Human Growth Hormone HGH

As with no
other doping drug, growth hormones are still surrounded by an aura of mystery.
Some call it a wonder drug which causes gigantic strength and muscle gains in
the shortest time. Others con-sider it completely useless in improving sports
performance and ar-gue that it only promotes the growth process in children
with an early stunting of growth. Some are of the opinion that growth hor-mones
in adults cause severe bone deformities in the form of over-growth of the lower
jaw and extremities. And, generally speaking, which growth hormones should one
take -the human form, the synthetically manufactured version, recombined or
genetically pro-duced form- and in which dosage? All this controversy about
growth hormones is so complex that the reader must have some basic information
in order to understand them. The growth hor-mone is a polypeptide hormone
consisting of 191 amino acids. In humans it is produced in the hypophysis and
released if there are the right stimuli (e.g. training, sleep, stress, low
blood sugar level). It is now important to understand that the freed HGH (human
growth hormone) itself has no direct effect but only stimulates the liver to
produce and release insulin-like growth factors and so-matomedins. These growth
factors are then the ones that cause vari-ous effects on the body The problem,
however, is that the liver is only capable of producing a limited amount of
these substances so that the effect is limited. If growth hormones are injected
they only stimulate the liver to produce and release these substances and thus,
as already mentioned, have no direct effect.

During the
mid 1980′s only the human, biologically-active form was available as exogenous
sour-cc of intake. It was obtained from the hypophysis of dead corpses, an
expensive and costly procedure. In 1985 the intake of human growth hormones was
linked with the very rare Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, an invariably fatal brain
disease characterized by progressive dementia. In response, manufacturers
removed this version from the market. Today, human growth hor-mones are no
longer available for injection. Fortunately, science has not been asleep and
has developed the synthetic growth hormone which is genetically produced either
from Escherichia coli (E coli) or from the transformed mouse cell line. It has
been available in nu-merous countries for years (see list with Trade Names:).

The use of these STH somatotropic hormone compounds offers the athlete three
performance-enhancing effects. STH (somatotropic hormone) has a strong anabolic
effect and causes an increased pro-tein synthesis which manifests itself in a
muscular hypertrophy (enlargement of muscle cells) and in a muscular
hyperplasia (in-crease of muscle cells.) The latter is very interesting since
this in-crease cannot be obtained by the intake of steroids. This is probably
also the reason why STH is called the strongest anabolic hormone. The second
effect of STH is its pronounced influence on the burning of fat. It turns more
body fat into energy, leading to a drastic reduc-tion in fat or allowing the
athlete to increase his caloric intake. Third, and often overlooked, is the
fact that STH strengthens the connective tissue, tendons, and cartilages, which
could be one of the main reasons for the significant increase in strength
experienced by many athletes. Several bodybuilders and powerlifters report that
through the simultaneous intake with steroids STH protects the athlete from
injuries while increasing his strength. You will say that this sounds just wonderful.
What is the problem, however, since there are still some who argue that STH
offers nothing to athletes? There are, by all means, several athletes who have
tried STH and who were sadly disappointed by its results. However, as with many
things in life, there is a logical explanation or perhaps even more than one:

1.The athlete simply has not taken a sufficient amount of STH regularly and
over a long enough period of time. STH is a very expensive compound and an
effective dosage is unaffordable by most people.

