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Study - Human Growth Hormone Fuels Muscle and Controversy

Posted by Jane Akre
Tuesday, March 18, 2008 10:32 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, Testosterone, Human Growth Hormone, Toxic Substances, Defective Drugs, Wrongful Death

Human growth hormone may not build better muscle Standord researchers find.


  • Annals of Internal Medicine here
  • Injuryboard on HGH here
  • Injuryboard on testosterone here

IMAGE SOURCE:©iStockphoto/ pidjoe

Building better muscle is the goal of body builders and even weekend gym rats. So many turn to supplementing with human growth hormone, which has been found to build more muscle.

Stanford University researchers wanted to know if that translates into building a better athlete.

Basically the answer is no.

Analyzing two dozen studies of human growth hormone or HGH finds that drug-induced muscle doesn’t necessarily perform better.

Lead investigator Hau Liu says “What we found suggested that it didn’t help – and at some point, it might hurt.”

What they did find is that people who received HGH did have more lean body mass, but  didn’t have more strength in the biceps and quadriceps.

And Stanford researchers found in some studies that the muscle built fatigued easier, so much so that in one study two cyclists had to quit working out.  That may be due to the accumulation of lactate in the muscle which cause it to fatigue.

The study is published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. 

Stanford researchers did not look at whether HGH might help athletes recover from an injury which it is often used for.  

And critics of this study will note that Stanford looked at doses smaller than normally taken by athletes, who might also be taking steroids, insulin, testosterone and other drugs.

So far 89 major league baseball players have allegedly used performance-enhancing drugs.

Last month in Washington, personal trainer Brian McNamee was questioned about whether he injected former Yankee pitcher Roger Clemens with steroids and HGH. He denied he did.

HGH is available legally to be used by doctors for patients who have an under producing pituitary gland to stimulate proper growth.

A chain of 191 amino acids, HGH is made naturally by the young body to stimulate growth. Growth hormone also stimulates the production of IGF-1 which is linked to cancer.

Anywhere on the web, customers can find HGH which has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry which could run you about $22,000 a year.   

The Beijing summer Olympics reportedly do not have a test for HGH. 

The upside is that for frail and elderly, treatment with human growth hormone may replace deficiencies associated with aging. “For them the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks,” said Liu. #

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