Which is the human growth hormone
Growth hormones: you should know that
Growth hormone as a drug
As the name suggests, the hormone is responsible for human growth. HGH plays an important role in the metabolism of adults: By activating so-called growth factors, it acts on muscles, liver, bones and also on the cells of adipose tissue. HGH raises blood sugar, boosts protein build-up and melts fat reserves.
If the body produces too little of the growth hormone, a deficit arises. This deficiency manifests itself in different ways. Possible signs include:
- Short stature (already noticeable in childhood)
- increased body fat mass
- lower muscle mass
- high cholesterol (LDL) levels
- low bone mineral density
- weak connective tissue, decreased nail and hair growth
- sallow and thin skin
HGH deficiency, for example in the case of failure of the pituitary gland, is therefore compensated for in medicine today by subcutaneous (under the skin) injections of growth hormone.
Doping with growth hormone
Athletes abuse the effects of artificially supplied HGHs as doping. Two effects of the hormone are particularly used by doping athletes: the protein and thus muscle building and the pronounced fat-reducing effect.
Especially in endurance and strength sports such as swimming, athletics, cycling, but also bodybuilding, HGH is therefore administered in training phases to increase performance over the long term and to achieve a more favorable force / load ratio.
Detection of growth hormones
Since HGH only stays in the bloodstream for a very short time, manipulation with this substance was hardly directly detectable for a long time. In 2000, however, a test procedure was developed that recognizes artificial (genetically engineered) HGH by its uniform protein structure and can easily differentiate it from the various structural variants (isoforms) of natural HGHs that occur at the same time. The so-called Strasburger test (according to Prof. C. Strasburger) is considered reliable. By freezing blood samples, the test can be performed years after the sample was taken.
Growth hormones: side effects
Taking artificial hormones for no particular medical reason can sometimes lead to severe side effects. These include noticeable thinning of the subcutaneous fat around the injection site as the outer skin thickness increases. In addition, HGH leads to decreased glucose tolerance and increased blood sugar levels.
In addition, the stimulation of bone growth also leads to noticeable changes in shape of certain bones in adults. At higher doses, for example, the growth of the jawbones can lead to tooth gaps; hands and feet also become noticeably larger (acromegaly). In the heart, muscle growth can lead to impaired blood flow and function, including cardiac death. Long-term side effects of HGH have not yet been fully researched.
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