Do HGH Supplements Reverse Aging and Are They Safe?

Updated on November 9, 2016
Robert Wadlow, who, at 8' 11", is the tallest person in recorded history. His height was due to a pituitary gland disorder which produced abnormal levels of human growth hormone (HGH).
Robert Wadlow, who, at 8' 11", is the tallest person in recorded history. His height was due to a pituitary gland disorder which produced abnormal levels of human growth hormone (HGH). | Source

Will humankind ever discover the legendary Fountain of Youth? If you listen to some advertising spiels, the Fountain has already been found. It is known as human growth hormone or HGH. The human body uses HGH for growth, of course, but the body begins producing less of it as a person ages. Some people think in order to stay youthful and healthy, you need to keep adding HGH to your body.

These days, if you want to take synthetic HGH, you’ll need a doctor’s prescription. But if you don’t want to bother with that procedure, numerous HGH supplements are sold on the Internet. These supplements reportedly stimulate the human body into producing its own HGH and - according to various advertisements - slow down or even reverse the aging process. Many people must be wondering: Are these supplements safe and effective or just a waste of money?

Please keep reading and find out!

What Is HGH?

HGH is a complex peptide hormone secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain. The human body produces HGH until it’s no longer needed for growth and other reasons, which happens at about age 60, when its production is essentially eliminated. HGH not only promotes cell growth and regeneration, and is therefore considered anabolic (body building); it also stimulates the growth of internal organs such as the brain, helps maintain liver and pancreatic functions and stimulates the immune system.

With the use of recombinant DNA techniques, HGH was synthesized in 1981, making possible its use as a drug for scientific and medicinal applications. Before that, HGH could only be obtained from cadavers.

When athletes began to use and abuse the drug in the 1970s, organizations such as the International Olympic Committee and the National Collegiate Athletic Association have banned the use of the HGH. But a procedure to detect the use of HGH didn’t become available until the early 2000s.

Even though the FDA has not approved of the use of HGH, its use can be prescribed by a doctor for children’s growth deficiencies and adult hormone disorders. Some applications for the use of HGH have been used in the livestock industry as well.

Too Much HGH Is Not Good

Excess HGH can cause the growth of a pituitary tumor. Benign in nature, this tumor can nevertheless cause problems such as headaches as it continues to grow. Prolonged excessive levels of HGH can cause growth disorders such as acromegaly, producing a Neanderthal-like appearance in the head; it can also cause a rare form of Type 2 diabetes. Reduced sexual function, heart disease, liver and thyroid damage are additional possibilities. And extreme levels of HGH can cause a condition known as pituitary gigantism. Suffering from this rare health condition, Robert Wadlow grew to nearly 9 feet tall.

Do HGH Supplements Work?

Over the years, researchers have given HGH to old and elderly people, hoping that it may slow, stop or perhaps reverse the aging process. But studies have not shown conclusively that taking HGH in any form reduces aging in any way. No government sponsored clinical trials have been done, either.

Since you need a doctor’s prescription to use HGH for medicinal purposes, some business savvy folks have marketed dietary supplements designed to help the human body produce its own HGH. A company named BIE Health Products advertises a health supplement called GHR or Growth Hormone Releaser, essentially a mixture of amino acids, particularly glutamine, and it claims the product has some very impressive treatments and cures:

improves sleep and emotional stability; increases energy and exercise endurance; promotes loss of body fat; increases bone density; improves memory and mental alertness; increases muscle strength and size; reverses baldness and restores color; regenerates the immune system; strengthens the heart muscle; controls cholesterol; normalizes blood pressure; controls mood swings; makes wrinkles disappear; reverses many degenerative disease symptoms; heightens five sense awareness; and increases skin thickness and texture.

If any of these HGH releasers is truly responsible for even a fraction of the aforementioned mitigation or cures, then the proverbial Fountain of Youth may have been found! But, bear in mind, both the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration have not approved the use of any dietary supplements designed to combat the aging process.

Incidentally, a three-month supply of GHR costs about $150.

What Are the Dangers of Taking HGH Pills?

The various sellers of these HGH releasers claim the use of their pills cause no side effects whatsoever, though medical science has proven that too much HGH in one’s system can cause dangerous side effects and/or disease. Therefore, the public needs to be informed before popping any of these dubious pills.

According to the website Healthybodydaily.com, Dr. Oz said that taking HGH as an anti-aging therapy is just one big massive experiment and not worth risking a person’s health in search of everlasting beauty and health.

In conclusion, one might wonder why the human body ceases to produce a hormone that is so important for a person’s health and well-being. Did God or nature intend that we suffer during our old age by withholding our needed HGH? Of course it’s also possible that old people can do just fine with little or no HGH in their systems, and this is what current medical science claims is true. It’s also possible that products such as GHR only work because of the placebo effect. If you think it’s going to work, it probably will in some way! Naturally, only the individual can decide if these pills are worth the money.

At any rate, it you’re really determined to try this stuff, find out what amino acids are in it, buy them at the supermarket, and then make your own mixture. At least you’ll probably save money!

