Hormones are extremely important for the functioning of the body, as they have several functions, such as regulating activities performed by different cells.
Among these substances is the hormone GH, popularly known as the growth hormone, but it works in other ways.
So, read the text and find out what are the other functions performed by the hormone GH
- 1 What is the GH hormone?
- 2 What is the function in the organism?
- 3 Why is GH the growth hormone?
- 4 GH in bodybuilding: what are the effects?
- 5 Does the GH hormone lose weight?
- 6 What foods contain GH?
- 7 Who can take GH?
- 8 GH hormone for women: does it help eliminate fat?
- 9 Price and where to buy
What is the GH hormone?
According to the Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabology, the hormone GH (Growth Hormone) is an anabolic substance (which increases protein synthesis), produced by the pituitary gland.
Its main objective is to stimulate the physical and cellular growth of our body. Therefore, this hormone is considered indispensable, because without it it is practically impossible to reach normal adult height.
In addition, the substance plays other roles in the body, such as:
- Muscle mass gain;
- Metabolization of fats (transforming into energy);
- Improvement in sleep quality;
- Bone maintenance and cell maturation.
The pituitary gland (also called the pituitary), responsible for the production of GH, is located in the brain, precisely at the base of the brain.
Its size is almost minuscule, being only 1cm in diameter (like a pea) and weighing between 0.5g and 1.0g.
It is considered a “key” gland, as it encourages the functioning of other glands belonging to the endocrine system, such as the adrenal, thyroid, testicles and ovaries.
Growth hormone is produced throughout life, from day one. However, in greater quantity during the infantile phase and puberty (transition between childhood and adulthood).
During these periods, the bone structure undergoes major changes in relation to the physical, muscular and cognitive structure.
When there is a deficiency or excess of GH in the body, growth disorders can occur, such as stunting (short stature), gigantism (stature beyond normal in children and adolescents) and adenomegaly (similar to gigantism but in adults).
For this reason, physical examinations and assessments of the clinical and genetic history are carried out with the purpose of identifying the cause of these changes and initiating the most appropriate treatment.
In general, the use of drugs that can replace the GH hormone in the patient’s body, or inhibit it (if changes such as gigantism and adenomegaly) may be prescribed.
In addition, there are also supplements made with some substances that promise to help in the production of GH, being widely used by those who practice physical activities and want to increase lean mass . However, these products do not refer to hormone replacement itself.
What is the function in the organism?
The major function of the hormone GH is to promote physical and cellular growth, however, it is also capable of triggering other metabolic activities essential for the body.
The main functions of the GH hormone in the body are:
As its name says, GH is classified by scholars as “human growth” (growth hormone), acting on the bone structure.
This occurs indirectly since it stimulates the production of another hormone by the liver, IGF-1, which acts on the tissues of the bone system.
The hormone GH is released into the bloodstream throughout the day, but its greatest peak is during sleep, so there is the popular saying that, “child who does not sleep, does not grow”.
Thus, having good (or bad) nights of sleep can affect growth positively or negatively.
But it is not just GH that interferes with this, as other factors are important, such as:
- Healthy food (rich in mineral salts);
- Regular physical activities;
- Stable emotional conditions;
Bone density preservation
Growth hormone acts on bones indirectly through other substances causing them to increase in size and become stronger, preventing osteoporosis .
The process occurs when GH is released into the bloodstream, triggering the secretion of another hormone, IGF-1 by the liver.
Both substances travel to the cartilaginous tissue, located at the bony ends, and are then synthesized, increasing the size and strength of the bones.
Those who have changes that hinder this process, need to consult a doctor, because hormone replacement of GH may be appropriate in this case.
Stimulation of fat burning
The hormone GH stimulates the metabolism of body fat, transforming it into energy for the body.
It causes the “exit” of the fat located in the adipose tissues towards the bloodstream, so that it is “burned”, that is, used as an energy source.
Thus, many people seek to increase the dose of GH in the body to assist weight loss.
Therefore, when the level of growth hormone rises, a greater amount of fat can be directed into the bloodstream.
If this fat that has become an excess energy source is not spent, it is possible that it accumulates in the blood vessels, making the risk of cardiovascular diseases (stroke, heart attack , high blood pressure , etc.) higher .
Therefore, it is essential to undergo a medical evaluation before using any substance that increases GH production.
Increased muscle mass
The hormone GH is a great ally for those who want to gain muscle mass, since it increases protein synthesis and strengthens muscles.
This is due to the hormone GH promoting some reactions in the body that stimulate the mTor protein (rapamycin).
