Non-Profit Trusted Source of Non-Commercial Health Information
The Original Voice of the American Academy of Anti-Aging, Preventative, and Regenerative Medicine
logo logo
Human Growth Hormone

HGH Formulations

14 years, 11 months ago

1251  1
Posted on Nov 10, 2003, 11 a.m. By Bill Freeman

There are a variety of ways to increase your levels of HGH: HGH replacement with injections of the recombinant DNA human growth hormone

HGH Formulations

There are a variety of ways to increase your levels of HGH:

  1. HGH replacement with injections of the recombinant DNA human growth hormone
  2. HGH secretagogues and precursors, substances that stimulate the brain to release more of the hormone, including nutrient supplements and pharmaceutical products specifically designed for this purpose
  3. Homeopathic HGH preparations, which contain very small amounts of the actual HGH molecule, reported to act as secretagogue agents
  4. Injections of growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH)

HGH is a FDA Approved Drug

In August 1996, the FDA approved HGH for use in adult patients for the first time. Before this, it was only authorized for use to promote growth in HGH deficient children. The new indication is for "SDS," or somatotropin (growth hormone) deficiency syndrome, as a result of pituitary disease, hypothalamic disease, surgery, radiation therapy or injury. In effect, the FDA approval covers the use of HGH for anti-aging purposes since low levels of HGH or IGF-1 indicate a failure of the pituitary to release adequate amounts of this vital substance. In addition, the signs of SDS, such as decreased physical mobility, lower energy, higher risk of cardiovascular disease, are exactly the same as those seen in aging adults with low HGH levels. The FDA approval for HGH in adults means that any physician may now prescribe it to their HGH deficient aging patients without fear of practicing outside of conventional orthodox mainstream medicine.

Amino Acid Precursors

Many nutrients have been shown to increase HGH in both young and old subjects. Most of these are amino acids, which are building blocks of protein. Their advantages are that they are safe, well-tolerated, cost less than $1 a day, and are available without a prescription from most drugstores and health food stores.

Arginine has been used by millions of athletes over the past 20 years to enhance production of HGH. Arginine works even into old age, with one European study showing that it boosted blood levels of HGH to three times the level seen in their age group. The effects of arginine supplementation include increased fat burning and muscle building, enhanced immunity, and improving erectile function in men. It appears to work by blocking the hormone, somatostatin, which acts as a brake within the pituitary gland lowering the production and release of HGH. The most common dosage is 4 to 10 grams taken on an empty stomach one hour before exercise and before sleeping.

Ornithine is similar in structure to arginine. It is also widely used to boost HGH. According to authors Dirk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, it has double the effectiveness of arginine at the same dosage, or about 2.5 grams. The usual dosage is 2 to 5 grams at bedtime.

Glutamine is the most recent amino acid to generate excitement as a HGH releaser, thanks to a 1995 study by Tomas C. Welbourne of Louisiana State University College of Medicine in Shreveport. Welbourne showed in a study that a surprising small oral dose (about 2 grams of glutamine) raised HGH levels more than four times than when the subjects were given a placebo. Even more exciting, age did not diminish the response, at least in this small study of volunteers, who ranged from 32 to 64 years. The usual dose is 2 grams at bedtime.

Lysine, another amino acid, has a synergistic effect with arginine. According to a 1981 study by Italian researcher A. Isidori, M.D., and his associates at the University of Rome, the combination of 1,200 mg of lysine and 1,200 mg of arginine pyroglutamate in 15 male volunteers between the ages of 15 and 20 was 10 times more effective than taking arginine alone. But another study by the Gerontology Research Center in Baltimore found that lysine/arginine combination, even at twice the dosage, used in the Italian study failed to raise HGH levels in men over 65.

Glycine is another amino acid shown to increase HGH in several studies. One study found that 6.75 grams at bedtime caused a three-fold increase, while a Japanese research team showed that 30 grams raised HGH levels 10 times in patients who had gastric surgery. An oral dose of 250 mg in normal volunteers also showed a significant, but less pronounced rise in HGH. Glycine has also been found useful in increasing output in exercise workouts. The usual dosage range is 250 milligrams to 6.75 grams.

