Human Growth Hormone for Weight Loss in Women

In the U.S., where obesity is considered an epidemic, many women are eager to lose weight. Extreme diets and exercise can take their toll or are ineffective, so many women have looked to science to help them, including using synthetic human growth hormone.

Two women riding their bikes in a field. (Image: altrendo images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

HGH

Human growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland, which is a small gland located in the brain. HGH is responsible for helping to stimulate growth of bones, muscles and organs, and stimulates cell reproduction. Most active in adolescence, HGH reaches peak levels around the mid-20s, then starts declining in the early 40s. Synthetic HGH is prescribed for those who have a genetic defect, a tumor on on the pituitary gland that affects levels of HGH, and other disease, such as AIDs, where it can help boost muscle growth, according to Hole's Human Anatomy and Physiology. Because it can boost muscle mass while simultaneously reducing the amount of fat, it has been studied for weight loss.

Evidence

Two smaller studies have been done that indicate lower doses of HGH can contribute to losing fat. A study published in 2009 in the the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that 39 obese men and women who participated in 6-month treatment using diet, exercise and smaller doses of HGH lost 5 lbs. of fat. The weight was kept off for an average of nine months. In a 2001 study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, researchers using lab mice demonstrated similar results; the HGH allowed the mice to lose weight by breaking down fat.

Warnings

According to WomensFitness.com, studies done using higher levels of HGH resulted in undesirable side effects, such as swelling, high blood pressure, joint pains, and glucose intolerance, which can lead to diabetes. Few studies have been done on HGH, and there has not been any long-term studies, according to Dr. James G. Beckerman. In addition, HGH is not well regulated and purchased HGH might not be pure or sterile, according to Beckerman.

Considerations

An effective weight-loss regimen should include a low-calorie diet and exercise, as HGH will not be effective on it's own. Do not take HGH without consulting with a doctor. Taking HGH that is not administered by a doctor could lead to health problems or simply be ineffective.

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