My Supplements: hgH (Human Growth Hormone) Boosters

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by Nils Osmar. June 21, 2022. Medical Disclaimer

Note: This page is focused on supplements that have been shown to boost hGH levels. But I also take a lot of other supplements. For a full list of my supplements, see this post.

Why hGH matters

hGH (human growth hormone) is produced by the pituitary gland. It has many important functions in the human body. In adults, it helps to regulate body composition and supports healthy bone growth, muscle repair, and fat metabolism. It supports healing from wounds and other injuries. Having proper levels can prevent loss of bone density. High levels can also support healthy muscle growth, though it has a greater impact on size (hypertrophy) than strength. See Mayo Clinic article

As we age, our hGH levels drop, and all of these functions go into decline. Our bones, muscles, and healing all go into disrepair.

Boosting hGH

We can raise it (if we choose to) by doing strength training –fasting — exercising — going to bed by around 10 pm to catch the first natural peak in hGH production (it only occurs at this time, and only when we’re asleep) — and taking hGH boosting supplements. I’m doing all of the above.

hGH injections are effective, but according to some studies, are associated with an increase in cancer, including cancers at the injection sites. So when I decided to raise my levels, I decided to skip the injections and see if I could raise it by more natural means.

Taking supplements

Supplements can help restore our youthful hGH levels. I’ve marked the ones I’m taking in bold.

  1. Creatine – Life Extension – 8 grams
  2. HMB – Naturebell – 3 capsules.
  3. Arginine – Nutricost – 3 grams (works best if taken after, rather than before, working out)
  4. L. lysine – Pure encapsulations – 200 mg.
  5. AKG (alpha ketoglutarate) See study
  6. Zinc and copper – 30 mg. zinc, 2 mg. copper
  7. Vitamin D3 and K2
  8. L. Citrulline (I sometimes take it instead of arginine)
  9. Beta Alanine – Nutricost – 4 capsules (I liked its results but didn’t like the “tingly sensation”. So I’m on a break from it. (From a Healthline article: “In one study, taking 4.8 grams of beta-alanine before a workout increased the number of repetitions performed by 22%. It also doubled peak power and boosted HGH levels compared with the non-supplement group.”)
  10. Melatonin – Life Extension – 0.3 mg. I view melatonin as beneficial, but have found that if I take it at night, it’s as likely to keep me awake as to promote deeper sleep. It does strike me as a reasonable supplement to take, as it has been found to trigger greater release of hGH.

Ones to take together:

  • Creatine and HMB not only raise hGH, they increase testosterone in males, and may “produce improvements in strength performance, anaerobic performance, and for 4 weeks in body composition” if taken together. See study
  • Arginine and Lysine. Some studies suggest that they increase hGH more if taken together, though some studies contradict this. They do appear to have a beneficial neuroprotective effect when taken at the same time.

What I’m doing

I’m currently taking hGH-boosting supplements on my workout days only, within an hour or two after doing resistance training. The ones I’m taking are creatine, HMB, arginine, lysine, zinc, and vitamin D3.

But is it good to boost hGH levels?

  • This is an interesting question. The answer appears to be: Maybe.
  • On the one hand, (moderately) high levels of human growth hormone are necessary for the proper functioning of the thymus gland, which is key to our immune systems. People die when their immune function goes downhill. (Poor immunity is the reason, for example, that the great majority of deaths from Covid in the U.S. were in people in the elderly.)
  • The administration of hGH through injection has been shown to rejuvenate immune function in both human and animal studies. In the first TRIIM trial, the researchers found that giving hGH injections (along with metformin, DHEA, zinc and vitamin D) reversed epigenetic aging in all but one of the test subjects (who were all over 60). The average age reversal was 2.5 years. The implication was that 2.5 healthy years had been added to the participants’ lives.
  • On the other hand, lower levels of growth hormone correspond in many animal studies with longer lifespans. Hypo-pituitary dwarf mice, for example, have been found to live longer than control animals with higher levels of growth hormone.
  • In sum: hGH does activate the growth pathways, which are associated with shorter lifespan in lab animals. But it also helps us build muscle and respond to viral and bacterial threats.
  • So as in other interventions – it’s a balance. It may be that restoring our immune systems with hGH injections or by taking supplements makes sense, but only in those past a certain age.

So what to do?

  • Some researchers, like Dr. David Sinclair, view growth hormone as pro aging and would not recommend raising it, except perhaps in the elderly.
  • However, Sinclair also speaks highly of doing strength training, fasting, and going to bed early, all of which can at least somewhat boost hGH levels in everyone doing them. So his objection seems to be more to raising it artificially through injections.
  • Others, like Dr. Andrew Huberman and Dr. Peter Attia, have spoken of the benefits of keeping hGH levels high throughout our lives, just as they have spoken of the benefits of eating foods higher in leucine and protein.
  • So the truth is, it’s one of those questions we really have to navigate for ourselves.
  • What I’m (currently) doing is raising hGH just three days a week, on my feasting/workout days. On those three days only, I’m moving in an anabolic direction, activating the growth pathways, and activating mTOR — and trying to boost hGH.
  • The other four days, I’m focused on activating catabolism and AMPK, and am not boosting hGH.

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