Tryptophan is an amino acid that is converted to serotonin, which increases HGH during sleep. The nutrient is also found in milk, which may explain why drinking milk at night is a common remedy for insomnia. Five studies reported small increases in HGH with doses of more than five grams. It appears to be a mind-body regulator, decreasing anxiety and depression, and with the addition of vitamin B6, tryptophan may help reduce the severity of panic attacks. The usual dosage is one to two grams at bedtime. For best results, it should be taken with B6 (30 mg) and vitamin C (250 mg), which the brain uses to convert tryptophan to serotonin.


The latest clinical research indicates positive beneficial growth hormone agonist and anabolic activity via a combination of amino acids and high IGF-1 colostrum. The amino acid precursor glutamine peptides, arginine, ornithine, lysine, and glycine with colostrum is presently a strong contender for the top position as the natural HGH stimulant. See the HGH Product Reference section in the Appendix of Ten Weeksfor a listing of available products.

CAUTION: The FDA withdrew tryptophan from the market as a dietary supplement in 1989 when it was suspected to cause a blood disorder, eosinophilia myalgia. These rare cases were traced to toxic impurities in a few batches of synthetic tryptophan made by a Japanese company. There have been no reported cases since then. Although a bizarre reaction to tryptophan can not be completely ruled out, it appears almost certain that the problem was due to contamination during the production process. Tryptophan is available today only by prescription, but its analog 5-HTP may be just as effective and is available over the counter and in many nutritional products.

Homeopathic HGH

Homeopathy is a form of medicine that uses vanishingly small doses of natural substances to stimulate the body's own immune and endocrine systems. In some ways, homeopathy is similar to a vaccine, where microscopically small amounts of a foreign protein are introduced into the body to create an immune response. Homeopathy is considered alternative and lacking in scientific proof by the mainstream medical establishment.

However, a published study sponsored by National Institute of Health (NIH) reported limited success when they used infinitesimal amounts of actual HGH from DNA recombinant technology to make homeopathic HGH. Preliminary studies of people who took one dose three times a day for two to four weeks showed an 8 to 23% increase in IGF-1 levels.

Among the benefits were enhanced functioning of the metabolic, immune, and nervous systems with some of the participants also experiencing elimination of joint pains, reduction of fat and increase in lean body mass. The product has also been tested in HIV-positive patients. The four month study, which was double blind and placebo-controlled, found that the treated groups had decreased viral loads, increased or stabilized T4 cell counts, lowered measures of inflammation throughout the body, improved mineral metabolism, and increased weight gain. During the same period of time, the placebo group had their viral loads go up and the T4 counts go down, along with increased infection and weight loss. There were no adverse side effects reported with this treatment.

It is important to note that homeopathy is a highly controversial practice which would appear to violate commonly held beliefs of pharmacology and physiology. A single study is not adequate evidence, and the scientific community awaits independent confirmation from other objective university-based sources.

HGH Secretagogue, Nutritional Precursor Products and the New Marketplace

Sparked by avid public interest in HGH after the publication of Grow Young with HGH, a number of companies have launched secretagogues, a new generation of products that function as combination HGH stimulant and releasing compounds. These generally contain a combination of amino acids, other nutrients, and in some cases, proprietary peptides designed to enhance the pituitary's ability to release HGH. These products can generally be found in health food stores, advertised in sports, fitness, anti-aging magazines, on the Internet, or through multilevel marketing companies.

Since 1996, this new HGH product marketplace has evolved from zero into hundreds of millions of dollars today. As this book goes to press, there are over 100 secretagogue, amino acid precursors, or HGH spray products on the market.

