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Alternative names for growth hormone

Somatotropin; GH; human growth hormone; HGH

Growth hormone is released into the bloodstream from the anterior pituitary gland. The pituitary gland also produces other hormones that have different functions from growth hormone.

Growth hormone acts on many parts of the body to promote growth in children. Once the growth plates in the bones (epiphyses) have fused growth hormone does not increase height. In adults, it does not cause growth but it helps to maintain normal body structure and metabolism, including helping to keep blood glucose levels within set levels.

Growth hormone release is not continuous; it is released in a number of bursts or pulses every three to five hours. This release is controlled by two other hormones that are released from the hypothalamus (a part of the brain): growth hormone-releasing hormone, which stimulates the pituitary to release growth hormone, and somatostatin, which inhibits that release.

Growth hormone levels are increased by sleep, stress, exercise and low glucose levels in the blood. They also increase around the time of puberty. Growth hormone release is lowered in pregnancy and if the brain senses high levels of growth hormone or insulin-like growth factors already in the blood.

Not surprisingly, too much growth hormone causes too much growth. In adults, excessive growth hormone for a long period of time produces a condition known as acromegaly, in which patients have swelling of the hands and feet and altered facial features. These patients also have organ enlargement and serious functional disorders such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Over 99% of cases are due to benign tumours of the pituitary gland, which produce growth hormone. This condition is more common after middle-age when growth is complete so affected individuals do not get any taller.

Very rarely, increased growth hormone levels can occur in children before they reach their final height, which can lead to excessive growth of long bones, resulting in the child being abnormally tall. This is commonly known as gigantism (a very large increase in height).

Overproduction of growth hormone is diagnosed by giving a sugary drink and measuring the growth hormone level over the next few hours. The sugar should cause growth hormone production to reduce. However, this does not happen in acromegaly.

Too little growth hormone (deficiency) results in poor growth in children. In adults, it causes a reduced sense of wellbeing, increased fat, increased risk of heart disease and weak heart, muscles and bones. The condition may be present from birth where the cause can be unknown, genetic or due to injury to the pituitary gland (during development or at birth).

Growth hormone deficiency may also develop in adults due to brain injury, a pituitary tumour or damage to the pituitary gland (for example, after brain surgery or radiotherapy for cancer treatment). The main treatment is to replace the growth hormone using injections - either once a day or several times a week.

In the past, growth hormone treatment was stopped at the end of growth. It is now clear that growth hormone contributes to both bone mass and muscle mass reaching the best possible level, as well as reducing fat mass during development to an adult. The specialist is therefore likely to discuss the benefits of continuing growth hormone after growth has completed until age 25 to make sure bone and muscle mass reach the best possible level. Additionally, growth hormone has been linked to a sensation of wellbeing, specifically energy levels. There is evidence that 30-50% of adults with growth hormone deficiency feel tired to a level that impairs their wellbeing. These adults may benefit from lifelong treatment with growth hormone. Taking growth hormone when adult will not result in increased height.

Last reviewed: May 2021

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Nov 10th, 2022 | Filed under Human Growth Hormone

The pituitary gland is a structure in our brain that produces different types of specialised hormones, including growth hormone (also referred to as human growth hormone or HGH). The roles of growth hormone include influencing our height, and helping build our bones and muscles. Natural levels of growth hormone fluctuate during the day, seemingly influenced by physical activity. For example, levels rise when we exercise.

Growth hormone levels increase during childhood and peak during puberty. In this phase of development, growth hormone promotes the growth of bone and cartilage. Throughout life, growth hormone regulates the fat, muscle, tissue and bone in our bodies, and other aspects of our metabolism such as insulin action and blood sugar levels. Growth hormone levels naturally reduce from middle age onwards.

Most commonly, doctors prescribe synthetic growth hormone to help children who have impaired hormone levels to reach their full height.

However, there is a black-market trade in synthetic growth hormone, particularly among athletes, bodybuilders and those whose positive body image depends on looking muscular. These people may take growth hormone (in combination with other muscle-building substances) in the mistaken belief that it will boost their muscle strength. However, any improvement in muscle strength is actually due to other muscle-building substances, such as steroids.

Our bones need enough growth hormone during our childhood and adolescence in order to lengthen to adult proportions. Growth hormone prompts our liver to make a substance called insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). This and other similar compounds are involved in bone growth.

Some children lack sufficient natural growth hormone to grow to their full height. Taking synthesised growth hormone can help them reach their full height. For example, children may be prescribed human growth hormone in cases of poor growth due to growth hormone deficiency, Turners syndrome, and kidney failure.However, research suggests that a child with normal levels of growth hormone, who takes the synthesised version, will not grow any taller than they would have naturally, unless they take very large amounts.Children who are experiencing stunted or slowed growth should have their natural growth hormone levels checked by medical professionals before they are prescribed any medication for their condition.

Adults with growth hormone deficiency (which may result from problems with the pituitary gland or hypothalamus) may have symptoms including:

They can benefit from treatment with growth hormone injections, which can help:

Approximately one third of people who use synthetic growth hormone will experience side effects. These may include:

Acromegaly is a disorder caused by excess levels of growth hormone, most commonly as a result of a tumour in that person's pituitary gland. It causes an irreversible overgrowth of bones, particularly those of the face, hands and feet. The person's skin is also affected and becomes thick, coarse and hairy. Other side effects include high blood pressure and heart disease. If the tumour occurs in childhood, then increased height may occur leading to gigantism.

