The Straight Dope on HGH

When Sylvester Stallone got busted for HGH in Australia I was curious enough to Google it. What I mostly found were sites claiming it to be a miracle drug - lose weight, stop/reverse aging, etc. Some (most?) of the sites claim that there are no known negative side effects.

But it is illegal (without a prescription) and that makes me infer that there are some possible known side effects.

In this post **Philster **says:

This helps to validate the thought that there are negative side effects.

Can some doctors weigh-in and tell us what the medical journals are saying? Does it help lose weight? Stop/reverse aging? What are the negative side effects?

Here is a reasonable link to look over:

I am nevertheless surprised at the paucity of formal clinical studies on HGH.

My personal guess–and it is a controversial, unsubstantiated, personal guess only–is that HGH is way better for anti-aging than the current medical literature suggests (…more muscle mass, less fat, denser bones…).

I suspect its off-formulary use is much more widespread than most people think, that it is reasonably effective, that its side effect profile is not horrible, and so on. But I do not use it and have no access to doctors who use it.

One US trained scientist went back to China to set up a lab there, manufacturing it under the name of Jintropin:

I would personally be very tempted to try it out on myself, but it’s expensive, and I am a little nervous about getting counterfeit stuff if I buy it overseas. I’m waiting a bit to see if there is more mainstream literature before I decide what my own anti-aging cocktail is going to be. I am pretty sure it will include HGH but right now there is just not enough data in the public arena.

Excessive HGH, which is naturally present in some conditions (Gigantism) can produce excessive bone and cartilage growth. This is fairly well documented (see ‘hgh side effects’ or read up on Gigantism). Note the large hands, feet and heads/jaws and general facial-bone growth on those suffering from excessive HGH.

The underlying assumption for somatotropin (hGH) as an anti-aging hormone is to restore levels back to what they were when the individual was young; not to administer them in pharmacologically inappropriate doses.

Abnormally high somatotropin (typically from pituitary tumors) causes excessive bone growth (gigantism) up until the bone growth plates close; after that the effects are seen in soft tissues and usually the jaw or hands and feet(acromegaly), but this should not occur with “anti-aging” doses more on the order of 3 IUs 5x/week, say.

The issue is the misuse of these drugs by people (MLB players) who have normal levels and are taking things like HGH to hit more home runs via better conditioning, recovery, a longer playing career, more muscle mass…not to mention to develop a head the size of a watermelon to match his ego.

Barry can you hear me, or did the sound waves get absorbed by your gigantic head and stretch marks?