Updated: Nov 8, 2019
Do you know what Growth Hormone really does?
In this article we discuss growth hormone and how it may, or may not, aid in muscle growth.
HGH, also known as GH or Growth Hormone.
What Is Human Growth Hormone?
Human growth hormone is a major anabolic hormone in the body, it is responsible for a wide array of effects within the body.
In its human form, it is a peptide hormone that stimulates growth, cell reproduction and cell regeneration in humans and other animals.
It is thus important in human development.
Growth hormone also stimulates production of IGF-1 and raises the concentration of glucose and free fatty acids in the body.
Where Is Growth Hormone Produced?
GH is a 191-amino acid, single-chain polypeptide that is synthesized, stored and secreted by somatotropic cells within the lateral wings of the anterior pituitary gland.
What Does Growth Hormone Do In The Body?
Effects of growth hormone on tissues within the human body can generally be described as anabolic (building up) in nature.
Like most other hormones and proteins, growth hormone acts by interacting with a specific receptor on the surface of most cell.
Increased height during the childhood age is the most widely known effect of GH.
This is due to at least two mechanisms:
It activates the MAPK/ERK pathway. HGH directly stimulates division and multiplication of chondrocytes of cartilage.
Growth hormone also stimulates, through a signalling pathway known as JAK-STAT, the production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). In fact, we have an article explaining more in-depth on what IGF- does, click here for that article.
So, growth hormone directly stimulates the signalling pathways known as MAPK/ERK and also JAK-STAT.
Together these pathways promote anabolism within the body.
Growth hormone has a wide array of effects:
Increases calcium retention and increases the mineralization of bone.
Increases muscle mass through sarcomere hypertrophy and increases protein synthesis.
Stimulates the growth of all internal organs excluding the brain.
Plays a role in homeostasis.
Reduces liver uptake of glucose.
Promotes gluconeogenesis in the liver.
Stimulates the immune system.
Increases transformation of T4 to T3.
In summary, growth hormone seems to be a powerful promoter of anabolism.
How To Increase Growth Hormone?
So, the benefits of GH are clearly there.
But, you're probably asking yourself "how do I increase my growth hormone?".
Not so fast..
Growth hormone doesn't come without its side-effects.
These side-effects include:
Carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve, muscle or joint pain, swelling of the arms and legs from fluid retention, high cholesterol levels, numb and tingling skin, increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, enhanced growth of cancerous tumours and more.
Yes, growth hormone can be increased naturally by taking supplements such as:
And un-naturally, by exogenous HGH injections and GHRPs such as hexarelin, CJC-1295 and even an orally-ingestible tablet called MK-677.
However, we advise strongly against these.
Not only can this be dangerous.
But, excess growth Hormone may not even increase muscle growth any more than a person with normal levels of GH.
In contrast, the currently available data suggest that GH administration alone or in combination with strength exercise has little, if any, effect on muscle volume, strength and fibre composition in non-GH-deficient healthy young individuals.
The Bottom-Line On Growth Hormone:
Yes, growth hormone, is an anabolic hormone.
However, if you do not have low growth hormone levels already, then excess GH will not add to any anabolism within muscle tissue.
If your dead-set on increasing your growth hormone levels.
Your safest and most effective option is taking a supplement such as Creatine or L-Arginine.