Long-term use of synthetic growth hormone can also cause acromegaly, but not gigantism. This is because it is impossible for an adult to grow taller using synthetic growth hormone. The ends of the long bones (epiphyses) in the mature skeleton are fused in adults. High doses of growth hormone can only thicken the person's bones rather than lengthen them.

Any increase in muscle size due to use of synthetic growth hormone is actually the result of an increase in connective tissue, which does not contribute to muscle strength. For this reason, use of synthetic growth hormone does not lead to increase muscle strength. In fact, in the long term, muscle weakness (including weakness of the heart) can be a result.

In the past, growth hormone used to treat people was extracted, at autopsy, from the pituitary glands of people who had died. In some countries (not including Australia), it was discovered that a progressive and incurable disease of the brain called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), which results in dementia and death, was in rare cases transmitted by this method.

Nowadays synthetic growth hormone is used, and there is no risk of CJD.

Some athletes or bodybuilders who abuse growth hormone in an attempt to gain muscle size and strength also use other medications or illicit drugs to speed up their physical transformation. The dangers of mixing these different chemicals are not fully known.

Some of the substances people may use include:

Giving up synthetic growth hormone can be extremely difficult for adults whose positive body image depends on looking large and muscular. Some users continue to take the hormone, even though it is affecting their health and wellbeing.

Counselling may help you to stop using synthetic growth hormone. See your doctor for information and referral, or contact an alcohol and other drug service in your area.

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Sep 12th, 2022 | Filed under Human Growth Hormone

NFL icon Peyton Manning was accused of using performance-enhancing drugs by his former pharmacist. However, the league cleared him after a detailed 7-month long investigation.

Peyton Manning is an iconic quarterback who made a name for himself at the highest level. Nicknamed The Sheriff, Peyton was active for almost two decades in the league.

Although he was with the Broncos for four years in the final phase of his career, the 14-year stint he had with the Indianapolis colts really established him as one of greats of the game.

The two-time Super Bowl champion who currently has a gigantic net worth of $250 million, was named the most valuable player of the league on five occasions. He broke innumerable records during his illustrious career.

However, back in 2016, Peyton was named in what could have turned out to be a massive controversy. He was accused of using performance-enhancing drugs during the 2011 season.

Also Read: Lamar Jackson deserves to be the highest paid $230 million plus player in the league according to former Super Bowl hero James White

Al Jazeera America came up with a documentary titled The Dark Side in which one of Peytons former pharmacists reportedly claimed that he provided performance-enhancing drugs to Manning by mailing them to his wife.

He accused Manning os using HGH (human growth hormone) during the 2011 season when he was recovering from a neck surgery. HGH is a doping drug which was banned by the NFL back in 1991

It is said that HGH aids in muscle building and also improves metabolic function. However, scientific evidences to verify such claims are not available in abundance.

The allegations against Manning were made by a man who was, at that time, an employee at the Guyer Institute of Molecular Medicine. He even claimed that he shipped HGH to a number of NFL stars along with Peyton.

Peyton and other players involved in the controversy categorically denied all the allegations. The NFL decided to launch an investigation into the matter.

However, the league had started testing for HGH only in 2014, even when it was banned in 1991 only. So proving any of the allegations was a tough task.

After a seven-month investigation, the NFL claimed that no credible evidence was found that could prove Manning guilty. As a result, he was eventually cleared.

Manning decided to retire from the sport back in March, 2016.

Also Read: Colin Kaepernick will follow in Kobe Bryants footsteps and join Spike Lee for a documentary about his social justice struggle

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Sep 4th, 2022 | Filed under Human Growth Hormone

Serena Williams has announced shes retiring. The tennis star has had a long and decorated career, winning 23 grand slams and establishing herself as one of the most well-known professional athletes in the world. Williams, who is 40, joins a host of other professional athletes who have continued to compete well beyond the typical retirement age for athletes which is between 28-32 years of age. Other notable athletes still competing at the highest level of their sport after 40 include English cricketer James Anderson (who is 40) and American surfer Kelly Slater (who is 50).

There are many reasons an athlete may choose to retire from sport, such as injury, illness, fitness or family. But a combination of better training, nutrition and recovery techniques may help explain why a growing number of athletes are competing past what was once considered their prime.

Athletes have a wealth of support systems to help them in their training including their coach, who helps them reach their peak for certain performances and recover between games or competitions.

The old school approach to training consisted of high-intensity exercise to failure or fatigue essentially pushing an athlete until they couldnt do any more during that training session. The main benefit of this approach is that its time-efficient, as the more intense the exercise, the less time is needed to achieve the benefits of training.

But a more structured approach is now favoured by many athletes and coaches. The reason for this shift in training styles is thanks in large part to research over the past 20 years showing burnout and injuries are more common as a result of overtraining caused by high-intensity exercise.

To avoid this, most athletes now use polarised training, which favours moderate-intensity training. Polarised training still improves performance, but with less likelihood of injury or burnout. Athletes may also use concurrent training, which combines both strength and endurance training in the same session. This kind of training is especially useful, considering most types of sports combine both strength and endurance.

Sports scientists and coaches now also understand a lot more about the demands of a sport, so they try to tailor training to target specific weaknesses or strengths in an athletes performance. All of this leads to less overtraining, illness and injury which can help extend an athletes playing life.

We also now know more about the best ways to help an athlete recover.

For example, sleep is now known to be extremely important for an athletes performance. This is because sleep releases human growth hormone, which is important for muscle growth and maintaining muscle mass. This not only allows an athlete to perform at their best, it also helps them be ready for their next training session or competition.

