Growth hormone isn’t the miracle muscle builder that is touted in these sports doping articles. GH, however, does have a place for those people that want to increase recovery, increase sleep related anabolism and increase satellite cells. The best growth hormone supplements can’t even compare to injectable growth hormone, which takes 2-6 months to show any positive benefits. So, I think most people go into GH supplementation with the wrong attitude. GH supplements are for the elite athlete or older athlete that wishes to use these supplements for long term benefits.
Growth hormone is second only to Androgens in reshaping the body. GH has been proven to increase fat to lean mass ratio. In adult women, Growth Hormone caused a 4.6 lb fat loss with an increase of 6.6lbs of muscle. This is really the only “supplemental” agent to have such a profound effect.
Growth Hormone can be increased a variety of ways. First, it can be increased by blocking Somatostatin, which reduces and regulates growth hormone. This pathway is effected by most of your amino acids, they are wrongly called Secretagogues, but in fact they only block the negative feedback which tells your body to stop producing GH.
Second, the body can be stimulated to produce more of its own Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone via L-Dopa or something similar. This only works for a short time as your body becomes aware of the additional GHRH and reduces it other ways. This can be prolonged with the somatostatin blockers, but not indefinitely.
Third, the GHRH (growth hormone releasing hormone) receptor can be stimulated directly to increase production of GH in the pituitary. This is a very effective method of increasing natural GH production and represents the latest research in growth hormone releasing agents. There is no data on how long this can be done, but it seems like a much more effective way to increase GH long term and should probably be combined with the somatastatin blocking aminos to prolng life even further.
Finally, there is a third pathway, which utilizes Ghrelin (GHRP) to increase growth hormone release and this is not very well understood but seems to work in combination of GHRH release and actual stimulation of another receptor.
Arginine – This amino acid has been proven to release growth hormone in exercise trained men, which means that chronic use has some very good data behind it to show GH releasing properties.
Glutamine – This has also been shown in studies to increase growth hormone release in exercise-trained individuals and makes a very good amino acid to add to any GH releasing supplement.
Lysine – This amino acid has been shown to potentiate the effects of the other amino acids for GH release.
Arginine Pyroglutamate – Arginine has already been shown to increase growth hormone as does Glutamine and this supplement combines both into one peptide. This is simply Arginine bound to a cyclic glutamine peptide and it has been shown to have a better effect on GH than either arginine or glutamine alone.
Ornithine AKG – University studies have shown that Ornithine increases both insulin and growth hormone levels, which are needed to build and maintain muscle during intensive physical training. So, Ornithine has some serious beneficial effects for the bodybuilder. As the body ages, Ornithine may also help combat the muscle loss that is a normal part of the aging process. By helping to elevate growth hormone levels, Ornithine may help speed the production of muscle tissue and offset the effects of aging, which is of obvious benefit to the bodybuilder.
L-Dopa – This ingredient is the precursor to dopamine and has been shown to have a powerful effect on GH release it is extracted typically from Mucuna which contains a high amount of L-Dopa. It is also called “1C-Decarboxylase(TM)” in some supplements. L-Dopa can be used at high doses to treat Parkinsons, so it is quite safe at levels used in supplements. The best way to use L-Dopa is to alternate it every other week to make sure your body doesn’t develop a tolerance to it. Still, it can safely be used every day to increase GH release, but it most likely will lose effect over time.
GHRP-2, Ghrelin – These are growth hormone releasing peptides that have some great short term effects when used as injectable products, but may be orally active on their own. They show up in a few supplements, even though the synthetics are not 100% DSHEA compliant. Still, for someone with unlimited money to spend on GH supplements, GHRP-6 and GHRP-2 have some serious benefits when combined with the above supporting nutrients for GH release. They are best used on a 5 days on and two days off regimen. This represents one of the most effective GH releasing pathways available. Once someone figures out how to deliver it properly and can make it legal to sell in the US.
L-Tryptophan – This amino acid is back on sale in the U.S., thankfully, because it makes for one heck of a GH releasing product. Unfortunately, doses of 3-5g are necessary to achieve a positive GH response, making it a killer product to stack, but impossible to take in a combination supplement.
Astragalus – This herb has been shown, in a few studies, to release GH in rats, which makes it a decent inclusion. It is also a very good immune system booster and adaptagen, making it a good supplement for GH release.
Dioscitine – This ingredient is possibly one of the best growth hormone releasing agents to be discovered. It was shown in the scientific literature to increase GH production by over 17,000% (17.7 times greater growth hormone release) It does this by acting on the growth hormone releasing receptor, which is a separate receptor that releases growth hormone. This has yet to be tried in humans and real world data over time is not available but it looks very promising!
Pueraritine – This novel extract has the ability to increase growth hormone release via the GHRS receptor by over 170% (1.7 times baseline). This in combination with other GHRH releasing agents could make for an interesting product.