ASK A TRAINER: 'What is HGH and is it Safe?'
Hello everyone. Mickey from Washington wants the 411 on HGH.
"I've heard that a lot of doctors support the use of HGH and prescribe it. So if it's safe enough for doctors to prescribe, why does it get such a bad rap? Is it bad? What even is it? Is it a steroid? I know a lot of celebrities use it to keep body fat low and look younger. How does it work?"- Mickey K., Tacoma, Washington
HGH, or human growth hormone, is a big subject in gym's across the country right now. HGH in the context you're referring to it is any drug in which the primary active ingredient is the synthetic version of human growth hormone produced by the pituitary gland. (For the sake of simplicity, I'm going to use HGH as a blanket term to encompass all of these drugs.). In addition to regulating growth spurts in children and adolescents, the human growth hormone produced by the pituitary gland also regulates fat and sugar metabolism and manages body fluid levels.
HGH became an acronym known to most Americans during the baseball steroid scandal of the early 21st century. HGH and steroids are grouped together as being the same thing by a lot of the population but in gym culture, using HGH does not carry the same stigma as being "on the juice." (I get offered HGH in the gym on a regular basis. Click here to read about that.) Technically, HGH is not an anabolic steroid although, like steroids, it is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring substance. And like steroids, there are legitimate medical reasons that doctors prescribe HGH. But also like steroids, the instances in which there is a valid reason for them to be prescribed are rare.