HGH: The Fountain of Youth or Lethal Hormone Therapy?

By: Jim Pretin

You’ve probably been hearing and reading a lot about Human Growth Hormone (HGH) recently. Ever since Jose Canseco’s outing of several prominent professional baseball players and the steroid regimen employed by these athletes, there has been more attention paid to HGH recently than in years past.

HGH is a protein produced by the pituitary gland that stimulates the liver to produce somatomedins, which causes the growth of bone and muscle. There is an ongoing debate as to whether HGH therapy is benefical or perhaps dangerous.

During our earliest years and adolescence, our pituitary secretes a great deal of HGH, which helps us grow tall and develop. Sometime during our late teens, HGH secretion begins to decline, and by the time we’re in our forties and fifties, we produce very little HGH and certain signs and symptoms of aging begin to manifest themselves. Our skin begins to wrinkle, our bodies lose muscle tone if we’re no longer exercising, and our energy levels begin to decrease.

Proponents of HGH therapy argue that we should fight mother nature by shooting up with HGH once we reach a certain age, but that a doctor should administer the hormone treatment so that it’s done safely and effectively. Opponents of HGH supplementation argue that by increasing one’s level of HGH to levels that are unnatural or not needed for an older person, dangerous and perhaps lethal side effects will occur. However, there is little or no evidence to support that modest HGH supplementation can cause cancer or any other deadly diseases. Most doctors argue that HGH needs to decline as we age, as this is probably our body’s way of trying to prolong our life span; if we continued to produce as much HGH when we’re 50 as we did when we were 12, we’d probably keel over and die and wouldn’t live to be 50 in the first place. So, a decline in HGH is something that every one of us experience, the question is whether it’s something we should accept.

Some people are born with insufficient HGH production to sustain normal growth, which is associated with conditions such as dwarfism. Hyperglycemia is also associated with HGH deficiency. For these individuals, HGH therapy is sometimes a medical necessity.

Sales of HGH products on the internet has exploded over the past 3 years. There are many different forms of HGH supplements sold online, ranging from natural and homeopathic HGH to actual needles with a vial of HGH that can be shipped to you through the mail (this is illegal – it’s illegal to sell or distribute HGH without a prescription, but it’s legal to buy and sell homeopathic HGH without a prescription, as homeopathic versions don’t really have any HGH in them. Homeopathic HGH is just diluted HGH meant to stimulate your body to produce HGH on its own if your current levels are below normal for someone your age).

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) have joined together to wipe out the sales of illegal HGH products online. The FTC began contacting illicit HGH distributors during the year 2005, launching a massive crackdown on all HGH sold without a prescription and any products, homeopathic or not, that make erroneous claims or make specific statements about the efficacy or performance of the product without a clinical trial.

As a result of their efforts, the FTC has won several judgements against some of these internet companies, levying fines in excess of $10 million dollars against one company, and millions of dollars in total fines against several other companies. There are still quite a few companies that refuse to listen to the FTC, choosing instead to continue to sell their products and fight it out in court.

Most doctors concur that the best course of action for the consumer is to only use homeopathic HGH as part of your anti-aging therapy routine. These products are universally recongized as being safe because they basically contain no HGH and instead stimulate your pituitary to produce HGH only if you’re deficient for a normal person your age. Don’t buy injectable HGH through the mail or on the internet, first of all because it’s illegal, and also because the suppliers are often unscrupulous and have an incentive to sell you an inferior product due to the fact that injectable HGH administered at a clinic with a prescription can cost from $10,000 - $30,000 per month, making it unaffordable to most, whereas some internet hucksters retail it at $200 for a one month supply. So, be cautious and careful when buying HGH supplements online.

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Jim Pretin is the proprietor of www.consumersavingsrx.com, a licensed online pharmacy that sells various FDA regulated prescription drugs.

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