Human growth hormone (HGH) can make you feel refreshingly energized and rejuvenated. But it can be difficult to obtain. Still, for some people it’s worth the effort; and with the right supplements you may be able to get all of HGH’s health-boosting benefits.
Getting A Test And A Prescription
There are complications when you try to get a prescription for HGH from a prescribing physician. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows the use of HGH for anti-aging treatment in adults only when a blood test shows a low level of IGF-1 (a hormone related to growth).
HGH prescriptions are closely monitored by State licensing agencies, and there are rules physicians must play by. If a doctor writes an HGH prescription for anti-aging, body-building, cosmetic purposes, an athletic goal or to add muscle mass but doesn’t show that the patient has low levels of HGH on his blood tests, the physician is at risk of investigation and even prosecution by a State licensing board.
When you are tested, you may find that your level is considered “adequate” when judged by a standard that is set unrealistically low. This occurs even if it’s obvious that you are deficient in HGH, and this is hurting your wellness. Therefore, the decision to prescribe HGH often should be based not only on lab results but also on clinical evidence (symptoms, signs, risk factors, etc.) that shows a need for supplementation.
Your physician can prescribe HGH “off-label.” This means simply to ignore the law prohibiting the uses of HGH for undocumented low levels of IGF-1. It is common practice to prescribe off-label for many other medications. Moreover, when risks and benefits are understood and discussed with a patient, prescribing off-label can be an important aspect of the art of medicine.
Frequently, the FDA or licensing boards won’t take action if a physician only occasionally prescribes HGH. But if the doctor hands it out all the time, trouble may ensue.
In any case, I suggest you find a physician trained in anti-aging and restorative medicine who knows how to prescribe it for you.
HGH Secretagogues: No Prescription Needed
Keep in mind that taking HGH orally does little good. It never gets into your bloodstream that way, because it is completely destroyed in the stomach and intestinal tract. But there is another method of increasing your HGH besides injecting the actual hormone. Oral pills or sublingual sprays made mostly of amino acids can assist your hypothalamus and pituitary in boosting natural HGH secretion. These are called secretagogues.
HGH secretagogues generally work best for men younger than age 45, but their effectiveness for HGH release varies from person to person. Research shows it can work well even if you’re in your 60s. 
Our understanding of the way HGH is secreted and how it works is incomplete. The quantity of HGH that is secreted into the blood is normally so tiny — on the order of a milligram per day in adults — that an average person produces only about one teaspoonful during his entire lifetime. Plus, HGH is released in many small pulses throughout the day and a larger one at night. This action is difficult to mirror with supplementation.
L-Glutamine And Arginie
An effective and lower-cost recipe for boosting natural HGH secretion recommended by anti-aging doctors combines 2 grams of L-glutamine in the morning and 10 to 30 grams of L-arginine at bedtime. Arginine is the amino acid that stimulates the release of nitric oxide, which dilates arterioles. This is very useful for reducing high blood pressure and increasing blood supply to tissues. It is believed that L-arginine inhibits somatostatin, the hormone that blocks growth hormone production. (Somatostatin inihibits growth hormone releasing hormone, or GHRH.) In this way L-arginine acts as an HGH “releaser.” To facilitate the effective release of HGH, you should take these amino acids for about six weeks and then abstain for two weeks.
You also need certain other nutrients and minerals that act as cofactors for the production of HGH stimulated by these amino acid supplements and that greatly enhance the growth hormone “releasing” effect of L-arginine. These include vitamins A, B5, B6, B12, C and E; folic acid; minerals; and other amino acids. These are available in the product Innerpower™ from Life Extension Foundation. 
For oral secretagogues to be effective you need to:
- Take your secretagogues on an empty stomach (30 minutes before or two hours after completing a meal) in order to keep other amino acids and insulin from interfering.
- Avoid certain medications that increase drowsiness and that blunt the amino acid “HGH-releasing” effect and/or block natural HGH release. These include: Benedryl (diphenhydramine), Sominex, Nytol and Tylenol-PM.
- Don’t ingest alcohol in amounts greater than an ounce within two hours of taking a secretagogue. That also inhibits its effect.
There are many expensive secretagogues you can find online. In my opinion, the best brands offer a 60-90 day full money-back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied with your results. You can learn more about these types of supplements at Sytropin  and Genf20. 
We still await the dream secretagogue that, in scientifically designed clinical trials, has been proven in an ironclad way to be highly effective and safe.
To you feeling good,
Michael Cutler, M.D.
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