Human Growth Hormone (HGH) continues to spark an often contentious, yet always fascinating, debate on its place in sports, health and beauty. While its primary purpose – to provide adequate hormone levels for those with Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) – has been universally regarded as successful, many other uses have not. HGH is seen by some as a veritable fountain of youth – a drug capable of healing injury, promoting muscle growth and turning back the hands of time. Therein lies the problem.
For those with GHD, regular injections of growth hormone can increase bone density, promote lean muscle mass growth, strengthen hair follicles and cuticles, and in certain instances even promote height growth (as much as 2-3 inches). With results like these, it’s no wonder those in the athletics and aesthetics worlds are so intrigued.
But as Dr. Brian Foley explained in his blog, “Hormone levels are constantly fluctuating and are tightly regulated by the body to maintain the proper balance. Altering this highly intricate mechanism of regulation by adding supplements, especially without appropriate medical supervision, can have unintended consequences.” Compounding the issue is simply a lack of research on the subject. While research on HGH is not necessarily new with studies dating back to the early 1980s, it is fresh enough that scientists have of yet been unable to determine its potential long-term effects.
HGH clearly has the capacity to do a great deal of good for the human body in the realms of health, as well as aesthetics. But without being able yet to fully realize its potential to cause harm and the extent of that damage, HGH should not be used for anything other than its medically prescribed purpose.