Published March 20, 2012
Recent news reports have touted the potential benefits of synthetic human growth hormone (HGH) as an anti-aging treatment. But is it worth it? Science weighs in.
Growth hormone is produced naturally by the pituary gland, a small structure at the base of the brain, to help spur childhood growth and maintain the vitality of tissues and organs. However, as a person ages, the gland produces less and less of the hormone – leading to degeneration.
But according to the Mayo Clinic, there is little evidence that synthetic human growth hormone (HGH) can slow or stop the aging process, or help restore vitality. And there are many risks associated with taking HGH if you don’t need it. Side effects can range from small issues – such as carpal tunnel syndrome and joint pain – to much more serious problems, including diabetes and heart disease.
However, there are better ways to increase your HGH – naturally and without side effects.
According to Life Extension Magazine, getting rid of belly fat helps to reverse decreases in HGH production. Along those same lines, exercise and staying active have also shown to optimize the level of HGH in a person’s body.
Make sure to be aware of what you eat as well. Life Extension instructs people to stay away from high-glycemic-load carbohydrates, as insulin or “insulin spikes” have been shown to greatly inhibit HGH secretion. The magazine also advises to carefully plan the last meal of the day. A snack before bed that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates will assist in HGH production.
Lastly, get a good night’s rest. The most amount of HGH production occurs during sleep, according to Life Extension. Poor sleeping patterns can contribute to a lower amount of HGH in the body.