Please leave a comment.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Kelley Marks

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        Jaedmon 

        5 years ago

        Vitamin E does not slow the aging process and should be taken only as nutritional supplement and not in excess. Do some research.

      • Kosmo profile imageAUTHOR

        Kelley Marks 

        5 years ago from California

        Thanks for the comment, naturman. I've heard that, along with vitamin C, vitamin E can slow the aging process - but by how much, days, weeks, years? However, before long, the human lifespan will probably be extended to 130 to 140 years, which may be the physical limit for such. Later!

      • naturman profile image

        Michael Roberts 

        5 years ago from UK

        High doses of vitamin E can slow ageing of course I don't think anything could stop it all together.

      • Kosmo profile imageAUTHOR

        Kelley Marks 

        5 years ago from California

        Yes, it certainly helps to have money, Jaedmon. As a rule, rich people live longer, don't they? Western medicine is expensive. Anyway, fortunately Internet connections aren't so expensive and neither are supplements. Well, some of them can be very expensive, but let's not go into that. Later!

      • profile image

        Jaedmon 

        5 years ago

        After thought:

        I wrote that I was doing HRT (hormone replacement therapy) from self education. I'm forced to do that because I can't afford an endocrinologist who is a specialist in HRT. I did, however, read books on the subject written by endocrinologists. And I can't afford to join a Life Extension program like Cenegenics, which has well qualified doctors on board. I definitely recommend one of the above if funds are available. Otherwise, do a LOT of research and monitor results with blood tests. Another option is to start off with an endocrinologist or Cenegenics (doctors all over the country), learn the process, THEN do it yourself. Unfortunately, it is not covered by insurance and remains one of the medical and life advantages for the wealthy. In Hollywood, for example, there are "anti aging" and "life extension" i.e. HRT, doctors and clinics "on every block."

        Jaedmon

      • Kosmo profile imageAUTHOR

        Kelley Marks 

        5 years ago from California

        Thanks for the comment, phildazz. Taking HGH supplements is a subject about which many of us should speak, especially the older crowd. Later!

      • phildazz profile image

        Allan Philip 

        5 years ago from Toronto

        Very interesting and informative Hub. Thanks for the knowledge, I got a little power from this hub.

      • profile image

        Jaedmon 

        5 years ago

        Proof is in th' pudding, Kosmo, and from blood tests results and levels of strength and endurance, my "pudding" is better than most others.. so far, so good.

            "Do not go gentle into that good night,

              Old age should burn and rage at close of day;

              Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

        Dylan Thomas

      • Kosmo profile imageAUTHOR

        Kelley Marks 

        5 years ago from California

        Thanks for the comment, Jaedmon. Getting old is a bitch, isn't it? Keep using HGH injections if you think you need them. Later!

      • profile image

        Jaedmon 

        5 years ago

        I'm 74 years old and here's a "juror's" response. For those over 60, only the synthesized amino acid identical, injectable HGH works. I've been on self-educated HRT (hormone replacement therapy) for some time with excellent results. Testosterone along with an anti-estrogen med compliments positive results of HGH. The efficacy of this is well documented in the sports records books, beginning with E. German Olympic Athletes over 50 years ago. This was a time of true experimentation with limits being tested for the acclaim winners brought to a Communist government. What happened to these original guinea pigs? Did they die early deaths or have health problems related to performance enhancing drugs? Protection of the BIG business of professional sports and the health of our youth is the understandable reason that our government and medical establishments block research on the truly remarkable benefits hormone replacement (only bringing age deficient hormones to levels optimal at adult middle age) can bring to those who desire no more than the best health and quality of life in their last decades. The current knowledge obtained from having Lance Armstrong, Mark McGuire, and other athletes risk themselves as guinea pigs could be revolutionary in terms of improved strength, vitality and overall health of the aging. But that potential is sacrificed because of the abuse potential with the young. In a sense, it is so good.. it is too good not to be mis-used. Being in the latter stages of the incurable disease called aging, however, I will take the calculated risk.

        Jaedmon

      • profile image

        Patrick Newkirk 

        6 years ago

        Intimately, the post is really the greatest on that worthwhile topic. I fit in with your conclusions and definitely will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks cannot simply be enough, for the amazing clarity in your writing. This is a great post! I like this topic. This site has lots of advantage! I found many interesting things from this site. It helps me in many ways. Thanks for posting this again.

      • Kosmo profile imageAUTHOR

        Kelley Marks 

        6 years ago from California

        Okay, debbie, since you called me km you must know who I am. Thanks for the comment. Later!

      • profile image

        debbie 

        6 years ago

        Thanks for the info km. very informative. later dca

      • Kosmo profile imageAUTHOR

        Kelley Marks 

        6 years ago from California

        Thanks for the comments, kristurpin and vespawoolf. The jury is definitely still out on the usefulness and safety of taking HGH supplements. Later!

      • vespawoolf profile image

        vespawoolf 

        6 years ago from Peru, South America

        I've often wondered about the controversy surrounding HGH supplements and it sounds like the jury is still out! Thank you for an informative and interesting hub. Voted up and useful!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, caloriebee.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://caloriebee.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)