Dr. C’s Journal: Effects Of Growth Hormone (GH)

Most boys and perhaps some  girls would prefer to be taller. Human growth hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland with increased production during puberty. Pituitary growth hormone stimulates the liver to produce insulin like growth factor, and assay of IGF-1 is a test for GH deficiency.

Small stature and low growth velocity in children often benefit from growth hormone, But adults have closure of the growth plate and do not grow taller with GH.

Pituitary tumors require the removal of the pituitary gland, and this is the major cause of low growth hormone in adults. Replacement growth hormone is clearly indicated here. Most adult use of growth hormone is because of its apparent beneficial effects on vigor and aging, but this may be ill advised; please check the following Harvard article.

Since growth hormone is anabolic, and favors growth and protein synthesis, it enjoys some use in athletics and the health industry. Most likely, it is a two edge sword that should be regulated properly and not used in the absence of deficiency.

–Dr. C

Harvard Article

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