As the human body ages certain problems begin to surface as the production of growth hormone decreases. Some of these problems are: decrease in muscle mass, increase in body fat and thinner less flexible skin. In order to counter this process, some have turned to introducing an exogenous supply of HGH (human growth hormone) in a synthetic form. This hormone is available by prescription only and is administered as an injection. It is not available for oral consumption because the breakdown that occurs in the digestive tract will render it useless. While the development of synthetic HGH has helped in the treatment of many ailments and illnesses, there are still side effects that need to be examined before beginning treatments
Although the cost of HGH treatments has come down considerably, it is still significant. As an alternative to these treatments, many have turned to arginine. L-arginine, or L-arginine hydrochloride is a growth hormone releaser. It is an amino acid, that when used in large quantities, can significantly boost the release of growth hormone in the body. As mentioned, large doses are required in order for arginine to be effective: 10 to 30 grams daily depending on body weight and other factors. L-arginine must be taken on an empty stomach (one hour before a meal or at least 3 hours after a meal), as the introduction of other amino acids or an increase in insulin will reduce its effectiveness. Using supplements like choline and B5 will enhance the release of growth hormone.
Children or young adults, who are still growing, should not use growth hormone releasers. Long bone growth should be completed by at least 5 years before arginine becomes an option. The effectiveness of arginine varies greatly by age group. It is most effective and can produce massive releases of growth hormone for individuals in their 20's. With age, the arginine's impact is less and less effective. It still stimulates the release of hormone as before but not at the levels seen in youth.
As mentioned earlier there are two forms of arginine available for this purpose, they are L-arginine and L-arginine hydrochloride. Many people prefer the hydrochloride because the taste is much better as opposed to the reportedly awful taste of the free base L-arginine. Unfortunately there are those who have bad stomach reactions, such as diarrhea, in response to the large quantities of hydrochloride. Therefore the most practical way to take arginine is to mix it with a liquid such as water or unsweetened fruit juice and drink it as quickly as possible. To administer orally using pills or capsules would require a person to take at least 15 at a time, which of course is not very practical. Drink mixes, which combine other nutritional components, as well as arginine, are readily available and have been formulated to avoid the horrible taste of straight arginine while continuing to promote optimal hormone release.
In many countries capsules containing equal parts L-arginine pyroglutamate and lysine are used to stimulate growth hormone release. This combination can be an effective hormone releaser with the added advantage of being able to consume smaller doses. This is most likely due to the fact that it can cross from the blood to the brain faster. It is said that because of the pyroglutamate, increased brain function can also result. Studies have not exactly clarified what role lysine actually plays in this combination as there haven't been all that many done. What is known is that lysine would normally compete with the arginine in crossing the blood to brain barrier. It could then be inferred that the lysine would actually impede the arginine's effectiveness in boosting the release of growth hormone.
It was once believed that arginine was very efficient in speeding up wound recovery and boosting the immune system because of the increased release of growth hormone. It was then discovered that the results were the same regardless of increased growth hormone release. Arginine is also a precursor of nitric oxide, which has been discovered to be a compound of significant importance for things such as converting short-term memories into long-term memories as well as many others that are still being researched.
Today we are seeing more and more people turning to synthetic HGH injections as a way to “turn back the clock”. As scientists continue to study arginine as well as the properties of nitric oxide compound, it may be possible to replace this exogenous supply simply by enhancing the way the body produces it. It is hopeful that continuing this line of research may result in the same positive effects that are currently seen with HGH injection treatments without all the associated risks and side effects.
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