Human growth hormone (HGH), is one of the initiators and controllers of physical and psychological processes that happen in our body.
If you’ve listened closely in science and biology class, you’d remember a funny thing about the endocrine system. For those who forgot, the endocrine system is a part of the body (like the neurological system, or digestive system) that is in charge of excreting various hormonal compounds into the body to give other organs the chemicals and signaling they need to work well.
The endocrine system consist of:
- testes or ovaries.
The primary endocrine gland is the pituitary, a small nut-like gland that is nested in the center of our brain, just below the hypothalamus. The role of this gland kind of fits well with the location it is placed – it is the “head” of the endocrine system.
The pituitary gland produces and excretes several different hormones that oversee, or better, initialize and control the production of hormones in other glands in our body. The hormones it produces can stimulate other organs and metabolic processes, and they can induce the production of other hormones which together work for the betterment of our organism.
Even though it is placed in our head, the pituitary gland is not exactly a part of our nervous system, although it’s not exactly true that it isn’t. The pituitary gland communicates with other parts of the body through the hormones it produces and it oversees the healthy functioning of these parts of the body. These include the digestive tract, blood vessels and heart, muscle function and growth, genital function, thyroid, and adrenal function, even liver.
Indirectly, the function and hormone production of the pituitary gland eventually even affects our brain, either by the hormones that it produces on its own or by the hormones other glands produce by its order. For example, the adrenal gland can produce adrenaline which will make us feisty, or estrogen and testosterone which will either make us more interested in nail polishing or blade honing.
While it is in charge of healthy brain and body development, it is controlled by the brain itself, namely the hypothalamus, which produces chemical triggers that start or stop certain hormone production.
The Role of HGH
As you could imagine from this much, the pituitary gland produces human growth hormone. With HGH the body can do a lot because this stuff affects so many body processes.
For example, it is a vital part and triggers body growth. HGH is THE hormone that helps children grow into a size of an adult. Deficiencies in HGH can lead to slower and lesser growth, and the excess of this hormone can lead to gigantism in adulthood. The growth plan is dictated by several processes and in the vast majority of cases, these processes seal the growth somewhere in adulthood. So, there is no way to grow larger after these processes have ended.
In adulthood the production of HGH doesn’t stop, it just gets weaker little by little, until old age kicks in and it gets really low. In the meantime, HGH is in charge of various metabolic processes that maintain our body’s normal function.
One of these processes is the healthy development and maintenance of bone tissue. Through HGH the bones stay strong and sturdy. The same goes for our muscles. HGH is in charge of the creation of various proteins that also go into our muscles, so it’s in charge of maintaining and increasing the lean mass of our muscular system.
Okay, HGH is building, but it’s doing way more than that. It is involved in lipid metabolism as well, as it breaks down lipids so that the body can use energy from them, and then it’s involved in safely removing the side products from the bloodstream, along with triglycerides.
If you ever wondered why we need to take in our electrolytes regularly, you should know that we’d need to take much more if there wasn’t for HGH – this hormone regulates the retention of some of the most precious compounds within the body, like phosphate, sodium, etc. Without it, we’d need Gatorade much more often.
How pituitary gland doses HGH
The peculiar thing about HGH is that it is not constantly produced, but it’s rather produced in bursts. These bursts come several times during the day and it depends on the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus produces a hormone that triggers the pituitary gland to produce HGH in specific parts of the day (when sleeping for example).
Another way to trigger HGH production is during stress and physical strain. The body is then asked for better sugar metabolism and body rebuilding, so HGH is produced and released.