Muscle building product (HGH)?

Originally Published: March 2, 2012
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Ok, one of my friends is using Sytropin as a supplement for his workout program. He mentioned that Sytropin is not approved by the FDA; however, it is safe to use and helps build muscle. I did research about Sytropin on my own and found out that it actually boosts hormone production. I believe interfering with glands with drugs to produce more hormones is not normal and actually put glands under stress. However, sometimes his statement actually tempts me... So, Alice is it safe to use Sytropin? Thanks!

Da Windex guy

Dear Da Windex Guy,

The cheapest and safest way to get tickets to the gun show is to hit the gym! Whereas human growth hormone (HGH) products like Sytropin may help your friend beef up, it only does so in the short-term while also beefing up other hormones in the body that may lead to some unintended side effects (as you suspected). As a general rule, take caution when using any substance that isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as using prescription drugs without the okay from a health care provider.

Initial development and prescription of HGH products were for people with growth disorders and for people with diseases such as AIDS who had growth hormone deficiencies. Now HGH has gotten a reputation for being abused in the sports world and also used controversially to increase milk production in cows. Normally, the pituitary gland (located in the base of the brain) regulates the natural release of HGH. Products like Sytropin introduce synthetic HGH into the body promoting cell growth, reproduction, and regeneration. This, in turn, reduces fat in the body, and increases lean body mass (muscle mass and bone density) and exercise capacity. However, though HGH may increase bulk, there is no solid proof that it increases strength or improves athletic ability (at least not in the long-term).

Your hesitation in using Sytropin or other HGH products is warranted because there is no solid evidence to prove their safety. HGH is only legally available by prescription and scientists still aren’t certain whether HGH taken in pill or spray form (like Sytropin) are effective. Other side effects of HGH use may include:

  • Swelling in the limbs.
  • Pain in the joints and muscles.
  • Gynecomastia (swelling of the breast tissue in men).
  • Higher risk for heart disease and diabetes due to increases in insulin and cortisol.
  • Potential insulin resistance.

List adapted from the Mayo Clinic

Those who reap the most benefits of using HGH are people who have problems naturally producing growth hormone. The average Jane or Joe looking to boost their muscle volume will likely have the same luck (sans potential HGH side effects) if they stick to a healthy diet and workout regime. Though it may seem tempting to buy scalped tickets to the gun show from Sytropin, investing the extra time and effort into physical exercise is the best and safest approach to securing front row seats. Check out the exercise and diet tips in the Related Q&As below for more information.

Alice