Everyone is looking for the fountain of youth. How can we reverse, or at least slow down, the most important clock, which is our bodies? It’s a question that marketers, researchers, doctors and royalty have been dealing with for at least two thousand years.
We all want to grow old gracefully. The problem is that there are many opinions on how to do so, as well as how to transform our bodies when we’re at the age when things don’t exactly work like they did when we were younger.
Every year, some new company comes out with the latest and greatest age-reversing potion from somewhere deep in the Amazon rain forest that promises to make you look two decades younger.
Not surprisingly, few of these treatments are clinically tested or peer-reviewed by physicians in double-blind studies. In laymen’s terms, they hardly ever perform as advertised. Most of the time they use only a minute amount of the active ingredient, so they cannot make due on their guarantee to make your skin look younger, softer and more elastic.
Let’s face it. Health products are a multi-billion-dollar industry. So, how do you know who and what products you can trust? How can you be sure that you’re not throwing your hard-earned money down the drain? You need the most accurate information available in order to help you make an educated choice, which you will find here.
At the end of this article, we will include some preventative information and natural strategies that can help you take the best possible care of your body. This means making sure that you maintain the highest production of human growth hormones possible the natural way.
HGH: What’s the Big Deal?
Human growth hormones are one of the hottest anti-aging remedies on the market. You’ve probably heard of professional athletes using them to get that edge on their competition. Well, they did use them until almost every professional sport banned their players from taking them.
As far as anti-aging is concerned, it’s one of the most controversial strategies out on the market. In fact, HGH is not new. In 1985, synthetic growth hormone was approved by the FDA for use with children under the following specific conditions:
- People who suffer from an HGH deficiency.
- Children who are under-developed for their age.
- Those with Prader-Willi Syndrome or Turner’s Syndrome.
- Patients with a chronic kidney insufficiency.
The success in treating the above conditions have led people to wonder if HGH could help slow down the clock of old age for adults, as well. As you will soon see, this caused a great flooding in the market with various products and methods that claim to wage war against premature aging. This is a war that no one seems willing to lose, so let’s look into HGH a bit further.
Your Body and HGH: More Questions Than Answers
Human Growth Hormone, a protein made by your pituitary gland, is actually produced in the hypothalamus of your brain, as well as in your pancreas and intestinal tract. If our bodies are working properly, when we are young children all the way through adolescence, our bodies will produce a high amount of HGH. This is to ensure we grow at the proper rate.
However, as you approach middle age, your body puts the hammer down and those levels of production start to slow down. Let’s now take a brief stroll down Truth Avenue to see if HGH delivers on the anti-aging promises that many health-related businesses and individuals have been advertising.
1. Do You Even Lift, Man?
The evidence on HGH is unclear. There’s no conclusive evidence that it leads to slowing down the aging process. However, it does have some other benefits, because HGH can:
- Help lower levels of fat in your body.
- Improve strength and stamina, making it easier for you lift more at the gym or exercise.
- In addition, HGH is FDA-approved for treating adults with pituitary tumors, as well as muscle-wasting from HIV/AIDS.
The question that remains is whether or not there is a price to pay for these benefits. For an answer to that question, we’ll need to see more long-term research that looks into the effects over years, instead of just months.
2. One Word of Advice: Always Read the Small Print
There are some definite side effects linked to the taking of HGH. Obviously, each person is going to differ in their reaction to human growth hormones, so you’ll want to consult with your doctor to ensure that any side-effects are not going to do more harm than good.Up to 30 percent of patients experience the following side-effects:
- Fluid Retention
- Joint and Muscle Pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Enlargement of Breast Tissue in Men, or Gynecomastia
- High Blood Sugar Levels
Human Growth Hormone might also lead to an increased incidence of diabetes and heart disease. As the majority of the studies medical experts have been done on healthy adults for a short period of time, we’re still unsure about the long-term side effects.
3. Be in the Know: Reasons Not All HGH Products Are Alike
HGH is not for those of us who pass out while visiting the nurse to give a pint of blood to someone who needs it. The only approved method of delivery is by injection, as pills simply don’t cut it. So, if you’re scared of needles, you would be better off finding some other healthy strategies, many of which we will discuss at the end of this article.
Some companies promote dietary supplements they call human growth hormone releasers. The claims these products make; however, have yet to be proven true. Stomach acids have been found to break down HGH if ingested by your body as opposed to injections in which travel directly into your bloodstream.
For this reason, pills, sprays and powders may have little effect on your body, and for that reason, they are most likely a waste of your money. There is no proof that homeopathic remedies work, either.
4. How to Tell if You’re a Good Candidate for HGH
Some adults have a growth hormone deficiency for which human growth hormones may be prescribed by their doctors. Although rare in adults, this deficiency in growth hormones can be due to a tumor on your pituitary gland. Injections of HGH can help patients to increase their bone density, muscle mass and their ability to exercise for longer periods of time.
