By age 40 most men’s natural hormone levels start to decrease. This can lead to a decrease in energy, poor outlook on life, increased body fat,decreased muscle mass, sleep problems and reduced libido.
Well, it’s not that bad getting older but can Human Growth Hormone (HGH) help restore your hormone levels and slow down aging? Do the benefits outweigh the risks? These are great questions. My personal training clients have been hearing a lot about HGH in the news and want to know does it work and is it safe.
First of all, there is only one legally way of taking HGH and that is with an anti-aging physician. Blood work is always taken and the proper dose will be administered based on your individual results. The amounts given are usually far less then what athletes are illegally taking to enhance physical performance. When it comes to hormones more is not better. Many of the risks are associated with high doses of these hormones.
What are the benefits of HGH?
Physicians are reporting that many patients are experiencing significant benefits and improvements in: energy, mood, outlook on life, sleep, fat loss, muscle mass, sex drive, bone density, recovery from exercise, less wrinkling, memory and cognitive thinking, thickening of skin and aerobic capacity.
The cost of HGH can be expensive. One international unit costs about $18. If you are taking one unit a day that is about $540 a month. So when you evaluating the benefits you have to weigh the costs.
What are the risks of HGH?
The goal of taking HGH is to raise your level back up to what they were when you were 30 years old. Anti-aging physicians feel that the risks are limited due to the fact that the body naturally produces the hormone and you are just bringing the levels back up to what they naturally were years ago. But there are some real debatable risks associated with taking HGH.
The most concerning risk is if you have an active cancer. HGH is a growth hormone and it can stimulate the growth of an existing cancer. HGH will never be prescribed to anyone with an active cancer. It is debatable whether HGH can increase your risk of developing cancer. Some studies show an increased risk while others do not. The second concern is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Patients have reported mild CTS while taking HGH. CTS is a condition were the median nerve in the wrist is compressed and there is numbness and tingling in the hand. The joint stiffness might be caused by fluid retention from taking too high a dose of HGH. A final risk is elevated blood sugar, which is more common with sedentary patients who eat a high sugar diet. You need to exercise and eat a low sugar diet while on HGH.
What’s the Bottom Line?
The bottom line is that it is a personal decision. Talk about it with your primary physician and see what he or she thinks. More information and studies come out every year so take your time and make the right decision for yourself.
Here are some links with some more information about HGH.
Link from the Mayo Clinic
Anti-aging physician who I herd is respectable. David Lenonardi, M.D., his web site is
Link from the Wikipedia encyclopedia
Some of the research I did for this article came from Frank Zane’s High Def handbook. Frank Zane was a 3 time Mr. Olympia. Check out his site.
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Best – Mike Cola