2.When using STH the body also needs more thyroid hormones, insulin,
corticosteroids, gonadotropins, estrogens and – what a surprise! – androgens
and anabolics. This is also the reason why STH, when taken alone, is
considerably less effective and can only reach its optimum effect by the
additive intake of steroids, thyroid hormones, and insulin, in particular. But
we must point out in this case that STH has a predominately anabolic effect.
There are three hormones which are needed at the same time in order to allow
for maximum anabolic effect. These are STH, insulin, and an LT-3 thyroid
hormone, such as, for example, Cytomel. Only then can the liver produce and
release an optimal amount of somatomedin and insulin-like growth factors. This
anabolic effect can be further enhanced by taking a substance with an
anticatabolic effect. These substances are—everybody should probably know by
now-anabolic/androgenic steroids or Clenbuterol. Then a synergetic effect takes
place. Are you still wondering why pro bodybuilders are so incredibly massive
but, at the same time, totally ripped while you are not? It is
“Polypharmacy at its finest,” as W Nathaniel Phillips described to
the point in his bookAnabolic Reference Guide (5th Issue, 1990). But coming
back once more to the “anabolic formula”: STH, insulin, and L-T3.
Most athletes have tried STH during preparation for a competition in that phase
when the diet is calorie-reduced. The body usually reacts by reducing the
release of insulin and of the L- T3 thyroid hormone. And, as was described
under point 2, this is not an advantageous condition when STH is expected to
work well. Well, we almost forgot. Those who combine Clenbuterol with STH
should know that Clenbuterol (like Ephedrine) reduces the body’s own release of
insulin and L-T3. True, this seems a little complicated and when reading it for
the first time it might be a little confusing; however it really is true: STH
has a significant influence on several hormones in the human body; this does
not allow for a simple ad-ministration schedule. As said, STH is not cheap and
those who intend to use it should know a little more about it. If you only want
to burn fat with STH you will only have to remember user infor-mation for the
part with the L-T3 thyroid hormone as is printed by Kabi Pharmacia GmbH for
their compound Genotropin: “The need of the thyroid hormone often
increases during treatment with growth hormones. “

3. Since most athletes who want to use STH can only obtain it if prescribed by
a physician, the only supply source remains the black market. And this is
certainly another reason why some athletes might not have been very happy with
the effect of the purchased com-pound. How could he, if cheap HCG was passed
off as expensive STH? Since both compounds are available as dry substances, all
that would be needed is a new label of Serono’s Saizen or Lilly’s Humatrope on
the HCG ampule. It is no longer fun when somebody is paying $200 for 5000 I.U.
of HCG, only worth $12, and thinking that he just purchased 4 I.U. of STH. And
if you think this happens only to novices and to the ignorant, ask Ben Johnson.
“Big Ben,” who during three tests within five days showed an
above-limit testosterone level, was not a victim of his own stupidity but more
likely the victim of fraud. ‘According to statistics by the German Drug
Administration, 42% of the HGH vials confiscated on the North American black
market are fakes.” (Der Spiegel, no. 11, 1993.) One can only say,
“Poor Ben.” Even Deutsche Apothekerzeitung is aware of this problem.
The magazine wrote in its issue no. 26 of 07/01/93 in the article
“Wachstumshormon–Praparate: Arzneimittelf5lschungen in
Bodybuilder-Szene”: “The currently-known cases are traded with Dutch
or Russian labels… in addition to a display of labels in the Dutch or Russian
lan-guage the fakes are distinguished from the original product, in-sofar as
the dry substance is not present as lyophilic but present as loose powder. The
fakes confiscated so far use the name “Humatrope 16″ under the name
of Lilly Company (with Dutch denomination) or “Somatogen” (in
Russian).” Nowhere can this much money be made except by faking STH. Who
has ever held original growth hormones in his hand and known how.they should
look?