It can also help decrease body fat. It should also be noted, however, that increases in muscle mass do not necessarily equate an increase in strength.
5. Churning Controversy in the Sports World: Understanding Athletes and HGH
A team of researchers in California gave a group of athletes daily injections for a period of 20 consecutive days. Half of them were given HGH, while the other half were given a placebo. The result was an average increase in lean body mass weight of 4.6 pounds.
Surprisingly, however, this gain did not equate to an increase in strength. The HGH group also had the unfortunate side effects of an increase in fluid retention and fatigue when compared to the placebo group.
The problem with this study is that it was only conducted for a short period of time. In order to gain reliable information as to the effectiveness of HGH in reversing the signs of aging, we are going to need longer trials that use healthy and sick people as participants. Until then, we must wait with reserved optimism.
6. HGH and Your Sleeping Habits: Ways to Avoid Becoming Mr. or Mrs. Grumpy
HGH helps to regulate your metabolism. As you sleep, your body generates HGH, which is why it’s vital that you get a full night of restful sleep. All of us know that our sleep is correlated with our levels of productivity. Not only that, but nobody wants to be around someone who has been sleep-deprived for too long. So do yourself a favor and get enough sleep. Your body will thank you, and so will those who are around you all day.
7. Aging Gracefully: HGH and Your Skin Elasticity
As you grow older, your HGH begins to decline. Starting in your 30’s and 40’s, you can already see this effect taking place. By the time you hit your 40’s, a decline in muscle strength, as well as an impairment of your vision and hearing, continues even into your 50’s. Then, by the time you hit your 60’s, your skin loses some of its elasticity.
Not only that, but you also have a corresponding loss in bone density. It’s not unnatural to see an 80 percent decrease in your HGH levels by this point in your life when compared to human growth hormone production in our childhood.
8. HGH Studies and Discoveries: The Race Begins
A defining time in the development of human growth hormones as a therapy occurred in 1990. That’s the year that The New England Journal of Medicine ran an article with the positive results of a study involving a trial of HGH with healthy men between the ages of 61 and 81. The men experienced the following during this trial:
- Leaner bodies
- Decreased body fat
- Increased skin elasticity
The number of proposed applications for HGH grew astronomically. Soon after the study, it was said that human growth hormones could be an answer for nearly every malady of old age, from broken bones to hip injuries, to recovering from surgery. Once the media got hold of the news, the buzz in the health industry became deafening. Everyone seemed to want a piece of the HGH action.
There were problems, though. Because the study didn’t include any female participants, it was unclear what reaction women would have to the injections of HGH. Would female hormones interfere with the injections in a negative way?
Due to these circumstances, The New England Journal of Medicine was careful to mention that long-term studies would be necessary before they could make any solid conclusions. However, that warning fell mostly on deaf ears, as companies continued to ramp up different uses for HGH. It was clear that the effect on children was positive, but the same could not yet be said for the effects of HGH on adults.
9. Your Physical Safety: The Missing FDA Seal of Approval
Most of today’s uses of HGH are not FDA-approved. As the FDA is the regulatory body of the health industry, this is significant for anyone who cares about his or her health. The benefits of HGH to build muscles in athletes, although still popular in recreational leagues, is yet unconfirmed by the FDA.
Another problem is that people are obtaining HGH from doctors to use on their own, as well as for off-label branding of products. Due to a rise in marketing of products on the internet, this poses a major dilemma for any kind of regulation from the FDA or other governmental bodies. Simply put, the FDA does not approve Human Growth Hormones for anti-aging claims.
10. Myths and Misnomers: Why HGH is Not the Same as Testosterone
It can be easy to confuse human growth hormones with testosterone, as both of them induce growth. HGH, however, is different than testosterone in the following important ways:
- It’s a peptide, and testosterone is not.
- It’s composed of a grouping of molecules known as amino acids
This makes HGH harder to synthesize in the lab. Not only that, but it is more expensive to manufacture in the lab, as well. In fact, replacement therapy with HGH can cost as much as $10,000 per year.
11. The HGH Gold Rush: Another Wild, Wild West
As regulation is not yet in place for many uses of HGH, it’s like the Gold Rush of the 1840’s. This is both good and bad for the consumer. It’s great because it means that there will be many options to choose from; however, by the same token, it also means that there might be some really poor choices that could adversely affect your health.
Until we have more information and some long-term studies on HGH, it will be important to view potential products from a critical lens. Better yet, consult your doctor to get a recommendation for a product or therapy you can use, just to be safe, not sorry.
