HGH (Human Growth Hormone)
HGH is, unlike most hormones used by bodybuilders, not a steroid hormone, but a proteinaceous hormone made up of a chain of 191 amino acids. All animals have growth hormone, but each seems to be specific to the species. HGH was first isolated in the late 70's and early 80's as a biological form. The hormone was literally extracted from the pituitary of deceased individuals. As with anything extracted from carcasses this imposed a serious risk of contracting the Kreutzfeld-Jacob disease (since the late 90's best known as mad cow disease), a normally rare neural infliction that makes you spastic and can cause death over a period of no more than two weeks. Not exactly appealing. There also wasn't, understandably, much demand for such a compound on the black market. Late 80's early 90's geneticists succeeded in manufacturing a genetic form of HGH however, through a very complicated technique using mice genes and what have you not (I'm not a geneticist, don't ask me). This also seriously upped the price of the compound.
But around that time, mainly due to this safer form, some top-level athletes were taking an interest. With increasing drug tests making the most effective anabolics forbidden territory, a pharmaceutical race to find replacement compounds that could not be detected had begun. And since then several athletes have and are still using HGH. It's a very mythical compound, since professionals will use it in high doses and make obvious improvements, yet most recreational users seeking to try it have to settle for lower doses and get little if anything out of it in terms of lean muscle mass increases. Along with several human studies1,2 that clearly document that HGH administration offers us no benefit in this aspect, it makes one wonder. Its terribly expensive and most people seem to get nothing out of it. So is it really worth it when extremely effective steroids can be bought for the proverbial nickel and dime? I don't think so, but I'll get back to that later.
So what is GH useful for? Well first of all its effects on reducing body-fat have been well-documented. Daily doses of 3 to 6 IU injected subcutaneous have actually been shown to spot reduce body-fat mass and have, at least for some athletes, proven invaluable in contest preparation time. This dose, for short periods of time, may be somewhat affordable to a truly dedicated athlete. But one can still wonder if it is really worth it. GH has also been shown to elicit extremely positive effects on erythropoeisis3, the manufacture of red blood cells. The administration of GH in older athletes with a strong decline in GH levels has shown a severe improvement in endurance. Since levels of GH decline by half every decade, a person of 60 has roughly 15-20% of the GH he had at age twenty. So HGH is especially beneficial to older athletes regarding the effects on endurance. But just how effective superdosing HGH in younger top athletes is, no one really knows. It would be virtually undetectable as well, so no doubt this has been experimented with.
Now in regards to muscle mass, I've yet to see anything prove the contrary of what the studies I provided claimed. I've not seen HGH increase muscle mass at all. Then again, I've never seen anyone use 10-12 IU per day the way some top level professionals do. Some claim that HGH can cause hyperplasia rather than hypertrophy. Hypertrophy is the growth of muscle cells, hyperplasia is the division and thus multiplication of cells. The theory goes that this does not increase size immediately, but in due time, due to the increase in the amount of cells, when they all do hypertrophy under the influence of steroids and insulin, the result will be much greater. Of course one side-effects of HGH is that it seems to increase the size of everything, including bones (which gives very ugly protrusions in people who have no growth left in them) and intestines (which explains the incredible increase in gut size of professional bodybuilders, despite low body-fat percentages). Now these side-effects alone would allow for several pounds increase. Stack that with 3 grams per week of testosterone and an equal dose of other steroids, some insulin, lots of rest and 8000 calorie diets, and I really don't see how much the HGH contributed in creating the muscle-weight these athletes have. I mean amateur and recreational users top 260 pounds, fairly lean using 1 gram of test and 1 gram of other drugs per week, maybe some insulin. It seems to me at least that HGH is a royal waste of money. Even if it did contribute 3 or 4 pounds, is it worth a habit of 150 dollars per day? Not in my book.
In short, HGH may provide many benefits, but will rarely be worth the money. Top-level competitors, especially those subject to drug tests may find this to be worth it to give themselves and edge, most will not. HGH is a very effective compound with a lot to offer, but currently not really worth the money you'd pay for it. It is getting cheaper (In Europe the popular thing now is the 36 IU Genetonorm, selling for 50-60 bucks) but until manufacturing becomes more cost-effective, chances of prices reaching sane levels any time soon are not that high. What has been an interesting observation is the re-appearance of the old biological form. While all commercial forms had been discontinued, underground versions of the biological form have resurfaced. Previously despised, the chants of the top competitors claiming HGH is the holy grail of performance, many amateurs will now risk using this crude version to get some of that benefit for a cheaper price. Even if it means they have a high chance of dieing one of the most terrible deaths known to man. It's a funny world, eh?
For the best results HGH should be stacked with any number of compounds. If at all possible the use of a serious steroid cycle, cytomel (T3) and insulin should be used. Not only do these promote the best results with HGH, HGH will allow for better results with them. It promotes the release if IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor I) in the liver, which is an extremely anabolic hormone. In conjunction with insulin it will therefore promote extreme nutrient retention in the muscle cells, providing the perfect anabolic environment. Cytomel seems to give it a great deal to work with. Metabolism is increased, together they form a great fat-loss combo, but more nutrients now become available as well. Along with the nitrogen/protein retention of some strong anabolic steroids this should provide very good overall results. But one can't mistake HGH as some form of miracle cure. Its no better than these other compounds, and it won't turn the cycle into a miracle of muscle growth either. Some would think this because of the incredible cost, but nothing of the sort is true. It has equal use, it just costs a hell of a lot more. Which is my main reason in stating its simply not worth what you get out of it.
For all intents and purposes of increasing endurance and performance to some level, 3 to 6 IU will suffice. The same for most fat loss purposes. HGH has a very short half-life (30-45 minutes or so) and should be injected at least once daily, maybe twice daily if at all possible. For possibly more anabolic results due to its effects on freeing nutrients and increasing IGF-1 levels, 10-12 IU per day are needed for an extended period of time (10-15 weeks), usually in conjunction with other anabolic compounds. Its interesting to note that in your choice of anabolic, an aromatizing compound like testosterone should be given preference since estrogen has positive benefits on HGH as well.
HGH (Human Growth Hormone)