Findings and After Effects of Dr. Rudman’s Study on Growth Hormone Therapy
At the mention of human growth hormone these days, bodybuilders and people using the substance to fight aging most likely come to mind. The uses of the polypeptide for such purposes and several others are largely linked to a study by Dr. Daniel Rudman. The famous study, which was published in 1990, drew massive attention to the substance. Majority of the HGH products on the market make claims based on the benefits observed in that research. Read on to learn more about the study and how it relates to the trend we see today.
Growth hormone and age-related changes
It has long been known that the levels of growth hormone in the human body fall with age. As a consequence, this decline also causes the amount of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) to reduce. These reductions, in turn, bring about a number of unpleasant changes, especially those commonly associated to getting older. Muscle mass diminishes, skin sags and body fat accumulates, among other changes.
This observation served as the background for the landmark study by Dr. Rudman and his colleagues. The widely-cited research titled “Effects of Human Growth Hormone in Men over 60 Years Old” appeared in the New England Journal of Medical in 1990. The researchers worked on the theory that the fall in HGH levels seen in adulthood is responsible for undesirable changes that are usually seen. So they decided to investigate what benefits could be derived by intervention to increase growth hormone levels in the elderly.
How was the study carried out?
Rudman and his colleagues selected healthy men who were at least 60 years old for the double-blind investigation. This group is known to have significantly lower plasma IGF-1 concentrations. To get the ideal subjects, the researched advertised for participants, interviewed respondents, and recruited those who met the stipulated criteria. The qualifying requirements included body weight that is 90 to 120% of the typical for age, freedom from serious medical conditions, and ability to self-administer synthetic HGH. Medical history, physical examinations, tests and other measures were then used to significantly reduce the number of the subjects.
After some months, the number of subjects was cut down to 21. The treatment group comprised 12 men whose ages fell in the range of 61 to 81 years. These had plasma IGF-1 levels that were not up to 350 U per liter. Such a level was considered a sign that the body was secreting too low amount of HGH. For a period of six months, these subjects were given biosynthetic growth hormone. The administration was done via subcutaneous injections. The remaining nine men, who were of similar age and had comparable plasma IGF-1 concentrations, made up the control group.
Findings from the study
What researchers observed in the Rudman study may be described as ground-breaking. The men who were treated with synthetic growth hormone had mean IGF-1 levels between 200 and 250 U per liter before treatment commenced. But the mean plasma IGF-1 concentration jumped to 830 U per liter and stayed near that level for the rest of the treatment period. In contrast, the mean levels among those in the control group remained in the 180-300 U a liter range throughout.
Dr. Rudman’s team noted that treatment of selected subjects improved IGF-1 levels to the usual range for younger men. In addition to that, the researchers did not notice hormone resistance or tachyphylaxis (rapidly diminishing response). They observed that several response variables improved dramatically at the end of 12 months.
The interesting findings made in the Rudman study include:
- 8 percent improvement in lean body mass
- 4 percent reduction in adipose tissue mass
- 1 percent increase in the sum of the thickness of the skin at four sites
- 6 percent improvement in the mean density of the lumbar vertebrae
The changes observed from growth hormone therapy in the study might not appear like a lot. But when you consider the subjects were instructed not to make any changes in their lifestyle choices, you will better appreciate the findings. The men needed not to exercise, if they were already not doing so, and were free to consume alcohol or use tobacco if they had been doing so.
Plasma IGF-1 responses in these elderly men were observed to not be impaired. They remained comparable to those of younger individuals. As a result, the researchers suggested that structural changes seen in older persons were not as a result of growth hormone resistance in such, but that of too little amount of the peptide being produced.
After effects of research
People with seemingly better understanding of what the Rudman study appeared to hint at soon started seeking how to tap into the benefits of human growth hormone. Most notable among these were those who took interest in it to reverse aging. For instance, adipose tissue mass increases as people get older – this is associated to low HGH levels. The observation that growth hormone can improve lean body mass also drew professional bodybuilders and others desiring a great body.
The research carried out by Dr. Rudman and colleagues has mostly formed the basis of most important claims that many makers of HGH products make these days. But it needs to be emphasized that the 1990 study was done using synthetic growth hormone (somatropin) injections. Now, that substance is virtually a perfect replica of the one produced in the body. This makes it quite potent and ideal for improving HGH levels.
In addition to HGH injections, there is a range of other products on the market to choose from. Most notable among those other options are supplements or releasers. While these may be useful for improving the amount of growth hormone in the body, they are not on par with somatropin in efficacy. Yet, it is not uncommon to see companies making claims their supplements can deliver comparable results to those seen in the Rudman study.
Several other studies have been done since the release of the results of that famous one in 1990. Some of these noted positive effects of supplementing HGH levels in slowing aging, reducing body fat and some other purposes. However, there are studies showing negligible improvement in levels. The need to understand long-term effect of growth hormone use has been suggested for further research.
Note of warning
It is possible you may be considering HGH injection use based on the findings from the Rudman study or another reason. But before you do that, it is important for you to exercise caution. Synthetic HGH is a controlled substance and you cannot legally get or use it without a doctor’s prescription. And for you to have a prescription, you need to have been diagnosed with a serious medical condition.
Of course, it is possible to get somatropin injections without going through your doctor. There are underground or black market agents that do sell them. However, you should note that you could be slammed with drug charges if you are found in possession of the substance without prescription. You also expose yourself to serious health risks if you get it from unregulated sources.
No significant side effects were reported in the study by Dr. Rudman. This is mainly because the researchers used low doses of HGH on treated subjects. Improper use of the substance, regardless of the source, can expose you to unpleasant side effects. Excessive usage could cause your pituitary gland to shut down production, making you entirely dependent on synthetic growth hormone.
Rudman and colleagues still observed small rise in fasting glucose levels and mean systolic blood pressure at low doses used. This made them to suggest that conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, acromegaly, or edema are likely from long-term use.
HGH supplementation for off-label purposes
Many people developed interest in the Rudman HGH study mainly because it indicated off-label uses of growth hormone. These individuals desired to reverse aging signs and look younger and more attractive. It has to be said, though, that it is entirely illegal to use somatropin for such and other off-label purposes not recognized by the FDA.
It is better you look towards high quality HGH supplements if you are only interested in slowing aging, building lean body mass or other off-label benefits. In case you need a recommendation, Somatropinne is a good growth hormone supplement worth giving a shot. It comes as pills and oral spray for amplified effects.