This, in turn, will trigger several other protein syntheses, which consequently will increase muscle tissue and strengthen it.
In search of this benefit, some people who practice muscle exercises use substances that can increase the release of GH in the body (such as supplements). However, this can be very dangerous.
If these substances are consumed in excessive amounts and without a prescription, they can cause growth disorders (such as acromegaly), swelling in the arms and legs, in addition to favoring conditions for diabetes and heart disease.
To avoid these risks, it is essential to seek medical advice that can tell whether it is necessary or not to use supplements to increase the GH hormone in the body.
Participates in protein synthesis
The hormone GH also acts in the synthesis of proteins , a complex process that results in tissue regeneration and muscle growth.
This participation occurs because GH expands the transport of essential amino acids across the plasma membrane of cells, increases the production of RNA and also increases the amount of intracellular ribosomes.
This consequently improves the conditions for protein synthesis to take place.
Keeps glucose rates regulated
Growth hormone also promotes the metabolism of glucose in the body, ensuring that it is well used by tissues.
Why is GH the growth hormone?
GH is classified as a growth hormone due to its ability to “meddle” in some activities that provide physical increase. Especially during childhood and puberty (adolescence period).
The growth process occurs because the bone tissue needs to be filled with mineral salts such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, among others. This filling causes the bones to increase in size.
Therefore, when the bones are completely “full”, the human being tends to stop growing.
However, when GH is released in an irregular way it can cause some disturbances in relation to growth.
In this way, medical assessments of weight and height are made frequently during childhood and puberty. So, it is possible to verify if the development is adequate.
The most common disorders are:
Dwarfism is a disorder that causes the short stature of individuals compared to others of the same age.
According to the Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabology, this disorder occurs mainly from the age of two and prevents the child from developing and growing properly.
In general, the most common causes of dwarfism are insufficient GH production by the pituitary gland (pituitary dwarfism) or congenital bone diseases such as Rickets and Down’s Syndrome.
If the patient is diagnosed with pituitary dwarfism, the indicated treatment will be the administration of injections of the growth hormone produced in the laboratory – somatropin.
Treatment can last for years, requiring frequent medical follow-up.
Gigantism and acromegaly
Gigantism and acromegaly are disorders caused by the excess of the hormone GH in the bloodstream. The main difference between the two is the age at which the first symptoms appear.
For example, when the disorder occurs since the first years of life, it is called gigantism, but if it happens in adulthood it will be called acromegaly.
Both cases occur due to changes in the pituitary gland, and the most common symptoms are:
- Body parts such as hands, feet and lips that are larger than normal;
- Pain and swelling in the joints;
- Difficulty getting around;
- Language growth;
- Excessive tiredness;
- Late puberty and irregular menstrual cycle (in the case of gigantism).
To diagnose the problem, tests are performed to check the level of growth hormone (and others that come from it) in the body.
If it is proven that the level is beyond ideal, treatment will be started to inhibit this hormone in the bloodstream, such as the use of synthetic drugs that contain somatostatin (the main inhibitor of the GH hormone).
If the case is more serious, such as the presence of a tumor in the pituitary gland, a surgical procedure can be done to remove the tumor.
GH in bodybuilding: what are the effects?
GH is one of the most popular hormones for bodybuilders , mainly due to the incentive it promotes to protein synthesis. A very important process for muscle growth and recovery.
This is possible due to a series of reactions that causes the release of another hormone by the liver, IGF-1.
This, in turn, will act on the cells of the muscle tissue, increasing protein synthesis and consequently making the muscle grow and become stronger.
However, this benefit will only be taken advantage of if other factors contribute. Like healthy eating, an adequate exercise routine and sufficient muscle rest time.
Does the GH hormone lose weight?
The GH hormone alone does not lose weight, however it is able to encourage metabolic processes that help with weight loss, such as the transformation of fat into a primary energy source for use by cells.
Therefore, many people resort to using supplements that stimulate the release of GH to achieve weight loss – which is not recommended.
If there is more GH than normal in the glass, there can be serious problems such as cardiovascular disease.
Because the fat will be mobilized to the blood vessels beyond the appropriate level, being a great risk to health.
In addition, there may be another change, which is the increase in blood glucose since it is not being metabolized to be a source of energy (as only fat is being used for this). What can lead to the development of diabetes.
Thus, it is essential to resort to healthy ways to stimulate GH, such as sleeping well, exercising and having a balanced diet.
And if it is necessary to take supplements or medications, everything must be done according to the guidelines of endocrinologists.
What foods contain GH?
In fact, no food contains the hormone GH, as it is produced only by the pituitary gland in the body.