Since the body secretes less human growth hormone as a person ages, ensuring an athlete gets a good nights sleep can be one strategy for helping them avoid this and maintain their athletic performance.

Research also continues to reveal the best approaches for recovery after competition or training. Ice baths are extremely popular now, as these reduce muscle soreness and can help athletes recover more quickly when needed.

In recent years, more athletes are adopting post-exercise recovery such as ice baths or compression garments. However, the research on how useful these techniques are is still mixed. Athletes may also use wearables to track how long it takes their body to recover, which may better guide their training.

Better recovery means athletes are less likely to suffer from fatigue or injuries, which may help them compete longer.

Different diets and supplements can be used to enhance performance and recovery.

For example, probiotics (live microorganisms often found in fermented foods, such as yoghurt or kimchi) have been shown to help improve the absorption of key nutrients associated with immune system and bone health. This could help an athlete recover faster between competitions.

Good nutrition is also key for a long career. Its well known that as we age we need to maintain our muscle mass differently. This may require adjustments to protein intake depending on the changing demands of exercise.

Personalised diets are also being adopted by athletes which may take into account their genetics, immune function and digestive system to ensure theyre eating the best diet for their body and to enhance recovery.

Personalising diets and changing them throughout their career can allow athletes to maintain their health and performance.

An athletes mental health is a big reason many decide to retire from competition.

Read more: Serena Williams: why many female athletes feel pressure to retire after becoming mothers

Research shows that athletes are more likely to experience mental health problems (such as anxiety) during their peak age of performance. But having the right psychological support can prevent mental health problems in athletes, and also give them the right coping mechanisms to deal with the stresses of high level competition. Research even shows making mental health a priority during training and competition is key to continued success.

As we learn more about training, ageing, nutrition and supporting athletes, theres no doubt we will only continue to see more athletes extending their careers. If they continue to enjoy the sport, adapt to change and maximise their health along the way, it seems logical to continue.

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Sep 4th, 2022 | Filed under Human Growth Hormone

Novartis will spin-off its generics division Sandoz, which includes a portfolio of eight biosimilar products.

In 2018, Novartis granted its generic and biosimilar medicine division Sandoz more autonomy while claiming to be completely committed to the business. Since then, analysts and investors have been hedging their bets as to when the inevitable spin-off would therefore occur. Following a strategic review last year, the Swiss firm has now cemented a separation plan to be completed by the second half of 2023.

Our strategic review examined all options for Sandoz and concluded that a 100% spin-off is in the best interest of shareholders, said Joerg Reinhardt, chair of the Board of Directors of Novartis.

A spin-off would allow our shareholders to benefit from the potential future successes of a more focused Novartis and a standalone Sandoz, and would offer differentiated and clear investment theses for the individual businesses.

Novartis will now dedicate itself to innovative medicines, including its antibody and cell and gene therapy portfolio. It will, however, lose a robust portfolio and pipeline of biosimilars a modality focused on lower-cost biologics it was instrumental in bringing to the fore in both Europe and the US.

In 2006, the firm achieved approval of Omnitrope (biosimilar recombinant human growth hormone [rhGH]) in Europe, and nine years later became the first commercial biosimilar developer to bring a biosimilar to the US Zarxio, a version of Amgens Neupogen (filgrastim).

Beyond these two, the firm has won approval for six other biosimilars across various regions: Erelzi (etanercept), Binocrit (epoetin alfa), Ziextenzo (pegfilgrastim), Rixathon (rituximab), Hyrimoz (adalimumab), and Zessley (Infliximab).

Furthermore, the firm has been instrumental in advocating for such medicines, through industry, physician, and payor programs such as the recently launched Act4Biosimilars roadmap that hopes to increase global adoption of biosimilar medicines by at least 30% in 30+ countries by 2030.

For Novartis, the separation of Sandoz would further support our strategy of building a focused innovative medicines company, with depth in five core therapeutic areas, and strength in technology platforms, said Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis.

In addition, both companies would be able to focus on maximizing value creation for their shareholders by prioritizing capital and resource allocation, employing separate capital structure policies, and increasing management focus on their respective business needs.

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Aug 27th, 2022 | Filed under Human Growth Hormone

Bryant Stamford| Special to the Courier Journal

The immune system is very complex, with many different types of immune cells, each with a specific function. There are two major components, beginning with the innate immune system, the one you are born with. Its primary function is to create a protective physical barrier for the body to keep invaders out. This includes skin, the cornea of the eye, mucous membrane linings, etc. If, however, an invader should sneak in, the innate immune system must recognize it as an invader and take action to destroy it.

The second component is the acquired immune system. Once you have been infected by an invader, the body takes steps to neutralize that specific invader in the future by creating antibodies that can recognize the invader quickly and defend against it. These antibodies stay in the body, ready for action. This is how immunization works. A weakened invader is introduced with a shot, stimulating the body to create antibodies against it.

Can you strengthen your immune system? The answer is yes. There is genetic influence, but how you live, and your environment also is important. This means we all respond to invaders in a very individualized way, which may help explain why some people live through a plague when surrounded by so many who succumb and die.

Although genetic influence is important, its always best to do all within your power to maximize your bodys defensive capabilities, starting with a healthy lifestyle. This is especially important as we age, given the decline in immune function after about the age of 60 and accelerating at age 70.

A theme I have preached over the years is that a key benefit of a healthy lifestyle is being able to cope more effectively with whatever harmful influence comes your way. You always want your immune system to be at the top of its game because you can never predict a nasty invasion. This entails providing the body with all the wholesome nutrients it needs, especially important vitamins and minerals, and this starts with a diet loaded with fruits and vegetables.

