The History of HGH
Now, many people have heard of the human growth hormone and what it’s been used for – weight loss and athletic development. Though, the results of using the human growth hormone have been exponential with people losing weight in short periods of time, it wasn’t initially designed for this purpose. But do you know why the human growth hormone became so readily available? Do you know why it recently became so popular? Do you know the history of the Human Growth Hormone? Let’s take a closer look at the history of the Human Growth Hormone and how it got to where it did today.
HGH and the pituitary gland
The growth hormone plays an extremely important role in the human endocrine system. The growth hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland, which is a small gland situated at the base of the brain that produces numerous hormones that are released throughout the body.It’s important to know that the growth hormone is not constantly released by the pituitary gland. Rather, it’s released in a series of bursts every three to five hours . The release of the growth hormone is caused by another hormone called growth hormone-releasing hormone which is released by the hypothalamus that causes the release of the growth hormone . The level of the growth hormone is increased by sleep, stress, exercise and low glucose levels in the blood . As you will read later on, this hormone is necessary to promote height in child and adolescence. In adulthood, the growth hormone is responsible for decreasing fat accumulation, strengthening bones, protecting organs from aging and keeping the body lean. As with anything in the body, the natural production of these hormones decreases as the body ages. Thus, when a patient takes the human growth hormone, it acts as a replacement of the pituitary gland. Now that you understand the function of the pituitary gland combined with the human growth hormone, let’s look into the general history of the growth hormone.
Can you have too much or too little?
The body is designed to balance all the hormones in your body, making your body function at its optimal potential. But, what happens when you have too much or too little of growth hormone in your body? Well, if your body has too much growth hormone, it will cause too much physical growth. If this occurs in adults, they will develop a condition called acromegaly, which causes the individual to develop swelling in the hands, feet and face . What happens if you have too little growth hormone being produced? As you will read in the next paragraph, too little growth hormone will result in a lack of growth which specifically occurs most often in children and adolescence. The production of growth hormone and human growth hormone was designed for this specific reason. In adults, growth hormone is naturally decreases in the body as they age, however, drastically decreased growth hormone can subject an individual to increased fat, the risk of heart disease, muscles, and bone deterioration.
What was it developed for?
Contrary to popular belief, the human growth hormone was not originally produced to assist with weight loss or athletic boosting. The growth hormone was first observed in the 1920s, but its benefits weren’t discovered until thirty years later. Originally, growth hormone (GH) therapy was produced for severely GH-deficient children and adolescents in the late 1950s . Severely GH-deficient children had stunted growth due to the growth hormone deficiency . Though the results of the growth hormone were astounding, the use of GH to serve other conditions was limited due to the limited supply of the hormone. Growth hormone originates from the pituitary gland and for this therapy, the only source of the hormone was if it was extracted from the pituitary gland of human cadavers. As researchers ran out of animal sources, an American researcher called Maurice Raben thought of the idea of using cadavers for hormone extraction . This idea was highly successful and Raben was able to purify enough growth hormone from the pituitary glands of an autopsied body of a seventeen-year-old boy . After this resulted with a successful outcome, numerous endocrinologist began to contact local morgues in order to extract and obtain the pituitary glands of autopsied cadavers. Raben continued to work further to purify the hormone before administering it to his patients, which was called cadaver-GH .The downside of this process was that the pituitary gland only released a few drops of the hormone, making the process extremely time-consuming, expensive and limited. A Swedish pharmaceutical company, Kari, in the late 1970s, were the first to create the first commercial growth hormone product .
By 1985, the cadaver-GH treatment was in use for almost 30 years in North America. However, it was during that year, a serious discovery was observed with using growth hormones from cadavers. It was noticed that people who were using the hormone in their youth were later subjected to developing Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease due to the hormone being contaminated with disease-causing prions . Four cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease were diagnosed who were treated with cadaver-GH treatment twenty years prior. The number of cases continued to rise by 2003. With a total of 26 people dead from this disease, the risk way to high to continue this treatment . This left the medical community unable to use the growth hormone if it was extracted from cadavers. Researchers were left with no choice but to discontinue the usage of this growth hormone treatment. A new treatment for GH-deficiency was not founded until 1991 .
Synthetic human growth hormone
Since the growth hormone from cadavers were rendered dangerous, researchers had to come up with an alternative drug. It wasn’t until 1991, that the synthetic version of the human growth hormone was developed, Protropin. This version was developed by Genentech, now a member of the Roche pharmaceutical group, who collaborated with Kabi to form this hormone, known as the human growth hormone (rhGH) . This synthetic growth hormone was created using a biosynthetic process called Inclusion Body technology . Human growth hormone that was produced by Inclusion Body technology developed the name somatrem . The problem with this drug was that is was extremely expensive, with injections costing $15,000 to $30,000 a year – highly unachievable for most people to afford . In 1998, researchers improved the process of producing rhGH which was then called Protein Secretion technology . Now, this method, Protein Secretion, is the most popular process of human growth hormone synthesis, known on the market as Somatropin . Currently, there are two forms of the HGH injection, Somatropin and Somatrem 192 amino acids. Out of the two, Somatropin is highly popular as it produces less side effects on the body as it resembles the natural HGH that is produced in our bodies. Somatropin, the growth hormone, is produced by recombinant DNA technology . The generic name for the growth hormone is Somatropin, with the high-quality brand name Humatrope .
Now, the human growth hormone is readily available and people can obtain it with ease .
What is it used for today?
Though the human growth hormone is still used for GH therapy in children, adolescents and some adults, who suffer from growth hormone deficiency, its popular use is much different. The approved uses of human growth hormone are subjected to short bowel syndrome, a conditions where nutrients are not properly absorbed due to intestinal disease or intestinal removal, HGH deficiency from pituitary tumors, and muscle-wasting disease associated with HIV/AIDS . However, healthy adults using the human growth hormone, usually direct its use for weight loss and athletic development, which are not FDA-approved. Regardless if an individual is using it for FDA-approved uses or not, the human growth hormone can increase exercise ability, bone density, muscle mass and decrease body fat . For weight loss, the human growth hormone is taken through injection form which can be self-administered or administered by a doctor. While on HGH, it’s important to eat a clean diet and exercise for optimal results.
It’s always interesting and important to understand the history of the drugs you are taking. Growth hormone has quite an extensive and interesting history which many people are unaware of. Now, you know the function of the pituitary gland combined with the use of growth hormones, the development of growth hormones, its function both in the past and present time and the evolved form of growth hormone, the human growth hormone. Whether you’re using it for weight loss, growth hormone deficiency or to increase athletic performance, HGH is highly effective in achieving the results you’re looking for. As many athletes in the sports industry use this hormone, they are the understanding and using the benefits of the human growth hormone. With the help of proper exercise and diet, the effects of HGH are astounding and are worth looking into.