Supraphysiological growth hormone: less fat, more extracellular fluid but uncertain effects on muscles in healthy, active young adults.
ABSTRACT To study the effects on body composition after 1 month's administration of supraphysiological doses of growth hormone (GH) in healthy, active young adults with normal GH-IGF-I axis.
Thirty healthy, physically active volunteers (15 men and 15 women), mean age 25.9 years (range 18-35), participated in this study, designed as a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel study with three groups (n = 10: five men and five women in each group). The groups comprised the following: placebo (P), GH 0.1 IU/kg/day [0.033 mg/kg/day] (GH 0.1) and GH 0.2 IU/kg/day [0.067 mg/kg/day] (GH 0.2).
In the pooled group with active GH treatment (n = 20) the results showed significant increases: IGF-I increased by 134% (baseline vs. after 1 month), body weight by 2.7%, fat free mass by 5.3%, total body water by 6.5% and extracellular water (ECW) by 9.6%. Body fat decreased significantly by 6.6%. No significant change in intracellular water was detected. The observed increase in fat free mass by 5.3% was explained by the ECW increase, indicating limited anabolic effects of the supraphysiological GH doses. Changes were noticeable in both genders, although more prominent in the male subjects. Fluid retention symptoms occurred in the majority of individuals.
This is, to our knowledge, the first placebo-controlled trial to show the effects of supraphysiological GH doses on body composition and IGF-I levels in physically active and healthy individuals of both genders; the results indicate limited anabolic effects of GH with these supraphysiological doses. The role of GH as an effective anabolic doping agent is questioned.
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ABSTRACT: Human growth hormone is reportedly used to enhance athletic performance, although its safety and efficacy for this purpose are poorly understood. To evaluate evidence about the effects of growth hormone on athletic performance in physically fit, young individuals. MEDLINE, EMBASE, SPORTDiscus, and Cochrane Collaboration databases were searched for English-language studies published between January 1966 and October 2007. Randomized, controlled trials that compared growth hormone treatment with no growth hormone treatment in community-dwelling healthy participants between 13 and 45 years of age. 2 authors independently reviewed articles and abstracted data. 44 articles describing 27 study samples met inclusion criteria; 303 participants received growth hormone, representing 13.3 person-years of treatment. Participants were young (mean age, 27 years [SD, 3]), lean (mean body mass index, 24 kg/m2 [SD, 2]), and physically fit (mean maximum oxygen uptake, 51 mL/kg of body weight per minute [SD, 8]). Growth hormone dosage (mean, 36 microg/kg per day [SD, 21]) and treatment duration (mean, 20 days [SD, 18] for studies giving growth hormone for >1 day) varied. Lean body mass increased in growth hormone recipients compared with participants who did not receive growth hormone (increase, 2.1 kg [95% CI, 1.3 to 2.9 kg]), but strength and exercise capacity did not seem to improve. Lactate levels during exercise were statistically significantly higher in 2 of 3 studies that evaluated this outcome. Growth hormone-treated participants more frequently experienced soft tissue edema and fatigue than did those not treated with growth hormone. Few studies evaluated athletic performance. Growth hormone protocols in the studies may not reflect real-world doses and regimens. Claims that growth hormone enhances physical performance are not supported by the scientific literature. Although the limited available evidence suggests that growth hormone increases lean body mass, it may not improve strength; in addition, it may worsen exercise capacity and increase adverse events. More research is needed to conclusively determine the effects of growth hormone on athletic performance.Annals of internal medicine 05/2008; 148(10):747-58. · 16.73 Impact Factor