Next is a group of familiar, common sense, healthy lifestyle practices. Topping the list is getting adequate sleep every night which helps both the innate and acquired components of the immune system. Sleep allows the immune system to "rev up" and it also helps with immune memory, more quickly and easily recognizing invading enemies. In addition, don't smoke or drink alcohol to excess, maintain a healthy weight, be smart and wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, take steps to minimize stress, stay up to date with recommended vaccines, and, of course, avoid sick folks.

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Two additional healthy lifestyle practices that help your immune system include regular exercise and intermittent fasting.

Research indicates that regular exercise can boost immunity strength. A recent study reported that two key immune cells that combat inflammation were significantly increased from regular exercise over a 10-week period. This is very important because the more we learn about chronic diseases like atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries) the more obvious it is that inflammation plays a critical role.

In addition, those who exercise regularly tend to get fewer infections. Why? Exercise imposes stress on the body that promotes increased production of certain immune cells, like T cells which are particularly effective in detecting infected areas. In addition, exercise stimulates the sympathetic nervous system which initiates the "fight or flight" reaction. Stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine (adrenalin) are released, and they crank up the immune response by mobilizing immune cells throughout the body, particularly in the blood. This makes the body hypervigilant, increasing the probability that these protectors will come in contact with potential invaders and destroy them.

What kind of exercise is best? The science is still unfolding, and there has been controversy. Until recently, it has been recommended that moderate exercise is best because there is an immediate positive effect on the immune system. In contrast, some past research suggested that high-intensity exercise may suppress the immune system temporarily, making you more vulnerable to infection.

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However, the latest research is more sophisticated, and it does not support the temporary suppression of the immune system with heavy exercise. In other words, all exercise is helpful.

Recently, I have written quite a bit about intermittent fasting. One reason is that its an area that attracts a lot of attention and I have received a ton of emails about it. Another reason is my very positive personal experience, plus great results with several folks I have worked with.

Intermittent fasting helps the immune system. For example, encouraging research results were found in a study of cancer patients suffering from immune suppression as a result of cancer treatments, especially chemotherapy. Intermittent fasting was shown to help reboot the immune system by more quickly creating new and effective immune cells to replace those destroyed by cancer therapy.

The mild stress of fasting on the body (somewhat similar to the effects of exercise) forces increased production of immune cells. In addition, intermittent fasting helps the immune system by promoting the process of autophagy. This means clearing out old and dysfunctional cells, allowing room for them to be replaced by newly created, more robust cells. This has implications for all cells of the body, in general, but it's particularly helpful for the immune system.

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Let me add that not only does intermittent fasting directly help the immune system, it promotes overall health in two important ways which indirectly helps you cope with any bad actors that come along. One way is through effective weight management, making the process easier and more effective. And, two, intermittent fasting promotes increased human growth hormone (HGH) production. HGH helps to increase muscle mass while reducing body fat.

Reach Bryant Stamford, a professor of kinesiology and integrative physiology at Hanover College, at

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Aug 27th, 2022 | Filed under Human Growth Hormone

Heres a collection curated by The Associated Press entertainment journalists of whats arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.


As an action star, Sylvester Stallone's most iconic characters Rocky Balboa, Rambo have always relied on plain old brawn for his powers. (OK, and some human growth hormone.) But in Samaritan," the 76-year-old Stallone stars as aged superhero with superhuman strength living anonymously as a garbage collector. The film, which premieres Friday on Amazon Prime Video, was made by MGM but has seen its release delayed numerous times over the past two years before landing exclusively on the streaming platform.

Funny Pages, which opens Friday in theaters and on video-on-demand, represents an even more winding path to release. Owen Kline (son of Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates) struggled to find attention for his directorial debut. But after Uncut Gems filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie signed on as producers, A24 picked up the film and it premiered earlier this year in the Directors' Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival. And the film a grungy coming-of-age tale that channels a low-budget '90s indie spirit is one of the year's standout debuts. Daniel Zolghardri stars as a teenage cartoonist who shirks his posh family life in Princeton, New Jersey, to live alone in Trenton and try to make it as an R. Crumb-like artist.

In Me Time, Kevin Hart plays a stay-at home father whose wife (Regina Hall) and kids go away for the weekend, allowing him to reconnect with an old friend (Mark Wahlberg). A wild weekend ensues. Streaming Friday on Netflix.

AP Film Writer Jake Coyle


If 13 is an unlucky number, dont tell DJ Khaled. His new album God Did is his 13th full-length set and hes teased it with the banger Staying Alive alongside frequent collaborators Drake and Lil Baby. Another apparent combo on the Friday release is a song with Future and Lil Baby, at least according to an Instagram post. Khaled also confirmed that Future would be featured on the record two times, and in a third post shouted out his two rap peers for believing in him. They dont believe in us, Future did, Lil Baby did, Khaled wrote. If thats not enough to entice you, earlier in August he confirmed that Jay-Z would also feature on the record.

Marcus King and his blistering guitar skills have once again teamed up with Black Keys frontman and Grammy-winning producer Dan Auerbach to create the album Young Blood, out Friday. Young Blood follows Kings Grammy-nominated album El Dorado, and features the bluesy, rocking Blood on the Tracks. Born into a musical family, Kings musical gifts earned him a following as a teenager and the album is soaked in 70 rock n roll. One highlight is the Free-sounding Good and Gone with the opening line Look out your window baby, here come your man/Looking suspicious with that gun in his hand.

