Many years ago, while attending elementary school, I recalled learning about a Spanish explorer by the name of Ponce de Leon. You may remember that he set sail for the Americas in the early 1500s, searching for the “fountain of youth.”
He had heard about this magical water source, and that people that drank from it remained young. As it turned out, he discovered the state of Florida and explored it for many years before his death in 1521. The fountain of youth was never discovered.
Since the days of Ponce de Leon, scientists have been looking for the so-called fountain of youth, as well. With medical technology and effective anti-microbial therapy, life span has progressively increased, although the aging process continues unabated.
Is HGH The “Fountain of Youth”?
For many years, researchers have been studying the effects of human growth hormone and how it relates to the aging process. Human growth hormone (HGH) is a complex molecule of 191 amino acids, which is secreted from the pituitary gland primarily during the early parts of sleep. HGH is converted in the liver to another hormone, known as insulin-like growth factor type 1 (IGF-1).
HGH is also involved in the formation of other hormone-like proteins. HGH, which is the most abundantly produced hormone in the body, influences the growth of various tissues, including skin, bone, and organ tissue. Medical studies indicate that this hormone production peaks in adolescence, and by the age of sixty, the production of HGH diminishes by almost 80%. By the age of seventy, HGH is almost non-measurable in the body.
HGH has been studied for over eighty years, and initially, it was successfully used to treat dwarfism. In the mid 1980s, biotech companies were able to produce a genetically engineered form of growth hormone. In a landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1990, a group of men over the age of sixty were treated with biosynthetic HGH, receiving subcutaneous injections (given under the skin) three times weekly for six months.
At the end of the study, those patients treated with HGH injections had an almost 9% increase in lean body mass and a 14% decrease in fat tissue — along with a small increase in vertebral bone density and skin thickness — as compared to a placebo group. Dr. Rudman, the lead author of the study, concluded that diminished secretion of growth hormone was responsible in part for the decrease in lean body mass, expansion of adipose (where fat is stored) tissue mass, and the thinning of skin that occurs with age.
Following this study, many individuals began requesting HGH injections from their doctors. This form of treatment was somewhat painful and quite costly — up to $30,000 a year. You may have remembered that many in the Hollywood community began using this treatment.
Further research into the matter has now opened the door to a new opportunity. Researchers have found that certain combinations of amino acids and vitamins can work as secretagogues, which are substances that stimulate secretions, to cause a natural release of HGH from the pituitary gland. Aside from being much less expensive, this form of treatment also appears to be much safer than direct injections of HGH.
So how exactly does this work?
There are several amino acids that appear to naturally cause a release of human growth hormone from the pituitary gland.
For instance, L-arginine
L-arginine, which is an amino acid well-known to increase exercise performance, has recently been shown to cause a secretion of growth hormone, as well. Male sexual performance has also been noted to improve with this amino acid.
L-glutamine is another amino acid that benefits exercise. Supplementation with glutamine can increase circulating levels of growth hormone by up to 400%.
L-lysine is an amino acid that has been studied for its anti-viral properties, although studies have found that when combined with arginine, these two amino acids increase hormone secretion, and also improve immune function. L-glycine, another powerful amino acid, can lead to increased production of HGH, as can a variety of additional nutrients and vitamins.
People who have taken these HGH enhancers have reported various benefits, including: reduction in skin wrinkles with improved skin texture and elasticity; improved energy levels with restoration of bone and muscle mass; restoration of hair growth and color; weight loss; and reductions in cholesterol and blood pressure.
What you are looking for in a supplement is a blend of the important amino acids, vitamins and nutrients that can aid in the secretion of HGH.
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