However, some foods inserted in the routine can help increase the production and release of the hormone at adequate levels by the gland. With that in mind, the GH diet was developed.
To start this diet, it is necessary to consult a specialist who will develop the most appropriate diet plan.
However, the diet generally consists of foods rich in antioxidants, good fats, lean proteins and fiber. Like:
- Oil seeds such as nuts, almonds and chestnuts (source of omega 3, 6 and 9);
- Lean meats such as duckling, maminha, chicken, among others.
- Dark green leaves (kale, spinach, watercress, parsley, etc.)
- Fruits rich in vitamin C (orange, mango, pineapple, etc.)
- Milk and dairy products (low in fat)
The nutrients in these foods help to increase the production and natural secretion of growth hormone in the body.
Who can take GH?
The hormone GH is usually indicated for children and adolescents, who show some alteration in relation to growth, or adults who have deficiency of the hormone, either due to age or disease.
Children and adolescents
Children and adolescents may need the use of GH replacement in cases such as:
- GH deficiency in the body;
- Turner syndrome (when a girl is born without one of the X chromosomes);
- Chronic Kidney Diseases (kidney stones, infection, cysts, kidney failure);
- Children born small for gestational age.
It is known that over the years hormones in general tend to be released with less quantity in the body causing some problems, so many people resort to their replacement.
With growth hormone the situation is no different. If its production and release in the body is affected by any irregularity in the pituitary gland or changes in the endocrine system, such as the following cases of tumors:
- Pituitary adenomas;
It is possible to use medicines containing somatropin. All treatment should be done with the help of an endocrinology specialist.
GH hormone for women: does it help eliminate fat?
The hormone GH is often associated with weight loss. Although there is a relationship between its action and the reduction of fats, what occurs is the obtaining of energy.
It mobilizes fat so that it is used as a primary source of energy by the various cells of the body, such as during physical exercise.
Thus, it should not be used without guidance to lose weight. But, if there is a low hormonal rate, its supplementation can help to decrease fat tissue.
Price and where to buy
Supplements in general, which stimulate the release of the GH hormone in the body, can be purchased at health food and supplement stores, some supermarkets, pharmacies and online platforms such as Consulta Remédios.
These supplements are usually used in the post-workout to assist in the recovery of muscles and in the process of hypertrophy (increase in muscle through growth), which occurs during this rest.
Thus some of the ingredients that may be present in these supplements are:
- OKG ( alpha-ketoglutarate ornithine) : this component acts in conjunction with GH providing the recovery and growth of muscle tissue;
- Vitamin C: Recent studies have shown that people who have a higher amount of this vitamin in their blood also have higher levels of the hormone GH;
- Oryzanol range: it is a component extracted from rice that has the ability to stimulate the activities of the pituitary gland and consequently of the growth hormone;
- Niacin (vitamin B3): the consumption of this vitamin associated with the regular practice of physical exercises, can cause the release of GH in the bloodstream;
- Mucuna: this herb has the ability to raise testosterone levels, which is another important hormone for muscle mass gain;
- Arginine: classified as an essential amino acid, arginine promotes the dilation of blood vessels, increasing the amount of nutrients that reaches the muscle tissue;
- Gaba: gamma-aminobutyric acid is a neurotransmitter present in high concentration in the hypothalamus, which is a gland that acts together with the pituitary to produce and release growth hormone;
- Tribulus terrestris: this is also an herb capable of stimulating the production of testosterone, which is the sex hormone that regulates libido, fertility, fat distribution and male body mass gain;
- Vitamin B6: provides the regulation of mineral salts such as zinc and magnesium, which act in the synthesis of the hormone GH;
- Chromium: this essential mineral binds to the insulin receptors of the cells, which come in conjunction with the growth hormone to make protein synthesis.
The price * usually varies according to the quantity, laboratory responsible for production and also the ingredients present in the supplement formula. On average the value is between R $ 80 and R $ 200.
* Prices consulted in January 2021. Prices may change.
There is, for example, GH Vit MidWay, which is a supplement. For those who need to replace the hormone with a prescription, the options include the use of Somatropin , such as Hormotrop , Genotropin and Omnitrope , for example.
We remind you that it is essential to schedule an evaluation with a specialist before starting to consume any product. Because improper use can cause changes in the endocrine system.
Therefore, avoid complications by using supplements only with medical advice.
Certainly growth hormone is very important for our health and quality of life, so we must have healthy behaviors that stimulate its performance for a long time in our body.
If you like to know the benefits of the GH hormone, keep following Minute Healthy to have access to several interesting contents!