Duncan Sheik returns with a clutch of his own music on Friday after working on theater musicals for a while. Claptrap is the singer-songwriters ninth studio album and first in seven years. It boasts the slinky Experience, the Peter Gabriel-ish ballad Maybe and the electronic-bouncy Theres No Telling, which includes a nod to his theatrical roots in the lyric, Dont cry for me, Argentina. The Barely Breathing songwriter has made a second name for himself on the stage, including the Broadway shows Spring Awakening and American Psycho as well as the new NOIR.

AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy


The nickname Canoe Man has a friendly ring to it. It was, however, what a British man was branded for faking his drowning death in an insurance scam. The quirkily titled miniseries The Thief, His Wife & The Canoe is based on the real-life story of a former prison officer whose scheme went far afield of what he promised his spouse. The couple, played by Eddie Marsan (Sherlock, Ray Donovan) and Monica Dolan (A Very English Scandal), left their sons in the dark and grieving over their still-alive dad, which didnt endear them to the judge who ultimately presided over the case. The series debuts Tuesday on the BritBox streaming service.

Katrina Babies reveals the hurricanes unending toll on New Orleans. The HBO documentary is from first-time filmmaker and New Orleans native Edward Buckles Jr., who was 13 when the deadly hurricane hit in 2005. Hes spent the past half-dozen years collecting the memories of those who also endured the tragedy as youngsters. The film combines interviews, home movies, animation and archival footage to reveal the grief yet harbored by survivors and to probe the trauma of multigenerational racism. Katrina Babies debuts Wednesday on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max.

Looking for something to tide you over until The Crown returns later this year? Try PBS The Boleyns: A Scandalous Family, a three-part docuseries debuting Sunday on PBS and Even casual royal followers may know that Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, was beheaded for alleged crimes of adultery and treason. Turns out Annes fate was rooted not only in her lofty ambitions but those of her power-hungry family, as detailed in the series by rare original letters and documents from the 16th-century, the perspective of Tudor scholars and dramatic re-enactments.

AP Television Writer Lynn Elber

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New this week: 'Me Time,' DJ Khaled and Sylvester Stallone - ABC News

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Aug 27th, 2022 | Filed under Human Growth Hormone

What is human growth hormone (hGH)?

Human growth hormone, also known as hGH and somatotropin, is a natural hormone your pituitary gland makes and releases that acts on many parts of the body to promote growth in children. Once the growth plates in your bones (epiphyses) have fused, hGH no longer increases height, but your body still needs hGH. After youve finished growing, hGH helps to maintain normal body structure and metabolism, including helping to keep your blood sugar (glucose) levels within a healthy range.

Hormones are chemicals that coordinate different functions in your body by carrying messages through your blood to your organs, muscles and other tissues. These signals tell your body what to do and when to do it. Your body makes over 50 hormones, and many of them interact with each other, creating a complex web of processes.

Your pituitary gland is a small, pea-sized endocrine gland located at the base of your brain below your hypothalamus. Its made of two lobes: the anterior (front) lobe and posterior (back) lobe. Your anterior lobe makes hGH.

Your pituitary gland is connected to your hypothalamus through a stalk of blood vessels and nerves. This is called the pituitary stalk. Your hypothalamus is the part of your brain that controls functions like blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and digestion. Through the stalk, your hypothalamus communicates with your pituitary gland and tells it to release certain hormones. In this case, your hypothalamus releases growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH), which stimulates your pituitary gland to release hGH, and somatostatin, which prevents (inhibits) that release.

Healthcare providers use a synthetic form of hGH (sometimes called recombinant hGH) to treat certain health conditions, including growth hormone deficiency. You should never take synthetic hGH without a prescription from your provider.

Your pituitary gland normally releases hGH in short bursts (pulses) throughout the day. The release of hGH is mainly controlled by two hormones your hypothalamus releases: growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH), which stimulates hGH release, and somatostatin, which prevents (inhibits) hGH release.

Several other endocrine hormones also regulate hGH, including insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 is a major suppressor of GH production, whereas thyroxine, glucocorticoids and ghrelin stimulate hGH release.

IGF-1 thats released by your liver is one of the best-characterized effects of hGH activity. IGF-1 plays a critical role in preventing (inhibiting) the release of the hGH through a negative feedback loop by stimulating somatostatin and inhibiting GHRH release. However, hGH and IGF-1 secretion are regulated by each other, where hGH triggers IGF-1 release and the IGF-1 inhibits hGH release in a feedback loop. In healthy people, hGH release is inhibited by hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and stimulated by sleep, stress, exercise, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and amino acids.

Human growth hormone has two main functions: stimulating growth (mainly in children) and impacting metabolism (how your body turns the food you eat into energy).

Human growth hormone triggers growth in nearly every tissue and organ in your body. However, its most well-known for its growth-promoting effect on cartilage and bone, especially in the adolescent years during puberty. Cells in cartilage called chondrocytes and cells in bones called osteoblasts receive signals from hGH to increase replication and thus allow for growth in size.

Once the growth plates in a childs bones have fused, hGH no longer increases height. Instead, hGH helps to maintain normal body structure throughout the rest of your life.

Metabolism consists of the chemical reactions in your body that change the food you eat into energy. All of the cells in your body need energy to function properly. Several different complex processes are involved in metabolism.

hGH impacts metabolism primarily by increasing the production of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and its effect on cells in your body. IGF-1 is a hormone similar in structure to insulin that manages the effects of hGH in your body. Insulin is an essential hormone your pancreas makes that helps regulate your blood sugar (glucose) levels by decreasing them. Like insulin, IGF-1 has glucose-lowering effects.

