Human growth hormone is the naturally occurring hormone that the pituitary gland secretes.
The hormone is beneficial for the growth and development of children, adolescents, and adults.
It helps to maintain normal body structure and keeps the metabolism in equilibrium for both children and adults.
In this article, you will learn what is this hormone, why is it important for the human body, and what happens if the body is in a deficit of this hormone.
What Is Human Growth Hormone?
It is a hormone that the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland secretes and it is also known as somatotropin or human growth hormone.
It promotes the development of every tissue in the body, including your bones.
The somatotrophs (referred to as anterior pituitary cells) that produce and secrete GH, release one or two milligrams of hormone daily.
Growth hormone is extremely essential for children’s healthy physical development and its degrees gradually increase throughout childhood and reach their peak during the puberty growth spurt.
Triggers Of Human Growth Hormone
Throughout the day, your pituitary gland typically releases HGH in brief pulses.
The HGH is mainly supervised by two hormones that are released by your hypothalamus: somatostatin which prevents HGH release and growth hormone-releasing hormone (GnRH).
The human growth hormone is controlled by several other endocrine hormones such as IGF-1 (i.e., Insulin-like Growth Factor-1) Thyroxine, glucocorticoids, and ghrelin.
While on one hand, these increase the release of hGH, the IGF-1 is a significant suppressor of GH synthesis.
IGF-1 is essential in stopping the production of HGH through the stimulation of somatostatin and the prevention of GHRH release.
However, the mechanism results in a feedback loop between the secretion of IGF-1 and HGH, with the latter preventing HGH release.
In healthy individuals, hyperglycemia or high blood sugar prevents HGH secretion while hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, amino acids, and exercise enhance its secretion.
Functions Of Human Growth Hormone
Human growth hormone primarily affects metabolism and stimulates growth and development, particularly in youngsters.
Almost all of your body’s tissues and organs begin to expand when the human growth hormone is present.
However, it is well known for its role in encouraging bone and cartilage formation, particularly in an adolescent during puberty.
HGH sends signals to the chondrocyte and osteoblast cells in bones and cartilage to boost replication and promote size growth.
When a child’s growth plates have fused, it no longer HGH makes them taller. Instead, he supports preserving your body’s regular structure for the remainder of your life.
The chemical processes in your body known as metabolism convert the food you eat into energy.
Your body’s cells require energy to operate properly. Metabolism entails several intricate mechanisms.
The main way that HGH affects metabolism is by boosting the body’s production of IGF-1.
It is a hormone with a structure resembling that of insulin that supervises the impact of human growth hormone in your body.
Your pancreas produces insulin, a necessary hormone that lowers your blood sugar and also plays a significant role in regulating sugar, as per research.
The carbohydrates in the food you eat provide you with glucose. This sugar gives your body’s organs, muscles, and nervous system nutrition and serves as a significant energy source.
Insulin and glucagon are two of the primary hormones that our pancreas produces for boosting our blood glucose levels when it is too low or too high.
The study shows that the effects of insulin can be countered by other hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline).
Although much HGH in the body can negate the effects of insulin and cause raised blood glucose levels, HGH generally raises blood glucose levels.
Does Human Growth Hormone Make You Taller?
The vertical growth of children is accelerated by the human growth hormone. However, Human Growth Hormone (HGH) cannot increase your height after your growth plates have fused.
Instead, HGH maintains the body structure after you reach your ultimate height. Moreover, it also has a significant impact on your metabolism.
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Normal Level Of Human Growth Hormone
Pulses of HGH are released by your pituitary gland. The size and length of the pulses change depending on the time of day, age, and sex.
As a result, random HGH measurements are rarely helpful to medical professionals in supporting or disproving a diagnosis.
Instead, HGH levels are evaluated based on a suppression or stimulation test. The usual range for HGH values often includes:
- For male adults: 18-44 (pmol/L) or 0.4-10 (ng/mL)
- For female adults: 44 to 616 (pmol/L) or 1 to 14 (ng/mL)
- For children: 440 to 2200 (pmol/L), 10 to 50 (ng/mL)
Growth Hormone Deficiency
Due to damage to the pituitary gland, one, many, or all of the hormones of the gland may start to function abnormally which may impact the human growth hormone or HGH.
However, adults and children may respond differently to growth hormone insufficiency.
Moreover, it can also be developed from an absence of the pituitary gland from birth, genetic abnormalities, and even brain trauma.
Even sometimes there may be no obvious cause behind that deficiency of growth hormone.