4. In a few very rare cases the body reacts by developing-antibodies to the
exogenous STH, thus making it ineffective.

Before discussing the extremely difficult matter of dosage and intake the
following question suggests itself: Generally speaking who is taking growth
hormones? A whole lot of athletes as the following quotation suggests:
“Charlie Francis, the Canadian athletic trainer of Ben Johnson tells how
he improved the performance of Ben and numerous other Olympic athletes by the
use of growth hormones in 1983. Francis also had conclusive evidence that the
U.S.-American field and track athletes were using growth hormones. In a 1989
interview with a pro bodybuilder, an interview not meant for publication, this
massive athlete made clear that he was convinced that almost all professional
top athletes were using Protropin. He also said that it did not bother him if
the IFBB were to introduce doping tests for men in 1990 as long as there would
be no testing for growth hormones (Anabolic Reference Update, June 1989, no.
11). “it is highly suspected that the top Ms. 0 competitors use this
product to help them attain their incredibly rippled muscles while still
looking like women.” (Anabolic Reference Guide, 5th Issue, 1990, W N.
Phillips.) Most top bodybuilders using Growth Hormone (GH) feel that insulin
activates it. One top pro was rumored to have been using 12 I. U. of GH per day
in preparation for his last WBF contest. He swears that GH only works with
insulin.” (Muscle Media 2000 ‘ October/ November 1993, no. 34.)” And
shortly before the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, U.S. researchers
succeeded in synthetically manufacturing the hormone. This hormone which cannot
be detected with current testing methods immediately prepared American athletes
throughout the country for the games in California. After reports of success
the drug became the secret runner on the doping market. The football pro Lyle
Alzado, who died of brain tumor, shortly before his death confessed that he had
taken HGH for 16 weeks – and he claimed that 80% of all American football pros
do so, too. Ben Johnson, who in 1988 in Seoul was caught with anabolics,
admitted to the investigating committee of the Canadian government that he had
tried the Growth Hormone. He had paid $ 10,000 for ten bottles of HGH.
According to Johnson, his physician, George Astaphan, had also designed
programs for his colleagues Mark McKoy, Angella Issajenko, and Desai Williams.
Hurdle sprinter Juli Rochelean who toddy runs records for Switzerland under the
name Baumann procured HGH on the black market of the bodybuilder scene in
Montreal… Among women Gail Devers won the 100 meters (1992 Olympic Games in
Barcelona, the auth.) after havingjust overcome a severe thyroid condition, a
well-known side effect of taking HGH. Such suspicions are reinforced by current
market data. The two U.S. companies Genentech and Eli Lilly produced about 800
million dollars of HGH in 1992. Genentech alone reported an eleven percent
production increase compared to last year. Chemists incessantly emphasize that
the drug should only be manufactured for use by persons with stunted growth.
The U.S.Food and Drug Administration, however, sees it differently: the U.S.
government currently includes HGH on the list of forbidden drugs and ‘threatens
up to five years of,prison for illegal possession of the drug.” (Der
Spiegel, no. I I of 03/15/93). “Many of the top strength athletes use HGH
and the cost of its use ran as high as $30,000/year for one particular pro
bodybuilder. Short term users (8 week duration) will spend up to $150 per daily
dosage. And because the top athletes are rumored to use it, HGH lust in the
lower ranks has become more rampant.” (Daniel Duchaine, Underground
Steroid Handbook 2.)

The question of the right dosage, as well as the type and duration of
application, Is very difficult to answer. Since there is no scientific research
showing how STH should be taken for performance improvement, we can only rely
on empirical data, that is experimental values. The respective manufacturers
indicate that in cases of hypophysially stunted growth due to lacking or
insufficient release of growth hormones by the hypophysis, a weekly average
dose of 0.3 I.U./week per pound of body weight should be taken. An athlete
weighing 200 pounds, therefore, would have to inject 60 I.U. weekly. The dosage
would be divided into three intramuscular injections of 20 I.U. each.
Subcutaneous injections (under the skin) are another form of intake which,
however, would have to be injected daily, usually 8 I.U. per day. Top athletes
usually inject 4-16 I.U~day. Ordinarily, daily subcutaneous injections are
preferred Since STH has a half-life time of less than one hour, it is not
surprising that some athletes divide their daily dose into three or four
subcutaueous injections of 2-4 I.U. each. Application of regular, small dosages
seems to bring the most effective results. This also has its reasons: When STH
is injected, serum concentration in the blood rises quickly, meaning that the
effect is almost immediate. As we know, STH stimulates the liver to produce and
release somatomedins and insulin-like growth factors which in turn effect the
desired results in the body. Since the liver can only produce a limited amount
of these substances, we doubt that larger STH injections will induce the liver
to produce instantaneously a larger quantity of somatomedins and insulin-like
growth factors. it seems more likely that the liver will react more favorably
to smaller dosages.

