As with no other doping drug, growth hormones are still surrounded by an aura of mystery. Some call it a wonder drug which causes gigantic strength and muscle gains in the shortest time. Others consider it completely useless in improving sports performance and argue that it only promotes the growth process in children with an early stunting of growth. Some are of the opinion that growth hormones in adults cause severe bone deformities in the form of overgrowth of the lowerjaw and extremities. And, generally speaking, which growth hormones should one take the human form, the synthetically manufactured version, recombined or genetically produced form and in which dosage? All this controversy about growth hormones is so complex that the reader must have some basic information in order to understand them. The growth hormones is a polypeptide hormone consisting of 191 amino acids. In humans it is produced in the hypophysis and released if there are the right stimuli (e.g. training, sleep, stress, low blood sugar level). It is now important to understand that the freed HGH (human growth hormones) itself has no direct effect but only stimulates the liver to produce and release insulin-like growth factors and somatomedins. These growth factors are then the ones that cause various effects on the body. The problem, however, is that the liver is only capable of producing a limited amount of these substances so that the effect is limited. If growth hormones are injected they only stimulate the liver to produce and release these substances and thus, as already mentioned, have no direct effect. The use of these STH somatotropic hormone compounds offers the athlete three performance-enhancing effects. STH (somatotropic hormone) has a strong anabolic effect and causes an increased protein synthesis which manifests itself in a muscular hypertrophy (enlargement of muscle cells) and in a muscular hyperplasia (increase of muscle cells.) The latter is very interesting since this increase cannot be obtained by the intake of steroids. This is probably also the reason why STH is called the strongest anabolic hormone. The second effect of STH is its pronounced influence on the burning of fat. It turns more body fat into energy leading to a drastic reduction in fat or allowing the athlete to increase his caloric intake. Third, and often overlooked, is the fact that STH strengthens the connective tissue, tendons, and cartilages which could be one of the main reasons for the significant increase in strength experienced by many athletes. Several bodybuilders and powerlifters report that through the simultaneous intake with steroids STH protects the athlete from injuries while inereasing his strength.
You will say that this sounds just wonderful. What is the problem, however since there are still some who argue that STH offers nothing to athletes? There are, by all means, several athletes who have tried STH and who were sadly disappointed by its results. However, as with many things in life, there is a logical explanation or perhaps even more than one:
1. The athlete simply has not taken a sufficient amount of STH regularly and over a long enough period of time. STH is a very expensive compound and an effective dosage is unaffordable by most people.
2. When using STH the body also needs more thyroid hormones,insulin, corticosteroids, gonadotropins, estrogens and what a surprise androgens and anabolics. This is also the reason why STH, when taken alone, is considerably less effective and can only reach its optimum effect by the additive intake of steroids, thyorid hormones, and insulin, in particular. But we must point out in this case that STH has a predominantly anabolic effect. There are three hormones which are needed at the same time in order to allow for maximum anabolic effect. These are STH, insulin, and an LT-3 thyroid hormone, such as, for example, Cytomel. Only then can the liver produce and release an optimal amount of somatomedin and insulin-like growth factors. This anabolic effect can be further enhanced by taking a substance with an anticatabolic effect. These substances are-everybody should probably know by now-anabolic/androgenic steroids or Clenbuterol. Then a synergetic effect takes place.'Are you still wondering why pro bodybuilders are so incredibly massive but, at the same time, totally ripped while you are not. Most athletes have tried STH during preparation for a competition in that phase when the diet is calorie-reduced. The body usually reacts by reducing the release of insulin and of the L-T3 thyroid hormone. And, as was described under point 2, this is not an advantageous condition when STH is expected to work well. Well, we almost forgot. Those who combine Clenbuterol with STH, should know that Clenbuterol (like Ephedrine) reduces the body's own release of insulin and L-T3. True, this seems a little complicated and when reading it for the first time it might be a little confusing; however it really is true: STH has a significant influence on several hormones in the human body; this does not allow for a simple administration schedule. As said, STH is not cheap and those who intend to use it should know a little more about it. If you only want to burn fat with STH you will only have to remember user information for the part with the L-T3 thyroid hormone as is printed by Kabi Pharmacia GmbH for their compound Genotropin: "The need of the thyroid hormone often inereases during treatment with growth hormones."
