Growth In A Pill
By Anthony Almada, MS

The positive effects of human growth hormone (hGH)—weight and fat loss, muscle strength, endurance gains, and improved skin—are well-documented. But can an hGH pill deliver the same punch as injectable hGH? As of yet, no well-designed, placebo-controlled research has been done on the products currently on the market.

But there are some promising results about an oral homeopathic preparation of human GH, produced through recombinant gene technology. (The founder of Biomed Comm, the company producing the hGH, was the lead author of the study.)

Researchers found that this homeopathic hGH preparation does decrease body weight and increase muscle mass. However, its effect on body fat was not reported, despite the measurement presumably being made. Other impacts of injectable hGH—for example, impaired carbohydrate metabolism on the down side, and potentially beneficial effects on cholesterol—were not comparatively addressed in the pill study.

One potential concern with hGH use is the promotion of tumor growth. Increases in another hormone (IGF-1, produced in response to hGH exposure) has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women.

More rigorous research is needed to examine the long-term effects and effectiveness of hGH products when delivered in pill form.

Nutrition and exercise biochemist Anthony Almada, MS, has collaborated on more than 45 university-based studies. He is cofounder of Experimental and Applied Sciences (EAS), and founder and chief scientific officer of IMAGINutrition.