Sunday, March 30, 2008

Growth Hormone

Growth hormone is released from the anterior pituitary gland with strong anabolic effects, to facilitate amino acid transport into cells, and thus help in the development of connective tissue and in carbohydrate and fat metabolism.

Ergogenic claims increases muscle mass, the body's ability to burn fat, decreases recovery time, and enhances healing after musculoskeletal injuries. Its ability to facilitate the entry of amino acids into muscle is linked to muscle hypertrophy. It also stimulates fat metabolism. Some believe that its link to connective tissue development enhances healing after muscle workout tears or injuries.

However, few controlled studies have been done to assess the efficacy of it administration in athletes. They conclude that the administration to increase growth hormone concentration above normal amounts does to lead to muscle mass or power increase. Growth hormone users do report muscle mass and strength increase sometimes. This may be a placebo effect.

Growth hormone is sometimes given to children to correct its deficiency. Now recombinant growth hormone is used. Growth hormone administration has only been available for 20 years. Long-term use will most likely result in fluid retention load increased risk for diabetes mellitus and hypertension. People suffering from increased growth hormone production suffer from hand and feet swelling, excess sweating, joint pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Menstrual irregularities, cadriomyopathy, altered blood lipid profile, osteoporosis and impotence (for men) may result.

Growth hormone is banned by sport organizations.

Some of this information was taken from Winning Sports Nutrition by Linda Houtkooper, PhD, RD, FACSM, Jaclyn Maurer Abbot, PhD, RD and Veronica Mullins, MS, RD, CSCS.

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional, such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on,, and If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

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