Again, lower levels of other hormones could be occasionally linked to growth hormone deficiency. The hormones like –
- Vasopressin that regulates the body’s production of water
- Gonadotropins that regulate the production of male and female sex hormones
- Thyrotropin which regulates the production of thyroid hormones
- Adrenocorticotropic hormone
Symptoms Of Growth Hormone Deficiency
The following are the symptoms of growth hormone deficiency:
- Delayed Growth or complete absence of growth
- Shortened height (below the fifth percentile compared to children of the same age)
- Absence of or delayed sexual maturation
- Growth Hormone Deficiency and other pituitary co-morbidities
- Sexual maturation is absent or delayed during adolescence
- Increased frequency in urine production
- A tiny percentage of children with GHD may have facial deformities, which are typically brought on by pituitary problems.
- Extreme thirst
Excessive Production of Growth Hormone
Acromegaly is a hormonal disorder that happens when your pituitary gland overproduces growth hormone as an adult and affects just the bones in your hands, feet, and face.
Too much growth hormone results in bone enlargement. It is also known as gigantism in children and it causes a rise in height as an adult.
Acromegaly is a rare disorder, and it takes time to perform a correct diagnosis because the physical changes take place gradually over the years.
If left untreated, it can heavily impact the bones along with the other body parts. Serious health issues may arise along with life-threatening ones.
However, treatment is reliable and it can greatly improve the symptoms, including the growth of your features, and lower your chance of issues.
Ways To Boost Human Growth Hormone
Reduce Body Fat
Your HGH production is strongly correlated with how much belly fat you have. Hence, you need to shred all the extra pounds in your weight.
Fasting causes a significant rise in HGH levels. Continuous fasting, however, cannot be maintained over time.
A more well-liked dietary strategy that restricts eating to short periods is intermittent fasting. It is best to practice intermittent fasting by utilizing effective strategies.
A daily eight-hour eating window followed by a sixteen-hour fast is one popular strategy.
Utilizing Arginine Supplement
Arginine may increase resting HGH by 100% but when taken in combination with exercise it could increase the HGH level to 300%-500% as shown in the study.
Limiting Sugar Consumption
Lower HGH levels are related to higher insulin levels. Cutting less on refined carbohydrates and sugar may assist to maintain optimal levels of growth hormone.
A balanced diet is what you should strive for because it has got a big impact on your hormones, general health, and body composition.
Eating Less Before Going To Bed
HGH is a hormone that your body naturally releases in large numbers, particularly during the night.
Since most meals raise insulin levels, several doctors advise against eating anything right before night.
GABA Dietary Supplement
The non-protein amino acid gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA transmits impulses throughout your brain as a neurotransmitter.
It is frequently used to promote sleep because it is a well-known relaxing agent for your central nervous system and unexpectedly it could also aid in raising your human growth hormone levels.
Intense Physical Activity
Exercise could help you to increase your HGH levels. The rise is influenced by the type of activity you are performing, the amount of effort, the timing of your meals, and your body’s natural traits.
For enhancing fat loss and boosting growth hormone levels, you can engage in sprints, weight training, or circuit training.
Improve Your Sleep
When you sleep, the majority of human growth hormone is released in pulses, and then the pulses get dependent either on the internal clock of your body, or circadian rhythm.
Before midnight, the biggest pulses happen, while some larger ones happen in the early morning.
Add Melatonin To Your Diet
A hormone called melatonin is crucial for controlling blood pressure and sleep.
Supplemental melatonin has gained popularity as a sleep remedy that can lengthen and improve the quality of your slumber.
While getting enough sleep may raise HGH levels on its own, additional study has revealed that melatonin supplements can increase the production of HGH.
Finally, we have seen that the pituitary gland secretes HGH, which is a hormone already present in the body naturally.
It plays a lot of crucial roles which include maintaining the body’s metabolism, muscular mass, and growth.
The further possible benefits of HGH are improved bone health, wound healing, and improved learning and memory.
We have also observed how we can increase the human growth hormone by utilizing some natural ways.
However, before consuming any supplements or making any lifestyle changes, it is better to consult a medical professional.
Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.
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Otella has an experience of around eight years of writing about health and nutrition-related topics. She is a full-time mother and a housewife, and the time she has left after doing her mother and household duties is spent writing for Working for Health as a full-time writer. Her life goal is to raise both her boys into a gentleman, and at the same time, she wants to educate people on how to keep themselves fit by tweaking their daily diet.