Your body normally carefully regulates your blood glucose levels. Blood glucose, or sugar, is the main sugar found in your blood. You get glucose from carbohydrates in the food you eat. This sugar is an important source of energy and provides nutrients to your body's organs, muscles and nervous system.

Insulin is the main hormone your pancreas makes to lower blood glucose levels when they get too high, and glucagon is the main hormone your pancreas makes to raise glucose levels when they get too low. Other hormones can counteract the effects of insulin, such as epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol.

While hGH normally increases blood glucose levels when they get too low, if you have excess amounts of hGH in your body, it can counteract the effects of insulin, causing elevated blood glucose levels.

Human growth hormone increases vertical growth in children. However, once your growth plates have fused, hGH cannot make you taller. Instead, after youve reached your final height, hGH helps maintain your bodys structure and has other important effects on your metabolism.

Your pituitary gland releases hGH in pulses. The size and duration of the pulses vary with time of day and your age and sex. Because of this, random hGH measurements are rarely useful to healthcare providers in confirming or ruling out a diagnosis. Instead, hGH measurement tests are most useful when measured as part of a stimulation or suppression test.

In general, the normal range for hGh levels include:

Normal value ranges may vary from lab to lab. Be sure to reference your labs normal range on your lab report when analyzing your results. If you have any questions about your results, talk to your healthcare provider.

Having lower-than-normal levels of hGH is called growth hormone deficiency. Its usually due to an issue with or damage to your pituitary gland that results in hypopituitarism when one, several or all of the hormones your pituitary gland makes are deficient. Human growth hormone could be one of the affected hormones.

Growth hormone deficiency affects adults and children differently.

When adults have a lack of hGH, it causes the following issues:

In adults, hypopituitarism that results in hGH deficiency may develop due to a benign pituitary adenoma (a noncancerous tumor) or damage to your pituitary gland or hypothalamus.

A lack of hGH in children results in poor growth. The main sign of hGH deficiency in children is slow height growth each year after a child's third birthday. This means they grow less than about 1.4 inches in height a year. A child with hGH deficiency may also have:

In children, hypopituitarism that results in hGH deficiency may be present from birth where the cause can be unknown (idiopathic), genetic or due to injury to their pituitary gland (during fetal development or at birth).

Children can also develop hypopituitarism due to damage to their pituitary gland or hypothalamus later in life.

The main condition associated with higher-than-normal hGH levels is a condition called acromegaly, though it affects adults and children differently. Its a rare condition.

Adults with acromegaly usually have enlarged or swollen hands and feet and altered facial features.

Adults with acromegaly can also have thickened bones and enlarged organs and are more likely to have conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension), Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Over 99% of acromegaly cases are due to pituitary adenomas, noncancerous (benign) tumors on your pituitary gland. These tumors can produce excess amounts of hGH. Acromegaly is more common after middle-age when growth is complete. Because of this, adults with acromegaly dont get any taller. Instead, their bones can become thicker.

Very rarely, children can experience elevated growth hormone levels before they reach their final height, which can lead to excessive growth of long bones and very tall height. This condition is called pediatric acromegaly, but its sometimes called gigantism. If left untreated, children with acromegaly usually grow to be seven feet tall or taller. Children with acromegaly may also have general weakness, delayed puberty and headaches.

Pituitary adenomas are usually the cause of pediatric acromegaly.

Your healthcare provider can order a series of blood tests to check your hGH levels if youre experiencing symptoms related to hGH issues.

Your pituitary gland normally releases hGH into your bloodstream in pulses throughout the day and night, with peaks that occur mostly during the night. Because of this, a single blood test to measure hGH measurement is difficult to interpret and is not usually medically useful.

Providers most often use procedures called growth hormone stimulation and suppression tests to diagnose conditions caused by hGH deficiency or excess.

They may also order a blood test that measures the amount of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in your blood.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the synthetic form of hGH for treatment for certain conditions. The synthetic form of hGH is available only by prescription and is injected.

In children, healthcare providers prescribe hGH to treat:

In adults, providers prescribe hGH to treat:

Its important to only take synthetic hGH if your provider has prescribed it for you.

The use of synthetic hGH for medical treatment can cause certain side effects including:

Researchers dont have enough information about the long-term effects of hGH treatment.

If you or your child are experiencing symptoms related to hGH deficiency or excess, contact your healthcare provider.

If youre receiving treatment for abnormal hGH levels, its important to see your provider regularly to make sure your treatment is working.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Human growth hormone (hGH) is a powerful hormone thats necessary for several important bodily processes. Sometimes, your pituitary gland can make too much or too little of it. If you or your child are experiencing symptoms related to hGH deficiency or excess, its important to talk to your healthcare provider. Theyre there to help.

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Human Growth Hormone (hGH) - Cleveland Clinic

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Aug 19th, 2022 | Filed under Human Growth Hormone

When you think about all the things that affect your skin, sleep isn't usually the first thing to come to mind. You may have heard that quality sleep is essential for our overall well-being, but did you know that it's also a big factor that impacts our appearance? However, it's not always easy for us to get those recommended 7 to 9 hours of beauty sleep. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders.

So, what does poor sleep do to your appearance and health? Here's what we know.

Read more: Fall Asleep Faster by Doing This Thing Right Before Bed

You might have heard the term "beauty sleep" before. Turns out, it's real and may be the closest thing to the fountain of youth you can get. When you sleep, your body enters recovery mode and each stage of sleep is crucial to skin recovery.

