- Growth hormone is a protein-based (191 amino acids) polypeptide hormone produced in the pineal gland in the brain and crucial for repair.
- It induces cellular growth, reproduction, and regeneration
- According to Dr. Mark Gordon, “healthy aging can’t be achieved with a GH deficiency.”
- 90% of GH’s properties are for restoration and repair and only 10% growth-Dr. Nick Delgado
- Dr. Hertoghe states, “GH makes people more assertive, strong-minded, decisive and calm.” Makes you more resilient and able to handle stress more effectively.
- Majority of GH is produced between 8 pm and 4 am
- Levels decline by 50% from age 20-60 and then the loss ramps up even more so as we age. Most deficiencies occur from age 40 onwards.
Optimal levels of growth hormone help address the following conditions
- Muscle loss
- Heart health
- Loss of strength
- Skin health
- Excess body fat
- Low energy levels
- Poor immune function
- Low sex drive
- Injury healing
- Poor sleep (makes sleep more restorative)
- Helps with recovery from stress or any muscle strain
- Makes one more assertive, decisive, and calm
Signs of depleted growth hormone levels
- Low sex drive or decreased sex drive
- Loss of muscle strength
- Deep wrinkles
- Hair thinning
- Receding gums
- Less muscular shoulders
- Flabby ass
- Fat triceps
- Cushions of fat above the knees
- Jiggly inner thighs
- Endothelial dysfunction
- High blood pressure
- Slow thyroid function
- Memory loss
- Metabolic syndrome
- Poor cognition
- Diminished exercise capacity
- Poor workout recovery
- Inability to handle stress
- Lack of assertiveness
- More likely to isolate yourself
- Sleep issues
Determining optimal GH levels
- To determine GH production insufficiency and to qualify for GH therapy most doctors will have you do a glucagon pituitary stimulation test.
- IGF-1 levels are also measured as they are more stable than GH in the blood.
- It is also important to have binding proteins measured. Binding protein 1-6 (1 protects against heart disease, 3 is a major anti-cancer product) Quercetin can raise it at 250mg to 500mg per day.
- Dr. Mark Gordon: Half-life of GH is only 20 minutes. IGF binding protein 3 has a 24-hour half-life. If IGF binding protein 3 is high over 5000 you are making adequate GH even if IGF-1 is low.
Action steps to increase GH
- Intense exercise increases GH and levels can stay up for two hours. Even moderate aerobic exercise will boost GH levels.
- Weight lifting with a focus on compound exercises will ramp up GH levels as well. Deadlifts, squats, pull-ups, overhead press, kettlebell swings, etc.
- Sprinting is excellent for increasing GH and a personal favorite.
- A high saturated fat/ high glycemic diet can reduce GH by 30%
- Optimal estrogen levels help support optimal GH. If estrogen levels go too low it can have a negative impact on GH. Why AI drugs often lower GH.
- You may be able to address GH deficiency by addressing low testosterone and low DHEA
- Sleep quality is a must for optimal levels of GH as most GH is produced when we sleep.
Supplements that help with GH
- Melatonin improves sleep quality which in turn improves GH levels. 1-6mg per night
- Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant which will also improve sleep quality 500-1000mg per day or 8-12 sprays of Recovery oil two times per day.
- 5 HTTP at 100-200mg increases serotonin levels and relaxation. Take before bedtime.
- Theanine helps with relaxation and anxiety at 500mg to 1 gram.
- Zinc at 30mg per day (ZMA, recovery oil)
- DHEA before bedtime increases GH. I Prefer DHEA cream for superior absorption and also oral DHEA can be stimulating and not ideal before bedtime. 25-50mg.
- Citrulline increases arginine more than arginine and in turn, can increase nitric oxide levels and GH
- Glutamine 5 grams before bedtime. Glutamine is also great for gut health.
- Vitamin D 5000iu to 15,000iu
- Mucuna Pruriens increases dopamine which in turn stimulates GH production. 500mg per day.
- Nutrabol (often sold with SARMS) is a secretagogue which stimulates GH production
- Secretrophin a supplement designed by Dr. Mark Gordon works well for many to increase GH and binding proteins.
Reference range for IGF-1 52-328 ng/dl, Optimal range 250-300ng/dl
Sources and recommended reading
The Hormone solution, Dr. Thierry Hertoghe
Mastering the Life Plan, Dr. Jeffrey Life