3. Since most athletes who want to use STH can only obtain it if prescribed by a physician, the only supply source remains the black market. And this is certainly another reason why some athletes might not have been very happy with the effect of the purchased compound. How could he, if cheap HCG was passed off as expensive STH? Since both compounds are available as dry substances, all that would be needed is a new label of Serono's Saizen or Lilly's Humatrope on the HCG ampule. It is no longer fun when somebody is paying $100.00 for 5000 I.U. of HCG, only worth $ 12, and thinking that he just purchased 4 I.U. of STH. And if you think this happens only to novices and to the ignorant, ask Ben Johnson. "Big Ben," who during three tests within five days showed an above-limit testosterone level, was not a victim of his own stupidity but more likely the victim of fraud. According to statistics by the German Drug Administration, 42% of the HGH vials confiscated on the North American black market are fakes. In addition to a display of labels in the Dutch or Russian language the fakes are distinguished from the original product, in sofar as the dry substance is not present as lyophilic but present as loose powder. The fakes confiscated so far use the name "Humatrope 16" under the name of Lilly Company (with Dutch denomination) or "Somatogen" (in Russian)." Nowhere can this much money be made except by faking STH. Who has ever held original growth hormones in his hand and known how they should look?
4. In a few very rare cases the body reacts by developing antibodies to the exogenous STH, thus making it ineffective.
The question of the right dosage, as well as the type and duration of application, is very difficult to answer. Since there is no scientificresearch showing how STH should be taken for performance improvement, we can only rely on empirical data, that is experimental values. The respective manufacturers indicate that in cases of hypophysially stunted growth due to lacking or insuffieient release of growt hormones by the hypophysis, a weekly average dose of 0.3 I.U/ week per pound of body weight should be taken. An athlete weighting 200 pounds, therefore, would have to inject 60 I.U. weekly. The dosage would be divided into three intramuscular injections of 20 I.U. each. Subcutaneous injections (under the skin) are another form of intake which, however would have to be injected daily, usually 8 I.U. per day. Top athletes usually inject 4-16 I.U./day. Ordinarily, daily subcutaneous injections are preferred. Since STH has a half life time of less than one hour, it is not surprising that some athletes divide their dail dose into three or four subcutaneous injections of 2-4 I.U. each. Application of regular small dosages seems to bring the most effective results. This also has its reasons: When STH is injected, serum concentration in the blood rises quickly, meaning that the effect is almost immediate. As we know, STH stimulates the liver to produce and release somatomedins and insulin like growth factors which in turn effect the desired results in the body. Since the liver can only produce a limited amount of these substances, we doubt that larger STH injections will induce the liver to produce instantaneously a larger quantity of somatomedins and insulin-like growth factors. It seems more likely that the liver will react more favorably to smaller dosages. If the STH solution is injected subcutaneously several consecutive times at the same point of injection, a loss of fat tissue is possible. Therefore, the point of injection, or even better, the entire sisde of the body should be continuously, changed in order to avoid a loss of local fat tissue (lipoathrophy) in the injection cell. One thing has manifested itself over the years: The effect of STH is dosage-dependent. This means either invest a lot of money and do it right or do not even begin. Half-hearted attempts are condemned to failure Minimum effective dosages seem to start at 4 I.U. per day. For comparison: the hypophysis of a healthy; adult, releases 0.5-1.5 I.U. growth hormones daily. The duration of intake usually depends on the athlete's financial resources. Our experience is that STH is taken over a prolonged period, from at least six weeks to several months. It is interesting to note that the effect of STH does not stop after a few weeks; this usually allows for continued improvements at a steady dosage. Bodybuilders who have had positive results with STH have reported that the build-up strength and, in particular, the newly-gained muscle system were essentially maintained after discontinuance of the product. It remains to be clarified what happens with the insulin and LT-3 thyroid hormone. Athletes who take STH in their build-up phase usually do not need exogenous insulin. It is recommended, in this case, that the athlete eats a complete meal every three hours, resulting in 6-7 meals day. This causes the body to continuously release insulin so that the blood sugar level does not fall too low. The use of LT-3 thyroid hormones, in this phase, is carried out reluctantly by athletes. In any case, you must have a physician check the thyroid hormone level during the intake of STH. Simultaneous use of anabolic /androgenic steroids and/or Clenbuterol is usually appropriate. During the preparation for a competition the use of thyroid hormones steadily inereases. Sometimes insulin is taken together with STH, as well as with steroids and Clenbuterol. Apart from the high damage potential that exogenous insulin can have in non-diabetics, incorrect use will simply and plainly make you "FAT! Too much insulin activates certain enzymes which convert glucose into glycerol and finally into triglyceride. Too little insulin, especially during a diet, reduces the anabolic effect of STH. The solution to this dilemma? Visiting a qualified physician who advises the athlete during this undertaking and who, in the event of exogenous insulin supply, checks the blood sugar level and urine periodically. According to what we have heard so far, athletes usually inject intermediately-effective insulin having a maximum duration of effect of 24 hours once a day. Human insulin such as Depot-H-Insulin Hoechst is generally used. Briefly-effective insulin with a maximum duration of effect of eight hours is rarely used by athletes. Again a human insulin such as H-Insulin Hoechst is preferred.
