Exogenous human growth hormone (HGH) is a synthetic version of the naturally occurring hormone that is produced by the pituitary gland in the human body. HGH plays a crucial role in stimulating growth, cell reproduction, and regeneration in humans. Athletes and bodybuilders have been using exogenous HGH as a performance-enhancing drug due to its anabolic effects.
Anabolic refers to the building-up process in which the body synthesizes new molecules and tissues from smaller components. Exogenous HGH stimulates anabolic processes in the body by promoting protein synthesis, increasing muscle mass, and reducing body fat.
One of the primary mechanisms of HGH's anabolic effects is through the activation of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in the liver and other tissues. IGF-1 is a hormone that is structurally similar to insulin and is responsible for promoting cell growth and division. When HGH binds to its receptor on the surface of cells, it activates a cascade of signaling pathways that ultimately result in the production of IGF-1.
IGF-1 then binds to its own receptor on the surface of cells, promoting anabolic processes such as protein synthesis and cell division. Exogenous HGH also stimulates the proliferation and differentiation of satellite cells, which are responsible for repairing and regenerating muscle tissue.
In addition to its anabolic effects, exogenous HGH also has anti-catabolic effects, meaning it helps prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue. HGH accomplishes this by inhibiting the action of cortisol, a hormone that promotes the breakdown of muscle tissue and increases fat storage.
While exogenous HGH has been shown to be effective in promoting muscle growth and reducing body fat, its use as a performance-enhancing drug is controversial and illegal in many sports. HGH supplementation can also have negative side effects, including joint pain, edema, and an increased risk of diabetes and cancer.
In conclusion, exogenous human growth hormone is anabolic due to its ability to promote protein synthesis, increase muscle mass, reduce body fat, and prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue. However, its use as a performance-enhancing drug is controversial and can have negative side effects. As with any drug, it is important to weigh the potential benefits against the risks before considering HGH supplementation.