If the STH solution is injected subcutaneously several consecutive times at the
same point of injection, a loss of fat tissue is possible. Therefore, the point
of injection, or even better, the entire side of the body, should be
continuously changed in order to avoid a loss of local fat tissue
(lipoathrophy) in the injection cell. One thing has manifested itself over the
years: The effect of STH is dosage-dependent. This means either invest a lot of
money and do it right or do not even begin. Half-hearted attempts are condemned
to failure. Minimum effective dosages seem to start at 4 I.U. per day. For comparison:
the hypophysis of a healthy, adult releases 0.5-1.5 I.U. growth hormones daily.
The duration of intake usually depends on the athlete’s financial resources.
Our experience is that STH is taken over a prolonged period, from at least six
weeks to several months. It is interesting to note that the effect of STH does
not stop after a few weeks; this usually allows for continued improvements at a
steady dosage. Bodybuilders who have had positive results with STH have
reported that the built-up strength and, in particular, the newlygained muscle
system were essentially maintained after discontinuance of the product. The
American physician, Dr. William N. Taylor, confirms this statement in his book
Anabolic Steroids and the Athlete, where on page 75 he writes: “Evidence
for increased muscle number (hyperplasia) in athletes stems from their
statements that the increased muscular size and strength remain after the HGH
therapy has been discontinued. In fact, there may be further muscular size and
strength gains as the training-induced hypertrophy continues in the month
beyond.”

It remains to be clarified what happens with the insulin and LT-3 thyroid
hormone. Athletes who take – STH in their build-up phase usually do not need
exogenous insulin. It is recommended, in this case, that the athlete eats a
complete meal every three hours, result ing in 6-7 meals daily. This causes the
body to continuously release insulin so that the blood sugar level does not
fall too low. The use of LT-3 thyroid hormones, in this phase, is carried out
reluctantly by athletes. In any case, you must have a physician check the
thyroid hormone level during the intake of STH. Simultaneous use of ana
bolic/androgenic steroids and/or Clenbuterol is usually appropri ate. During
the preparation for a competition the use of thyroid hormones steadily
increases. Sometimes insulin is taken together with STH, as well as with
steroids and Clenbuterol. Apart from the high damage potential that exogenous
insulin can-have in non-diabetics, incorrect use will simply and plainly make
you FAT! Too much insulin activates certain enzymes which convert glucose into
glycerol and finally into triglyceride. Too little insulin, especially dur ing
a diet, reduces the anabolic effect of STH. The solution to this dilemma-
Visiting a qualified physician who advises the athlete during this undertaking
and who, in the event of exogenous in sulin supply, checks the blood sugar
level and urine periodically. According to what we have heard so far, athletes
usually inject intermediately-effective insulin having a maximum duration of
effect of 24 hours once a day. Human insulin such as Depot-H Insulin Hoechst is
generally used. Briefly-effective insulin with a maximum duration of effect of
eight hours is rarely used by athletes. Again a human insulin such as H-Insulin
Hoechst is preferred.

