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HGH controversies

There are many controversies around the claims, products, and businesses related to the use of growth hormone as an anti-aging therapy. Most of this controversy falls into two categories:

  1. Claims of exaggerated, misleading, or unfounded assertions that real growth hormone treatment slows or reverses the effects of aging
  2. The sale of products that fraudulently or misleadingly purport to be growth hormone or to increase the user's own secretion of natural human growth hormone to a beneficial degree.

Following a study in 1990 by Rudman[1] which showed fat loss, muscle mass increase and maintenance of healthy skin from the administration of growth hormone in elderly men, there has been a burgeoning industry surrounding the sale and administration of GH and its purported anti-aging effects.

As is common with such therapies, the literature is now dominated by advocacy from pharmaceutical companies. Solid medical evidence is harder to find, and appears to indicate mixed results. It is likely that there is some advantage, but it is also evident that benefits are being exaggerated by some for commercial gain[2].

Some of the side effects reportedly seen in previously healthy mature patients after taking HGH include:

  • Edema (retention of fluids) in extremities[3]
  • Arthralgia (joint pain)[3]
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome[3]
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes and other glucose metabolism imbalances[3]
  • Gynecomastia (enlargement of male mammary glands)[3]

Chronic use of HGH is not well studied, except when used in children for acute growth deficiencies. A long term increase in colon cancer and Hodgkin's Disease has been observed in these cases.[4]



  1. ^ Rudman D, Feller AG, Nagraj HS, et al. "Effect of human growth hormone in men over 60 years old," New England Journal of Medicine 323:1–6
  2. ^ “HGH” Pills and Sprays: Human Growth Hype? (PDF). FTC Consumer Alert. Federal Trade Commission (June 2005). Retrieved on 2006-11-19.
  3. ^ a b c d e Liu, H., et al. (2006). "The safety and efficacy of growth hormone in the healthy elderly: A systematic review". Endocrine Society meeting: P3-770. 
  4. ^ Sklar CA. Growth hormone treatment: cancer risk. Horm Res. 2004;62 Suppl 3:30-4. Review. PMID 15539796

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "HGH_controversies". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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