During varying stages of sleep, the body produces multiple hormones including human growth hormone, melatonin and cortisol. These hormones play critical roles in recovery including repairing skin from daily damage, keeping our skin looking youthful and protecting your skin from free radicals that can cause damage to cells.

When sleeping, every hour counts. If you're having trouble getting the recommended hours of sleep, check out our guide on how to get better sleep.

A 2017 study found that lack of sleep has the potential to negatively affect your facial appearance and may decrease others' willingness to socialize with the sleep-deprived person. Here's how not getting enough shut-eye affects your appearance.

Skin: Let's start with the basics. Lack of sleep affects your appearance by making you look tired. You know, bags under the eyes and all that jazz. Not only does poor sleep affect your skin, but also its normal functions -- like collagen production. Excess cortisol due to the stress of sleep deprivation is a common cause of acne.

Hair: Lack of sleep also impacts your hair growth since collagen production is affected when we don't get enough sleep, making your hair more prone to thinning or hair loss. Sleep deprivation can also cause stress on the body and increase cortisol, which can lead to hair loss.

Eyes: Just one night of poor sleep is enough to cause dark circles under your eyes. Lack of sleep can cause the blood vessels around your eyes to dilate and create dark circles or puffiness. Depending on your natural skin tone, these dark circles may be visible as shades of blue, purple, black or brown.

Read more: How to Fall Asleep in 10 Minutes or Less

Sleep deprivation goes beyond affecting the way you look. Lack of sleep can also affect the way your body and mind work.

Prolonged deprivation can make you feel sluggish and fatigued, which means less energy to get you through the day. Other studies have linked lack of sleep to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high cholesterol due to the higher levels of cortisol.

Studies show that sleep deprivation can affect memory function and emotional stability, as well as impair decision-making skills. Poor sleep can hurt your performance at work, lead to mood swings and enhance emotions like anger and sadness.

Data from a 2021 study found that people ages 50 through 60 who got 6 hours or less of sleep were at greater risk of developing dementia. Those who got less sleep than the recommended seven hours, were 30% more likely to be diagnosed with dementia later in life than those who got the recommended hours of sleep.

In addition to how you look, how you sleep can also impact your weight. Sleep deprivation has been linked to weight gain and a higher risk of obesity in men and women. Similarly, people with severe sleep apnea tend to experience increased weight gain.

One study that followed 68,000 middle-aged American women for 16 years found that women who slept five hours or less a night where 15% more likely to become obese over the course of the study than those who slept seven hours.

Ready to catch up on some beauty rest? Follow these tips for sleeping for better skin:

How to build a good routine? Here are four steps to try:

1. Go to bed at approximately the same time each night.2. Wake up at approximately the same time every morning.3. Limit your naps to 30 minutes or less.4. Maintain a regular sleep schedule on weekends.

Read more: How to Create the Ideal Environment for Better Sleep

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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Beauty Sleep: The Toll Poor Sleep Takes on Your Appearance and Health - CNET

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Aug 10th, 2022 | Filed under Human Growth Hormone

Historical Dive: When Chinese Doping Mirrored the Systematic Program of East Germany

The similarities could not be overlooked. Sudden, and massive, drops in time. A revolving cadre of new names. Deep voices. Extraordinary musculature. And, perhaps most important, whispers around the deck.

Just as the East German women emerged from obscurity in the early 1970s and embarked on a nearly two-decade-long reign, Chinese women surfaced in the 1990s to disrupt the hierarchy of the sport. It was eventually proven, through government-overseen documentation, that East Germany ran a systematic-doping program in which teenage girls were fed and injected with steroids to build a superpower sports program.

There has never been concrete evidence of a systematic program in China, but spectacular individual improvements and specific periods of domination suggest the reliance on artificial support. Add in the numerous positive doping violations that were recorded during the decade, and only willful ignorance would deny that Chinese efforts in the 1990s were achieved through dishonest means.

At the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, China was largely an afterthought, as it captured four medals three silver and a bronze. While that total did not attract widespread attention, it was a significant improvement over the previous two global championships in which China participated. At the 1984 Olympics, which featured a diluted field due to the Eastern Bloc boycott led by the Soviet Union, China did not earn a single medal in the pool.

Another empty performance was registered at the 1986 World Championships, but there was more to the story than the simple failure to miss the podium. In events in which the country had entries, Chinese athletes produced times that were far from world class and ranked near the bottom of the field. Yet, in two years, there was China with four Olympic medalists, and finalists in several other events.

Early signs of a dirty operation had surfaced.

If the 1988 Olympics served as a breakout, the 1991 World Championships and 1992 Olympics confirmed that China was not going to fade away, but instead would become a presence in international waters. After China collected four gold medals, a silver and a bronze at the World Champs, the Barcelona Olympics brought nine medals four titles and five silver medals. More, world records started to fall to the nations athletes.

Although suspicions over the Chinese performances were intensifying, the opposition was cautious to speak out publicly and levy accusations of performance-enhancing drug use. However, that timid approach changed at the 1994 World Championships, where China was unstoppable and looked every bit as unbeatable as the East Germans at the peak of their doping program. In Rome, China prevailed in 12 of the 16 events.

As China pummeled the competition, disgust built among coaches and athletes. One of the first big names to accuse China of orchestrating a systematic-doping program was Dennis Pursley, the United States National Team Director. Watching China sweep the womens relays and set multiple world records was too much for Pursley to take.

