By: Dan Weiman
Why Would You Use HGH if Not to Cheat at Baseball?
The release of Sen. George Mitchell’s report on the use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball has brought much scrutiny to the medical and athletic communities. Perhaps the person most affected by the report is legendary right-hander Roger Clemens, who stands accused of purchasing and using Human Growth Hormone, or HGH. Many others have been accused of using HGH for its alleged anti-aging and muscle building effects and immunity to traditional drug testing. So what exactly is HGH, and does it have legitimate medical use?
Humans typically have more natural HGH in their body when they are young than any other time in their life. The hormone helps to build muscle mass and generally promote growth. HGH was first used medically in the 1950s for adolescents with stunted growth due to malfunctioning pituitary glands. HGH helped boys with this deficiency grow from an average height from about 4’3” to a height of roughly 5’11.” Originally, HGH was extracted from pituitary glands of cadavers, but today it can be made synthetically. It is still used in hormone therapy programs to help children with growth deficiencies. HGH has also been shown to help in AIDS treatment programs to slow the wasting away of the body. Side effects of HGH when used properly are mild, but when abused can produce severe conditions such as high blood pressure, hormonal imbalances, and liver damage.
Important to remember: HGH is also gaining popularity as a way to reverse the aging process in the general population. First, HGH has not been proven to have a reverse effect on the aging process. Second and more importantly, the Federal Government classifies any anti-aging use of HGH as illegal.