12. Protect Your Wallet: Understanding HGH Products
As we said earlier, the health industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Just as many vitamins have been proven to have very low rate of absorption by your body, there are a lot of human growth hormone therapies that have questionable results when it comes to looking and feeling your best.
For this reason, we recommend that you research multiple reliable sources before making a large purchase.
13. Reasons You Should Avoid Playing the Lottery With Your Health
Just as there are people who will play the lottery to try to change their financial situation, people look for miracles with their health, as well. There is no absence of charlatans who will show you a black bag of rare and exotic new products, with a promise that they will help you look and feel young again.
Although they promise some exciting results, if you haven’t heard of them from your doctor or they haven’t been documented in a study, it is good to be on the safe side and wait for more information.
14. The Fountain of Youth: Protect Yourself From the Sun
Whenever you’re looking at a health strategy or considering a therapeutic treatment that may involve side-effects, it’s best to ask yourself if you’ve exhausted all of the non-invasive strategies first.
Is there anything, for example, less invasive than HGH therapy that could give you similar results?
One of the most often skipped preventative measures to avoid the effects of aging is to minimize your exposure to the sun. You can achieve this in a number of ways. Most dermatologists recommend that you limit your exposure to the sun during the hottest times of the day. This means going out in the early morning hours or the late afternoon hours, not the middle of the day when the sun is at the highest point in the sky.
Remember, just because it is cloudy out, that doesn’t mean that you’re not at risk of damage from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet waves. In fact, you can get a lot of damaging sun exposure on a cloudy day. For this reason, be sure to wear sunscreen every day – all year round.
Sunscreen and sunblock are two good strategies; however, a lot of people don’t like wearing creams and lotions. For women, using a cream makeup with sunblock or a tinted moisturizer with a sun protection factor (SPF) is a convenient way to get their daily sun protection.
Another good strategy is to dress in clothing that will protect you from the sun. One of the easiest ways to block the sun is by wearing a hat. It protects the most vulnerable part of your body from the sun: your face. It is never too late to take proactive steps to protect yourself from skin damage. The closer you live to the equator, the more important this step becomes.
15. Don’t Forget to Consult Your Doctor
With all of the research out there, as well as due to personal factors such as weight, pre-existing conditions, sleep cycles, and any prescribed and over-the-counter medications you might be taking, it’s important to consult your physician before embarking on any HGH therapy plan.
There is also a lot of misinformation on the internet. You have to know which studies are legitimate and based on real science, and which have been sloppily conducted by companies with the goal of promoting one of their products. It’s easy for even the most experienced readers to makes these kinds of mistaken judgements.
16. Going Natural: Understanding the Value of a Healthy Lifestyle
The best way to combat the reality of aging is the time-tested principle of a healthy lifestyle. Weight training, for example, is incredibly important as you get older. You naturally lose muscle and bone mass as you age, so you need to counteract these realities with weight training and exercise.
Your bones, muscles and connective tissues will all thank you as you get older if you start working out before you start to notice any issues. While working out is especially important, you definitely want to be aware of overdoing it, which can decrease your levels of growth hormones. You also want to make sure to rest between workouts for optimal HGH levels.
Besides working out, getting enough sleep and a consuming the proper diet are both vital to naturally preventing the decline that comes as we get older. The most common culprits that can interfere with our HGH levels are caffeine, alcohol, smoking and medications.
Lastly, reducing your levels of stress can go a long way towards staying young and vibrant, at least on the inside. Do your best to avoid major swings in weight, as obesity is associated with lower levels of HGH. It’s been shown that men who are obese have less HGH production than men who are not.
Wrapping Things Up
Hopefully, by now you feel like you have a better understanding of where HGH comes from and why it’s important to your body. You have learned about the reality of whether or not there is conclusive evidence regarding HGH and its impact on reversing your aging process.
The most important factors to remember about HGH are:
- Aging lowers your levels.
- Exercise and eating healthy can raise it.
- Stress can reduce it, too.
- Proper sleeping habits will help your body make more.
- Consulting a doctor is a smart way to be safe when it comes to HGH.
Consulting reputable journals, such as The New England Journal of Medicine, is also a reliable way to stay educated on the topic. In the next few years, you will see more long-term studies that will give you a better sense of whether HGH therapy can promote age reversal, or whether it’s really more suited to helping you grow bigger muscles and increase your energy.
Will human growth hormones become the new fountain of youth that so many people are hoping to find, or will HGH get downgraded to something that doctors should only use to treat children and other people with specific ailments and illnesses?
Although none of us can predict the future, we do know where we stand right now. HGH therapy is at best an inconclusive approach to reversing the signs of aging. At worst, it can have some serious side-effects that might not be worth the limited risk of looking younger. Especially when there are natural options available to help sustain your levels of HGH as you grow older, so it would be wise to go with a less risky approach first.