Growth Hormone Not Safe, Effective for Men

BOSTON, May 11 (UPI) — A review of studies indicates that human growth hormone does not appear to be safe or effective for healthy men of any age, U.S. newsletter says.

The May issue of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch says human growth hormone helps increase muscle mass and reduce body fat, and as men age their levels of the hormone fall.

Some theorists suggest injections of human growth hormone, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved HGH to delay aging or as an athletic enhancement, and it is illegal to market or distribute the hormone for these purposes, the Harvard Men’s Health Watch says.

A review of 31 studies shows individuals treated with the hormone gained 4.6 pounds of lean body mass and shed a similar amount of body fat, the newsletter says.

The hormone injections led to a slight drop in total cholesterol levels but no significant changes in low-density lipoprotein, the “bad” cholesterol; or high-density lipoprotein, the “good” cholesterol; triglycerides; aerobic capacity; bone density; or fasting blood sugar and insulin levels.

However, the study participants who received human growth hormone exhibited a high rate of side effects, including fluid retention, joint pain, breast enlargement and carpal tunnel syndrome, the newsletter says.

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