HGH and Bone Density

How certain hormone levels can determine the health of bone

Human growth hormone has been a subject of discussion in popular media in the past few years in relation to health and wellness as well as cheating at sports. Human growth hormones (HGH) is responsible for fibroblast cell production which becomes collagen. Collagen is a protein that is the main component of connective tissue, the tissues that hold the human body together. As we age, and HGH levels decline, we have less connective tissue, thereby contributing to many disease states that are affiliated with aging. This loss of connective tissue can contribute but is not necessarily entirely responsible for:

  • Hair loss
  • Loss of elasticity in the skin
  • Wrinkles
  • Muscle loss

As skeletal muscle, and its potential ability to apply force/loading to the entire neurao-musculoskeletal system, a loss of muscle mass/strength results in lower levels of loading being placed on bone mass. As axial mechanical loading is the most important factor in determining the density of bone over time, a loss of bone mass density will result in the lower levels of loading. Many individuals who have decreasing levels of muscle mass gain body fat, therefore as they do not see scale weight change, they may be unaware of this deficit.

In a recent study, researchers divided women into 2 groups, giving one-group daily HGH injections, and the other placebo injections. During the next six months the researchers monitored the progress of both groups, and looked at collagen protein and bone cells called osteoblasts. When osteoblastic activity is high, the body is forming greater bone mass. The placebo group showed no improvement in osteoblastsic function, however the women taking HGH injections had significant on mass density increases.

Is unclear if HGH itself causes greater osteoblastic function, or does HGH improve muscular performance as well as other health markers thereby increasing the level of activity the individual engages in which places loading on the bone mass to stimulate osteoblastic function. More research is required to determine if HGH along with impact exercise, which provides high levels of loading, can be a treatment protocol for osteoporosis. This would be an alternative to the bisphosphonate pharmaceuticals all of which have significant side effects.

 

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