The now defunct Quantum Leap, Inc. grossed $10 million in their first six months of operations with their HGH spray product. In discussions with some of the new secretagogue and spray companies, the smaller manufacturers are selling $50,000 to $100,000 in product monthly, and some of the larger manufacturers are bringing in more than $3 million per month. These estimates do not take into account the existing sports medicine HGH agonist marketplace, which includes almost half of all the amino acid products sold for muscle building, nor does it include the one billion dollar market for injectable HGH, IGF-1, and GHRH pharmaceutical products.

The safety of nutritional HGH agonists is well established by the more than 20,000,000 international athletes who use these nutritional HGH support agents as part of their daily sports nutrient regimen over the past 20 years, so far without significant adverse effects.

With the rapid advancement of science, injectable forms of HGH may soon be obviated. New and more easily administered HGH stimulators and secretagogues are under development, which are administered via a spray sublingual applicator through the nose or mouth. Many companies marketing these products have thousands of anecdotal reports on record testifying to the positive life enhancing effects of this HGH product, however controlled scientific studies are needed before its genuine benefits are known.

This booming marketplace has fueled a tremendous amount of awareness about the benefits of HGH replacement therapy, and also many questions and considerable controversy within the scientific community about this new generation of products and their research studies claiming to raise IGF-1 levels.

As new products are continually being introduced at a very rapid rate, you should ask the manufacturer for a list of ingredients and sources, and for any clinical research study results. As a service in locating these types of products and for comparison purposes, you may consult the product resources listing appearing in the Appendix of Ten Weeks for brief descriptions of the HGH products currently being marketed.

Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH)

As its name implies, GHRH stimulates the release of HGH in the brain. Some anti-aging researchers believe that it may be even more effective than HGH in aging people. GHRH declines with age the same way that HGH and IGF-1 do. Several recent studies show GHRH only stimulates HGH and IGF1, but it works as well in older men (and presumably women) as it does in younger men.

In a Baltimore study, researchers from the Gerontology Research Center, Francis Scott Key Medical Center, and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that twice daily subcutaneous injections of GHRH restored the levels of HGH and IGF-1 levels in older men to that of men three decades younger. There were no reported problems or side effects with the GHRH and no changes in bodily function, such as increased blood glucose or blood pressure. The researchers conclude, "short term subcutaneous administration of GHRH to healthy old men reverses age-related decreases in HGH and IGF-1, suggesting that prolonged treatment could improve age-related alterations in body composition."

More studies, including long-term treatment, must be carried out in humans before the hormone can be widely recommended for therapeutic purposes. But the potential is great for GHRH because it more closely mimics the way HGH is released in the body. The Baltimore study shows that it can actually reverse the loss of HGH that occurs with age.

AVOIDING CORTISOL, THE "DEATH HORMONE"

Cortisol, a natural hormone, is our body's primary anti-inflammatory stress response hormone. In times of stress from injury or severe exertion, it is released in abundance by the adrenal glands a top the kidneys. This hormone, if in excess over the long term, can accelerate the aging process.

Unrestrained cortisol secretion can inhibit immunity, slow protein synthesis (of tissue repair), lead to neuronal loss, brain damage, bone loss, muscle wasting, increase abdominal fat, psychosis, premature aging and death.

Long term over secretion of the adrenal by chronic prolonged stress can lead to Addison's Disease, of hypertension, and hypoglycemia which itself can be deadly.

Be aware that high stress and anxiety are killers and probably the most common cause of premature aging. During World War II, concentration camp survivors frequently developed many age-related disorders including the very early onset of Alzheimer's like disorders, as early as age 35.

Effective ways to protect yourself from stress and excess cortisol include:

  • Meditation
  • Praying for inner peace
  • Moderate daily exercise
  • 20 to 45 minute mid-day nap
  • Deep breathing exercise for 10 minutes 3 times per day
  • B vitamins, low dose aspirin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin C daily
  • Get a dog - they are great stress busters and as the best fitness coach on four legs, they will get you off the sofa and moving at least twice each day

Subscribe to our Newsletter

WorldHealth Videos

WorldHealth Sponsors