What Is Human Growth Hormone?
You may have heard of something called Human Growth Hormone, or hGH, in relation to sports supplements and maybe even related to steroids. Like steroids, hGH is only legal when prescribed by a doctor for a medical condition. Doctors prescribe hGH for people whose bodies don't naturally make enough growth hormone, a condition known as growth hormone deficiency. However, recent trends show an increase in growth hormone being abused as an athletic supplement.
A lot of myths surround hGH and its effects on athletes. As with steroids, there is absolutely no evidence that growth hormone helps to improve athletic performance. Here are some risks you should be aware of:
- Any type of hGH that is not obtained by prescription is not regulated by the government and could be almost anything.
- If you buy what may be called "growth hormone," "growth stimulators," or "growth factors" online, it's likely they're not really hGH. Many websites claim to be selling growth hormone, but they're really selling amino acids that don't significantly increase growth hormone levels in your body.
- If the false claims of performance benefits from hGH don't bother you, the price probably will — $5,000 for a month's prescription, meaning that the street value for just a month could run anywhere from $5,000-$10,000.
- Because growth hormone can only be injected, like some steroids, there's a risk of contracting HIV or other diseases (like hepatitis) if people share needles.