and used by those who desire to restore and maintain youthful physiological and psychological biomarkers, reverse the aging processes and achieve optimum levels of appearance, performance, and fitness.