I believe you have to be incredibly naive to ignore the circumstantial evidence, Pursley said. The current situation is an exact replica of (East Germany), and it is depriving deserving athletes of the attention and success they deserve. We cant put our heads in the sand again and pretend what we know is happening isnt happening. Our athletes just arent buying it this time. Common sense tells you that our athletes arent going to make the major sacrifices required to compete at this level when they know the deck is stacked against them. I have a high level of respect for the expertise of the Chinese coaches. I also have a lot of respect for the dedication of their athletes, but that alone cannot possibly explain how they could have a whole bunch of swimmers improve dramatically in waves, just like the East Germans. The ones here are different than in Barcelona, and we probably wont see the same (athletes) in Atlanta.

It wasnt surprising that China vehemently denied the doping allegations it faced, but the success the country enjoyed lied in the face of common sense. One of the primary defenses used by China and its supporters was the countrys population, and the statistical opportunity to find top-tier athletes in a land of more than a billion people.

But China had long had a population which exceeded its rivals, so why wasnt there a history of success? Cheng Yun-Peng, the Chinese Swimming Associations National Technical Director, argued the nation featured superb coaches and elite training facilities which enabled its swimmers to excel. The reasoning wasnt accepted.

Ahead of the 1995 Pan Pacific Championships, the swimming federations of the United States, Australia, Japan and Canada voted to exclude China from the competition. The unity demonstrated a concerted effort to shed light on the doping problems in sport, and to specifically highlight the anomalies in Chinas performances.

People are suspicious because we are getting stronger very quickly, Cheng said. The first thing is that maybe we havent helped other people understand how hard we train. The second thing is maybe there are some sour grapes. The third thing is that for many years, there have been just Europe and America in swimming, no Chinese, and they cant stand that we caught up to them. Maybe it is a kind of racism, and it makes us Chinese very angry. We learned from the Americans, the Australians, the Germans, the Hungarians, the Russians, everyone. And we developed a system we thought would work for us. Most of the swimmers Ive seen here from other countries are not very strong. Speed depends on power, and power depends on a muscular body. The problem is that big muscles create misunderstandings. As soon as someone sees them, they think doping.

Cheng might have tried to divert suspicions with his words, but he couldnt alter the results of some doping tests that came back positive at the 1994 Asian Games, which were held a month after the World Championships. At the Asian Games, 11 positive tests were returned by Chinese athletes, including world-champion swimmers Lu Bin and Yang Aihua. If nothing else, the news confirmed the suspicions of Pursley and Chinas foes.

However, with the 1996 Olympic Games rapidly approaching, a leading member of the International Olympic Committee did not want to criticize China, even if clear evidence was at his disposal. Belgiums Prince Alexandre de Merode, the Chairman of the IOCs Medica Commission, defended Chinas positive doping tests from the Asian Games as falling within typical guidelines.

The Chinese had a delegation of 500 athletes at the Asian Games, and about 10 positive cases is not such a high percentage, de Merode said. There are no more cases in China than anywhere else. These are epidemics that occur on occasion. There is no politics of systematic doping in China.

As the 1996 Olympics opened, there was major concern China would dominate at the same level it did at the 1994 World Championships. Ultimately, China won six medals in Atlanta, fueled by Le Jingyi capturing gold in the 100 freestyle and silver in the 50 freestyle. The huge dropoff in medal count from the 1994 World Champs to the 1996 Olympics likely resulted from China knowing it was being closely watched, and not taking the same measures it did for Rome. Of course, the 1996 Games featured Michelle Smith, the Irishwoman who transformed from also-ran status to Olympic champion.

Chinas careful approach was not adhered to a year later, though, as Wu Yanyan obliterated the world record in the 200 individual medley at the Chinese National Games. Wu took nearly two seconds off the previous world record, set by countrywoman Lin Li at the 1992 Olympics. Although Wu did not test positive during her prime days, a doping test in 2000 revealed the use of anabolic steroids.

With Wus medley standard again raising questions, China arrived at the 1998 World Championships in Perth, Australia under the microscope, and the country did nothing to convince the globe that it was competing fairly. During a customs check, the luggage of Yuan Yuan, a double medalist at the 1994 World Champs, was found to contain vials of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). The amount of HGH seized from Yuan was enough to supply the entire Chinese roster for the duration of the World Championships. Meanwhile, four Chinese swimmers failed doping tests in Perth, their samples found to contain a masking agent often taken to cover up steroid use.

Although China is not dogged by the same questions it faced in the 1990s, when it had nearly 30 positive doping tests, it has not escaped frequent finger-pointing and positive tests. Before the 2012 Olympics in London, Li Zhesi was disqualified from the Games for a positive doping test. In London, Ye Shiwen won gold medals in the 200 individual medley and 400 individual medley, her performance in the longer event highly questioned when her last lap was faster than the last lap Ryan Lochte posted during his victory in the male version of the event.

Meanwhile, distance ace Sun Yang, a multi-time Olympic champion, was given an eight-year ban in early 2020 (later reduced) for tampering with a doping sample. That incident followed an earlier suspension of Sun for taking a banned medication that he claimed was to treat a heart condition.

Given its history of doping and the shrouded-in-secrecy nature of China and its sporting programs, any time an athlete delivers a sensational performance or quickly emerges as a global star, questions are going to be asked and doubts will arise.

History shows there have been issues, said John Leonard, the former Executive Director of the American Swimming Coaches Association. When you have a history of doping like China has, there are going to be doubts.

Historical Dive: When Chinese Doping Mirrored the Systematic Program of East Germany - Swimming World Magazine

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Aug 10th, 2022 | Filed under Human Growth Hormone
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