Last updated on: 10/15/2008 | Author:

What Is Human Growth Hormone (HGH)?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

Don Catlin, MD, CEO of Anti-Doping Research and Professor Emeritus at the UCLA School of Medicine, stated in an article titled “Human-Growth Hormone,” posted on the Drug Free Sport website (accessed Oct. 14, 2008):

“Human-growth hormone is perhaps one of the most important of hundreds of hormones that circulate through the human body. Human-growth hormone affects many different organs too numerous to mention. It acts on the muscles and the heart. Everything begins to grow. The theory is that using it (for athletics performance) could make you stronger and give you a competitive edge.”

Oct. 14, 2008 - Don H. Catlin, MD

David Epstein, reporter for Sports Illustrated, wrote in a Mar. 17, 2008 article titled “The ABC’s of HGH”:

“The primary purpose of growth hormone, secreted by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain, is the maintenance of normal bone development from birth to adulthood. Synthetic human growth hormone, or somatropin, is typically used to treat growth disorders and the wasting effects of HIV/AIDS. Growth hormone is also involved in regulating the body’s ratio of lean muscle mass to fat, and some athletes who inject it–the molecule is too large to be absorbed into the bloodstream by other methods–are able to tolerate a larger workout load. Athletes who use HGH often do so with anabolic steroids or testosterone, believing HGH adds to the anabolic effect. Because the amount of growth hormone in the body peaks during puberty and declines after age 30, those who illegally prescribe or sell HGH often claim that it counteracts the aging process.”

Mar. 17, 2008 - David Epstein

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) stated in a Jan. 22, 2008 article titled “Substances: Human Growth Hormone,” posted on its website:

“Human growth hormone (HGH), or somatotropin, is a glycoprotein hormone that is synthesised and secreted by cells in the anterior pituitary gland.

HGH is known to act on many aspects of cellular metabolism and is also necessary for skeletal growth in humans.

The major role of HGH in body growth is to stimulate the liver and other tissues to secrete insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 stimulates production of cartilage cells, resulting in bone growth and also plays a key role in muscle growth…

HGH may be used in sport to induce anabolic effects, reduce muscle cell breakdown and reduce body fat…

Human growth hormone (HGH) is a prohibited substance both in and out of competition under the World Anti-Doping Code 2008 Prohibited List.”

Jan. 22, 2008 - Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA)

The National Center for Drug Free Sport, an organization that provides drug testing for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), stated in an article titled “Drugs in Sports: Peptide Hormones and Analogues,” published on its website (accessed Oct. 14, 2008):

“HGH is one of the major hormones influencing growth and development in humans. A major function of HGH is the maintenance of normal linear growth from birth to adulthood. The metabolic action of HGH is also important in the regulation of energy production and storage.

Some individuals use HGH because they perceive that it is as effective as anabolic steroids with fewer side effects, and is not detectable in a drug test. Therefore, they may also choose to use HGH as a steroid substitute to prevent loss of muscle after discontinuing the use of steroids.”

Oct. 14, 2008 - National Center for Drug Free Sport