The undesired effect of growth hormones, the so-called side effects, are also a
very interesting and hotly-discussed issue. Above all it must be said: STH has
none of the typical side effects of anabolic/ androgenic steroids including
reduced endogenous testosterone production, acne, hair loss, aggressiveness,
elevated estrogen level, virilization symptoms in women, and increased water
and salt retention. The main side effects that are possible with STH are an
abnormally small concentration of glucose in the Wood (hypoglycemia) and an
inadequate thyroid function. In some cases antibodies against growth hormones
are developed but are clinically irrelevant. What about the horror stories about
Acromegaly, bone deformation, heart enlargement, organ conditions, gigantism,
and early death- In order to answer this question a clear differentiation must
be made between humans before and after puberty. The growth plates in a person
continue to grow in length until puberty. After puberty neither an endogenous
hypersection of growth hormones nor an excessive exogenous supply of STH can
cause additional growth in the length of the bones. Abnormal size (gigantism)
initially goes hand in hand with remarkable body strength and muscular hardness
in the afflicted; later, if left untreated, it ends in weakness and death.
Again, this is only possible in pre-pubescent humans who also suffer from an
inadequate gonadal function (hypogonadism). Humans who suffer from an
endogenous hypersecretion after puberty and whose normal growth is completed
can also suffer from Acromegaly. Bones become wider but not longer. There is a
progressive growth in the hands and feet, and enlargement of features due to
the growth of the lower jaw and nose. Heart muscle and kidneys can also gain in
weight and size. In the beginning all of this goes hand in hand with increased
body strength and muscular hardness; it ends, however, in fatigue, weakness,
diabetes, heart conditions, and early death.

What the authorities like to do now is to present extreme cases of athletes
suffering from these malfunctions in order to discourage others and to drum
into athletes the fact that with the exogenous supply of growth hormones they
would suffer the same destiny This, however, is very unlikely, as reality has
proven. Among the numerous athletes using STH comparatively few are seven feet
tall Neanderthalers with a protruded lower jaw, deformed skull, clawlike hands,
thick lips, and prominent bone plates who walk around in size 25 shoes in order
to avoid any misunderstandings, we do not want to disguise the possible risks
of exogenous STH use in adults and healthy humans, but one should at least try
to be open-minded. Acromegaly, diabetes, thyroid insufficiency, heart muscle
hypertrophy, high blood pressure, and enlargement of the kidneys are
theoretically possible if STH is used excessively over prolonged periods of
time; however, in reality and particularly when it comes to the external
attributes, these are rarely present. Tests have shown no causal relation
between treatment with somatropin and a possible higher risk of leukemia. Some
athletes report headaches, nausea, vomiting, and visual disturbances during the
first weeks of intake. These symptoms disappear in most cases even with
continued intake. The most common problems with STH occur when the athlete
intends to inject insulin in addition to STH. We know two competing German
bodybuilders who, because of improper insulin injections, fell into comas lasting
several weeks.

The substance somatropin is available as a dried powder and before injecting it
must be mixed with the enclosed solution-containing ampule. The ready solution
must be injected immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
It is usually recommended that the compound be stored in the refrigerator. With
the exception of the remedy Saizcn the biological activity of growth hormones
is usually not impaired when storing the dry substance at 15-25ºC (room
temperature); however, a cooler place (2-8º C is preferable. On the black
market the price for 4 I.U. each of the compounds Genotropin, Humatrope,
Norditropin, and Saizen, in Europe is $80 – 120 for a prick-through vial
including the solution ampule. As already mentioned, there are many fakes. It
is noted that for the U.S.-American growth hormone compounds, the substance con
tent is not given in 1-U. (International Units) but in mg (milligrams). Since I
mg corresponds to exactly 2.7 I.U. the 5 mg solution of the compound Humatrope
by Lilly contains exactly 13.5 I.U. of Somatropin. The 10 mg solution of the
Protropin compound by Genentech therefore contains 27 I.U. of Somatropin. In
American powerlifting and bodybuilding circles Humatrope is usually preferred
over Protropin. The reason is that Humatrope is synthesized from a chain of 191
amino acids and thus is identical to the amino acid sequence of the human
growth hormone. Protropin, on the other hand, consists of 192 amino acids, one
amino acid too many. This might be the explanation for why more antibodies are
developed with Protropin than with Humatrope. Growth hormones are on the doping
list but they are not yet detectable during doping tests.


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