Even though most people don’t think of it as such, the human body is an incredible machine. And there are several reasons why that is. Firstly, it is nothing short of remarkable in its complexity, adaptability, and efficiency. Second, it can perform numerous functions, from processing nutrients and oxygen to coordinating complex movements and regulating internal bodily systems, the endocrine system being one of them. This system comprises many organs that work to produce hormones that the body needs to function optimally. One of those organs happens to be the pituitary gland, which, with help from the hypothalamus, is responsible for producing human growth hormones (HGH).

The Role of Human Growth Hormones

Also known as master hormones, human growth hormones are peptide hormones that consist of nearly 191 amino acids strung together. In childhood and adolescence, they work in concert with insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), hormones produced by the liver, to facilitate growth spurts. Although they don’t help us grow taller after we become adults, human growth hormones still benefit our bodies in many ways. These peptide hormones aid in regulating body composition, body fluids, sugar and fat metabolism, and even heart function.

Why Do Some People Suffer From Low HGH Levels?

While we are young, the pituitary gland produces a fair bit of HGH. However, as we get older, that production starts to slow down. That’s the conclusion reached in a study published by WorldHealth.net, the official voice of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and Regenerative Medicine. It noted that HGH levels in men and women decline by 14% to 15% annually after age 30. By age 40, their HGH levels are around 200 mg per day. By age 60, they fall to roughly 25 mg per day. Along with aging, the following can also trigger a decline in HGH levels:

  • Pituitary tumors
  • Head injuries
  • Brain surgery
  • Radiation treatments involving the head or neck
  • Inadequate blood supply to the pituitary due to severe bleeding, blood clots, or anemia

Symptoms of an HGH Deficiency

When someone’s HGH levels fall too low, they can experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms. Some of the more commonly reported ones include the following:

  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Decreased libido
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Increased sensitivity to heat and cold temperatures
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • A noticeable decline in strength and stamina
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta
  • Hypercholesterolemia

What Treatments Are Available to Individuals Diagnosed With Low HGH Levels?

In most cases, the treatment for low HGH levels or a full-on HGH deficiency is hormone replacement therapy, which entails receiving an FDA-approved synthetic human growth hormone drug. Some of the ones physicians prescribe the most include Hymatrope, Nutropin, Nutropin AQ, Norditropin, and Saizen. Protropin, Serostim, Sogroya, and Zomacton are also quite popular. All of these drugs are injectables, and they each work by mimicking the natural HGH produced by the pituitary gland.

Synthetic human growth hormone drugs fall into one of two categories: Somatropin or somatrem. Somatropin drugs are identical to the natural HGH that the pituitary gland produces. Somatrem is somewhat different as it contains an additional amino acid and is known to cause more side effects than somatropin drugs. The only somatrem drug in the U.S. approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is Protropin. All other FDA-approved synthetic human growth hormone drugs fall under the umbrella of somatropin drugs. According to the Mayo Clinic, both drug classes help individuals diagnosed with an HGH deficiency with the following:

  • Decreasing body fat
  • Increasing bone density
  • Increasing stamina
  • Increasing muscle mass and strength
  • Increasing libido and sex drive

Side Effects Associated With Taking Synthetic Human Growth Hormone Drugs

While hormone replacement therapy in the form of synthetic human growth hormones is considered a godsend to those diagnosed with an HGH deficiency, there are some downsides. Protropin, for example, can trigger a wide range of what most might argue are severe side effects. According to drugs.com, taking Protropin can increase one’s risk of experiencing oncologic, immunologic, dermatologic, and metabolic side effects. The drug can also adversely affect the musculoskeletal, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems. Hymatrope, Nutropin, Nutropin AQ, Norditropin, and other somatropin drugs can also cause several side effects. According to MedlinePlus, those side effects include the following:

  • Ear pain
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Hair loss
  • Headaches
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Pain, redness, swelling, or itching at the injection site
  • Skin thickening at the injection site
  • Sore throat, cough, fever, or other signs of infection

MedlinePlus further notes that some side effects caused by taking somatropin drugs can result in hospitalization. Some of these side effects include the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Edema that affects the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Enlarged or swollen breasts
  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • Lightheadedness and fainting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Paresthesia
  • Respiratory and vision problems
  • Unintentional weight loss

The Truth About the Serovital alternative to Synthetic HGH: recognizing that synthetic human growth hormone drugs can and often do trigger side effects, many people turn to supplements to help boost low HGH levels instead, namely those containing amino acids, such as L-glutamine and L-arginine hydrochloride. One such supplement is Serovital. According to its manufacturer, Sanmedica, a dietary and health supplement company based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Serovital can increase HGH levels in the blood by as much as 682%, which, they say, is more than enough to provide relief from many of the symptoms typically associated with an HGH deficiency, including low libido and low sex drive. However, the FDA has not substantiated any of these claims. What is clear is the amino acids in Serovital can only boost low HGH levels temporarily. Also, there are side effects associated with taking it, some of which include the following:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Acne
  • Bloating
  • Headaches
  • Heartburn
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Vertigo

In summary, synthetic HGH drugs and supplements can both trigger unpleasant side effects. The difference between the two is that synthetic HGH drugs have been proven effective. And they are FDA-approved. While HGH supplements that contain L-glutamine, L-arginine hydrochloride, and other amino acids can help boost low HGH levels, the effects are only temporary. They also don’t boost HGH levels nearly as much as their synthetic HGH drug counterparts. As a result, some argue they are not worth taking. That said, it is possible to boost low HGH levels safely and naturally by getting plenty of sleep, consuming a healthy, well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress.