The Different Uses and Controversies Surrounding HGH
What is HGH?
HGH is the acronym for human growth hormone. It is also known as somatropin. This is an important hormone that stimulates growth, cell reproduction, and regeneration. It is very important in human development.
Growth hormone is a protein manufactured by the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland controls physical growth. It also regulates other glands that produce hormones such as testosterone and estrogen.
Some people lack natural growth hormones. That is why synthetic HGH was produced. Several companies produced and sold HGH under different brand names.
A closer look at HGH and its history
It was first discovered and used in treating stunted growth in children. Scientists discovered that injecting ground-up pituitary glands from cadavers help in their growth. The supply of pituitary glands limits this process. Plus there was a risk of getting viral infections. This includes Creutzfeldt-Jakob or “mad cow disease.”
Genetic engineering became the solution. This involves the insertion of a gene to produce the needed protein. This is also called recombinant gene technology, or rhGH. This was first produced by Genentech in California. This was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 1985. Several companies now produce recombinant HGH.
Recombinant technology was able to solve several diseases. However, HGH is very expensive. That is why many companies opted to find other uses of hGH other than helping in children’s growth.
Another known use of hGH is to treat HIV diseases, such as for AIDS-related wasting. It was also used for fat accumulations associated with lipodystrophy. HGH was also known to help with immunity.
Aside from the approved medical uses of HGH, many used it for other purposes. These include muscle enhancers and using it to claim as a ‘cure-all’ medicine. However, these are unapproved uses on unfounded claims.
Known Uses and Concerns Surrounding HGH
HIV – AIDS Wasting
AIDS wasting syndrome (cachexia) is a condition coming from advanced HIV disease. The symptoms are weight loss, loss of lean body mass, or muscle. The weight loss is due to a lack of appetite, nausea, and diarrhea. Other reasons are oral, intestinal absorption problems, and the use of nutrients.
HGH treatment for AIDS wasting is a daily injection given at bedtime. This process imitates the natural cycle of growth hormone released during the night.
HGH is not the sole solution for AIDS wasting. While there are claims it can help, others who have tried do not see the benefit.
Lipodystrophy is associated with issues of body fat irregularities and abnormalities that may be due to HIV disease. These include wasting of fat from the different parts of the body. Metabolic abnormalities include increased blood lipid (fat) levels. It also includes insulin resistance. This is the inability of cells to properly use insulin. This then leads to blood sugar imbalances.
Scientists believe that several biological mechanisms come into play. Lipodystrophy may be closely linked to HIV infection itself. Others may be due to specific anti-HIV drugs. While some may be due to the natural processes of aging. Factors that also affect are individual genetic factors, body chemistry, and lifestyle.
Many scientists have already gone into trial. Researchers are still gathering more scientific data to investigate the use of hGH in lipodystrophy.
Certain evidence points that hGH can help enhance immune systems. This has been discussed in conferences like the XIV International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, Spain. Researchers from Chelsea and Westminster Hospital presented data showing the effects of hGH on thymic function. This was tested in a small group of people that has chronic HIV infection taking antiretroviral therapy.
While these recent data may seem promising, studies are still continually done.
Possible Risks on Taking HGH
Digestive enzymes destroy HGH in the stomach and intestines. As such, some believe that HGH cannot be taken in as a pill. It must be injected.
HGH should not be taken also by those with acute critical illnesses. These include those that had open heart or abdominal surgery. These also include those that had undergone multiple accidental trauma or acute respiratory failure.
HGH may also stimulate the growth of active tumors. Hence, it should not be used by people who have cancers.
Another risk from taking HGH are those with diabetes and obese people. HGH can affect blood triglyceride levels.
Besides, there may be an increased cardiovascular risk with long-term hGH use. This may be due to insulin resistance.
Studies are also not done and completed yet for pregnant women. Hence, precaution should be taken.
Controversies Surrounding HGH
The very expensive price of HGH appears to be a strong motivation for criminal activities. For example, Genentech illegally promoted off-label use of HGH. This happened during the first decade after HGH was approved. The FDA then sued. In 1994 the company agreed to pay a $50 million fine for the violations.
Another example was in 2001. Phoenix, Arizona had incidences of false drug orders, a bungled hijacking, theft, arson, insurance fraud, and murder occurred over a shipment of hGH.
Counterfeiting of hGH is also a major concern. Unbelievable price cuts of HGH sold on the internet can be seen. The danger is that these counterfeit drugs can enter into regular distribution channels. The products are complete with seemingly ‘legal’ packaging and manufacturing lot numbers.
Over the years, FDA warns against these HGH counterfeits. Many of these fake products do not have active ingredients. They may also contain dangerous impurities.
In summary, HGH has been proven to have positive effects on helping development. However, due to its high price, many have illegally exploited it. Caution should be exercised. To know more about HGH, check out HGH Thai.