Human growth hormone or HGH is a peptide hormone with regenerative and anti-aging properties in the human body. Many seek to increase their natural production of growth hormone with natural supplements that coax the pituitary gland to release more HGH. L-arginine, L-lysine, L-glutamine, GABA, mucuna pruriens and melatonin are commonly used to increase the release of HGH.
The amino acid L-arginine may stimulate replication of the Herpes virus in those who are already infected, which may increase the frequency and severity of outbreaks. In addition, arginine can cause breathing problems, swelling, headaches, low blood pressure, diarrhea, chest pain, nausea and bloating.
Adding L-lysine to L-arginine may help to control Herpes outbreaks. However, lysine can cause higher cholesterol and blood triglycerides with extended use. Other side effects include nausea, cramps, diarrhea and gallstone formation.
GABA, or gamma aminobutyric acid, is generally accepted as safe. Supplementation may cause a mild tingling sensation in and around the face and neck. GABA may also cause a mild change in heart rate and breathing patterns. These side effects are typically short lived and not harmful. GABA also induces a sedative effect.
L-glutamine is another amino acid GH releaser that has shown to be very safe, even in high doses. Side effects are mild and few; glutamine may cause upset stomach, diarrhea and/or bloating. A rare side effect of glutamine use is inducing mania in those with bipolar disorder.
Mucuna pruriens, also known as velvet bean, are naturally high in L-dopa, an important neurotransmitter. Side effects may include decreased blood sugar and increased testosterone. Individuals with hormone imbalance should consult their doctors because mucuna pruriens exhibits some androgenic effects and may inhibit the hormone prolactin. Pregnant women should not use mucuna pruriens because it has been linked to birth defects.
Melatonin is the hormone that governs circadian rhythms or sleep patterns. It is produced by the pineal gland of the brain to prepare the body for sleep. Melatonin supplementation can cause drowsiness, fatigue and depression. Those who suffer from depression should avoid melatonin because it can increase the severity of episodes. Melatonin may also induce asthma attacks in those with preexisting respiratory disease.