The use of exogenous sources of Human Growth Hormone
has been popular in the United States for almost 8 years now.
Originally, pituitary glands of cadavers. Ascellacrin and Crescormon
were the two most popular brand names on this original GH. While
production was under way on the synthetic, recombinant DNA versions
of this drug, it was discovered that the biologically active form
was associated with the formation of a rare brain virus called
Creutzveldt Jacob Disease. This was a fatal virus that afflicted
a very small number of GH users, none of whom were athletes. In
light of this discovery, the FDA removed all of these natural
GH versions from the market in the United States. Luckily, the
synthetic recombinant versions were approved by the FDA a short
time afterwards. These versions were developed after years of
experiments with amino acid chains. The first of these versions
was patented and produced by Genentech Labs with the brand name
Protropin. A short time later, another form of synthetic Human
Growth Hormone gained FDA approval. It was produced by Eli Lilly
Labs and brand named Humatrope. This product was allowed to be
patented because it was shown to be unique in that it contained
a slightly different amino acid chain than the Protropin. The
difference was that Humatrope had 191 amino acid chains in sequence
and Protropin had 192. For some very complicated reasons, the
191 amino acid configuration has been shown to be more effective.
It had been speculated that these synthetic versions of GH would
greatly improve the cost effectiveness of using GH, yet that has
not been the case. An athlete who wants to do a cycle of GH can
still expect to be out as much as $4000 a month. There are numerous
versions of Human Growth Hormone available in Europe, the majority
of which are made up of the 191 amino acid sequence. There is
even a form of the original human extract Human Growth Hormone,
called Grorm which is available in a few countries. Although this
drug is indicated for the treatment of pituitary deficient dwarfism,
it has been used extensively by athletes who are attempting to
alter their body composition. Human Growth Hormone itself, is
an endogenous hormone produced by the pituitary gland. It exists
at especially high levels during the teen years when it promotes
growth of almost all tissues. It also contributes to the deposition
of protein and promotes the breakdown of fat for use as energy.
As the body reaches full maturation, the endogenous levelsof GH
are substantially deminished. After this, GH is still present
in the body but at a substantially lower level where it continues
to aid in protein synthesis, RNA and DNA reactions and the conversion
of body fat to energy. By introducing an exogenous source of this
hormone, athletes are hoping to promote these effects, causing
the body to deposit more muscle tissue while at the same time
reducing body fat stores.
On paper, GH should work exceptionally well; however, it does
not seem to be delivering up to its potential. Most athletes who
have experimented with this product end up being disappointed.
There is some evidence that exogenous sources of GH are being
destroyed by antibodies which appear after the introduction of
the synthetic compound. Although the 191 amino acid sequence versions
have been shown to produce less of an antibody reaction, they
are still not yielding consistent results. I have speculated as
to whether the introduction of exogenous GH would yield an appreciable
degree of efficacy simply due to the fact that the body does not
have sufficient receptor affinity to GH in the post-teen years.
A number of athletes claim that GH is not that effective on its
own, but in a stack with steroids it can do remarkable things.
Perhaps there is some type of actual synegism created by the concomitant
use of these two agents. Empirical data suggests that the efficacy
of GH is dose related and that the majority of users may not have
been taking enough of it to get positive results.
Despite speculation concerning its efficacy, syntheric GH is being
used by thousands of elite athletes. These include men and women
bodybuilders, strength athletes, as well as a multitude of Olympic
competitors. Although Human Growth Hormone is banned by athletic
committees, there is no method for the detection of it which allows
drug tested competitors to use this product freely without any
ramifications. Adverse reactions to GH use are rare but technically
could involve acromegaly (elongation of the feet, forehead and
hands). Other possible side effects involve overgrowth of the
elbows or jaw, thickening of the skin and a type of diabetes.
There are numerous counterfeit versions of this product which
are merely cashing in on the drug's mystique and high price tag.
The legitimate versions must be refrigerated at all times, before
and after they are reconstituted. Effective dosages, seem to be
in the area of 2 I.U., 2 - 4 times a week. Cycle length is usually
determined by how long the athlete can afford it. Some take the
product for 6 week cycles, others use it year round. Legitimate
GH is hard to find, when it does show up, it sells for as much
as $250 for 4 I.U.