Human Growth Hormone is a hormone that is naturally produced by the pituitary gland. All healthy people produce some HGH, but production of this hormone is at its highest during puberty. As we get older, we produce less and less of the hormone.
HGH is responsible for building muscle mass and increasing bone density, reducing our levels of body fat and even regulating our sleeping patterns.
Teenagers need a lot of HGH because their bodies are still growing, but once we reach maturity we use less HGH, and unless we are putting our bodies under a lot of stress by performing heavy manual work or playing an intense sport there is no reason for our bodies to produce a lot of the hormone.
Most people produce enough HGH for their lifestyles, but there are some medical conditions which hinder the production of HGH, or necessitate supplementation for other reasons.
HGH and Height
HGH plays an important role in growth. Babies that are very small, and children that appear to have stunted growth, are often given HGH injections to help them grow smaller.
HGH was discovered in the 1920s, and in the 1950s the importance of the hormone as a growth agent became better understood. HGH contributes to the growth of both muscle cells and bone.
If your body does not produce a lot of HGH during puberty then it is unlikely that you will grow to be tall.
Most people who are deficient in HGH have other side effects in addition to simply being short, so their condition is identified at an early age and they are able to get treatment and live a normal life.
Injecting HGH into your body while you are still young can help you to grow taller, however this will only work if you do it before puberty ends.
Most people’s growth plates close when they are aged 21, so taking HGH after that age is unlikely to increase your height.
Some doctors encourage growth by prescribing Insulin Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) which helps to boost the body’s natural production of HGH. Another popular method of boosting growth is to reduce your estrogen levels.
Estrogen is the hormone that closes the growth plates, so reducing your estrogen levels can allow you to continue growing for longer.
Bad News For Adults
Sadly, if you have already stopped growing, there is not much that can be done to improve your height. Taking HGH as a mature adult does have other health and fitness benefits.
It helps you to sleep better, makes you stronger, and helps you to reduce your body fat percentage. However, while those effects are desirable and may even boost your wellbeing and self confidence, they will not make you any taller. Taking HGH or IGF-1 can have some undesirable side effects, too.
Artificially high levels of HGH can increase your risk of developing diabetes, promote growth of existing cancerous cells, elevate your cholesterol levels, cause swelling, and cause joint pain. These side effects may be enough to discourage you from taking HGH unless it is medically necessary.
Growth Tips for Teens
Teenagers can increase their chances of achieving the height that they want by making some lifestyle changes. The simplest, and also most effective lifestyle change is to get more sleep.
Your body’s HGH production peaks after two hours of sleep, and the longer you sleep the more growing you will get done. Another important and effective lifestyle change is to exercise.
Contrary to popular believe, weight training will not stunt your growth. Lifting weights and performing high-intensity cardio (such as sprinting), can increase your HGH production. Regular exercise will help to keep your HGH levels elevated.
Another way to increase your HGH levels is to eat a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. Modern western diets contain a lot of carbohydrates, and this can increase the amount of insulin in your bloodstream, hampering HGH transportation.
By eating a high protein diet (and, if you are able to, supplementing niacin), you will allow your body to transport HGH more efficiently.
Do not waste your money on HGH supplements that are supposed to be taken orally. There is not currently a reliable oral HGH pill on the market.
HGH is easily broken down by the acids in the stomach, so the amount of HGH you would gain by taking an oral HGH supplement is miniscule. Oral HGH supplements are a waste of money. It is also a bad idea to purchase HGH injections without a prescription.
HGH injections must be stored and handled carefully, and when you purchase them from an unknown supplier you run the risk of acquiring counterfeit, dangerous or mishandled drugs. If you want to take HGH, talk to your doctor and do things properly from the beginning.