Human growth hormone (HGH) is secreted from the pituitary gland and is an essential hormone for development. However, as we age, HGH levels drop that can lead to reduction in muscle mass, increase fat, lost of skin collagen and bone density, as well as a decrease in exercise capacity.
“Studies have show that individuals with low growth hormone are at a higher risk for aged related disease,” Dr. Randy Birken said. “While considered off label, some patients benefit when growth hormone levels are restored to more optimal level.”
HGH is given as a daily subcutaneous injection and is very expensive. Growth hormone secretagogues (GHS) are molecules that stimulate one’s pituitary gland to produce more growth hormone.
“These HGH stimulants are still considered off-label,” Dr. Birken continued, “but are less expensive but must be given twice per day.”
Ibutamoren has been studied by Dr. Birken with good results and is an oral capsule taken before bed. Recently, Dr. Birken presented a lecture on ibutamoren at a national hormone conference in Florida.
“Some patients do well on ibutamoren while some don’t experience any clinical benefits. But there is no injection and is less expensive.”
Also, there are natural ways to increase growth hormone. Certain amino acids such as arginine, lysine and ornithine.
“Also, fasting for 12 hours after eating dinner helps as well,” Dr. Birken said. “As well as a good night’s sleep!”