The undesired effect of growth hormones, the so-called side effects, are also a very interesting and hotly-discussed issue. Above all it must be said: STH has none of the typical side effects of anabolic/androgenic steroids including reduced endogenous testosterone production, acne, hair loss, aggressiveness, elevated estrogen level, virilization symptoms in women, and increased water and salt retention. The main side effects that are possible with STH are an abnormally small concentration of glucose in the blood (hypoglycemia) and an inadequate thyroid function. In some cases antibodies against growth hormones are developed but are clinically irrelevant. What about the horror stories about acromegaly, bone deformation, heart enlargement, organ conditions, gigantism, and early death? In order to answer this question a clear differentiation must be made between humans before and after puberty. The growth plates in a person continue to grow in length until puberty. After puberty neither an endogenous hypersection of growth hormones nor an excessive exogenous supply of STH can cause additional growth in the length of the bones. Abnormal size (gigantism) initially goes hand in hand with remarkable body strength and muscular hardness in the afflicted; later, if left untreated, it ends in weakness and death. Again, this is only possible in pre-pubescent humans who also suffer from an inadequate gonadal function (hypogonadism). Humans who suffer from an endogenous hypersecrehon after puberty and whose normal growth is completed can also suffer from acromegaly. Bones become wider but not longer. There is a progressive growth in the hands and feet and enlargement of features due to the growth of the lower jaw and nose. What the authorities like to do now is to present extreme cases of athletes suffering from these malfunctions in order to discourage others and to drum into athletes the fact that with the exogenous supply of growth hormones they would suffer the same destiny. This, however, is very unlikely, as reality has proven. Among the numerous athletes using STH comparatively few are seven feet tall Neanderthalers with a protruded lower jaw, deformed skull, claw like hands, thick lips, and prominent bone plates who walk around in size 25 shoes. In order to avoid any misunderstandings, we do not want to disguise the possible risks of exogenous STH use in adults and healthy humans, but one should at least try to be openminded. Acromegaly, diabpetes, thyroid insuficiency, heart muscle hypertrophy, high blood ressure, and enlargement of the kidneys are theoretically possible if STH is used excessively over prolonged periods of time; however, in reality and particularly when it comes to the external attributes, these are rarely present. Some athletes report headaches, nausea, vomiting, and visual disturbances during the first weeks of intake. These symptoms disappear in most cases even with continued intake. The most common problems with STH occur when the athlete intends to inject insulin in addition to STH. The substance somatropin is available as a dried powder and before injecting it must be mixed with the enclosed solution-containing ampule. The ready solution must be injected immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. It is usually recommended that the compound be stored in the refrigerator. With the exception of the remedy Saizen the biological activity of growth hormones is usually not impaired when storing the dry substance at 15-25 C (room temperature); however, a cooler place (2-8Â° C) is preferable. It is noted that for the U.S.-American growth hormones compounds, the substance content is not given in I.U.(International Units) but in mg (milligrams). Since l mg corresponds to exactly 2.7 I.U. the 5mg solution of the compound Humatrope by Lilly contains exactl 13.5 I.U. of Somatropin. The 10 mg solution of the Protropin compound by the Genentech therefore contains 27 I.U. of Somatropin. In American powerlifting and bodybuilding circles Humatrope is usually preferred over Protropin. The reason is that Humatrope is synthesized from a chain of 191 amino acids and thus is identical to the amino acid sequence of the human growth hormones. Protropin, on the other hand, consists of 192 amino acids, one amino acid too many. This might be the explanation for why more antibodies are developed with Protropin than with Humatrope. Growth hormones are on the doping list but they are not yet detectable during doping tests.