The Aging Workforce
Government Secrets

HGH Rubbish

category_bug_journal2.gif No reputable physician believes human growth hormone can do anything but zilch for the effects of aging, and all over-the-counter/internet products claiming to be HGH or to promote levels of HGH within the body are bogus.

Nevertheless, spam for these expensive, fraudulent products crowd my inbox and another arrived yesterday:

“After the age of twenty-one, your body slowly stops releasing an important hormone known as HGH (Human Growth Hormone).

“The reduction of HGH, which regulates levels of other hormones in the body (including testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and melatonin) is directly responsible for many of the most common signs of growing old, such as wrinkles, gray hair, decreased energy, and diminished sexual function.

“Human Growth Hormone will normally yield the following results:

  • Boost your immune system
  • Rejuvenate your body and mind
  • Feel & look younger
  • Reduce wrinkles, lose weight, decrease cellulite
  • Restore your sex drive and vigor
  • Revitalize your heart, liver, kidneys & lungs
  • Maintain muscle mass
  • Refresh memory, mood and mental energy
  • Sleep soundly and awake rested
  • Help eliminate stress, fatigue and depression”

Geez - they left out warts and bunions. You just have to laugh, don’t you? Every word in that email is false, yet thousands of people waste millions of dollars on this crap. Here is some of what the Merck Manual of Health and Aging says about HGH:

“Some products that are available without a prescription are claimed to contain substances that stimulate the body’s production of human growth hormone…Human growth hormone taken by mouth cannot be used by the body…Human growth hormone applied to the skin or used as a spray cannot be absorbed by the body…”

The only approved uses for HGH are:

“…by children whose growth has been stunted. It is also used to reverse muscle wasting (atrophy) in people with AIDS and to treat people who have a deficiency of human growth hormone.”

And it must always be prescribed by a physician and must be injected for the body to use it. Some medical theories proposing that HGH might reverse frailty in old age have, in tests, proved fruitless:

“…several studies have focused on whether human growth hormone replacement can reverse the aging process…Results of these studies have been disappointing, showing no improvements. [emphasis added]

A quick Google search for HGH produces 4.5 million returns listing a variety of HGH products with unprovable claims for their concoctions. Drinking water would do you more good. But they wouldn’t be online if people weren’t buying.

When I was a little girl, I believed everything in print was required to be factual. Apparently, too many adults still believe that or, in a youth-besotted culture, will fall for any amount of fakery in their desperation to appear younger than they are.


HGH be hanged ! I am 57 and I try to enjoy every day that I live instead of trying to find the Fountain of Youth or HGH. Ageing is part of life !

Right on Paul...

such a terrible waste - so much for the greatest gift of aging - wisdom and the positive application of years of life experience.

So, snake oil sales people are still alive and promotin'. Somebody must still be buying, but it sure ain't me!

I don't want to be young again! I no longer have the patience for the angst and insecurities of youth. It's taken me 58 years but I finally like myself. I have earned every single line on my face and consider them battle ribbons. They signify that I have survived -- often in spite of myself and the challenges the Almighty has handed me and I'm proud of them. Let others look at cosmetic surgery and HGH -- I'm happy being me just as I am.

You're right, of course, about the waste, but there's stil a reason why people (ok, me) would throw good money away on snake oil: The Dream. Buying a lottery ticket is just as pointless but for a few days I get to fantasize about how I'd live as a $365 millionare! Spending more than $5 on face cream is a similar waste, but it makes me feel like I've pampered myself; in my head I know it will do no good, but in my childish heart I still hope.

Ronnie -- love your blog and liked your article on Morph. The article in Le Monde had a good point: les seniors "ont tendance à être un peu institutionnels. Leur style ressemble plus à celui d'un livre qu'à une conversation".

Translated: "...the seniors have a tendancy to be a little institutional. Their style is more that of a book than of a conversation."

Let me know if you need help with translating; je parle un peau.

I have a new blog MotherPie covering new media musings (mother of 3, media graduate student) and referenced your great article on choices. Would welcome your comments.

I also have a blog about HGH. You have a very nice site.

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