A Systematic Review of Human Growth Hormone and its Viability as a form of treatment

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) supplements in a commercial form


It is well known that Human growth hormone is used in various disciplines as a treatment for disease, anti-aging, and athletic performance (Conrad and Potter. 2004). Understanding how the use of human growth hormone (HGH) can positively or negatively affect the human body is critical in understanding if this can be considered a viable treatment option in various disciplines. In addition to the possible benefits associated with the use of HGH, there can be many risks associated with this type of drug therapy. The articles examined in this systematic review look at whether or not the risks associated with the usage of HGH for its benefits outweigh the possible adverse health effects.

Using HGH as a treatment

A total of 12 articles were found which had studies related to the topic being explored in this systematic review. Of the 12 total articles examined, 3 studies were on the topic of human growth hormone and its role in sports and athletics. All studies on this sub-topic of sports and athletics were found to have neutral effects on the participants.

HGH and anti-aging

In the field of anti-aging, the studies analyzed point to HGH being a viable treatment option in all of the studies except the study by (Pierard Franchimont et al. 1996). In this study however, the participants were exposed to larger amounts of human growth hormone, and the results showed that their skin elasticity in fact decreased instead of the opposite and expected reaction. In the other studies, as mentioned above the HGH treatment was shown to be more successful.

HGH and Disease Therapy

In the field of disease therapy, the usage of HGH ranges through testing of the therapy in various diseases and conditions. In the study by (Mikol et al. 2012), it should be note that long-term effects were negative, but that this was only true for the therapy through HGH of that one particular disease tested. In all other studies, the results showed that HGH use in this sub-discipline has either positive or neutral benefits for the participants. In this discipline, it can therefore be concluded that HGH can be a viable treatment option, but that more testing is needed on other participants and with varying conditions, as effects are different based on the type of condition in question.

Analysis of Journal Articles

The results obtained from the analysis of the journal articles were able to satisfy the objective of this systematic review, which was to analyze the use of human growth hormone therapy in the treatment of disease, anti-aging, and its use in sports and athletics. Evidence found here suggested that the results must be looked at individually in order to accurately find an answer to the question of if HGH is a viable treatment as a whole. Looking at the first discipline in sports and athletics, of the three articles analyzed, all point to neutral effects in the participants, which suggest that HGH is not able to improve performance in athletes, and that further testing must be done over long periods of time to change this result. With this in mind, no negative results came from the testing of the participants. In this field, it can be concluded that HGH is not a particularly useful treatment.


The primary objective that this systematic review seeks to answer is if human growth hormone therapy is a viable form of treatment across the three primary fields of disease, anti-aging, and athletic performance. The hypothesis for this review was that therapy by the use of HGH would not be a viable treatment option, as the health effects posed by incorporating more of a naturally occurring hormone into the human body, may cause for an imbalance to which the body may not respond in a positive manner.


Appelman – Dijkstra et al. 2013. Long – Term Effects of Recombinant Human GH Replacement
in Adults with GH Deficiency: A systematic Review. European Journal of Endocrinology.
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Conrad P. Potter D. 2004. Human Growth Hormone and the Temptations of Biomedical
Enhancement. Sociol Health Illn. 26(2) : 184 – 215.

Dean H. 2002. Does Exogenous Growth Hormone Improve Athletic Performance. Clinical
Journal of Sport Medicine. 12(4): 250 – 253.

Handler MZ et al. 2012. Potential Role of Human Growth Hormone in Melanoma Growth
Promotion. Archives of Dermatology. 148(10): 1179 – 1182.

Holmberg B et al. 2007. Safety and Tolerability of Growth Hormone Therapy in Multiple System
Atrophy: A Double – Blind, Placebo – Controlled Study. Movement Disorders. 22(8):
1138 - 1144

Kireev RA, Vara E, Tresguerres JA. 2013. Growth Hormone and Melatonin Prevent Age-Related
Alteration in Apoptosis Processes in the Dentate Gyrus of Male Rats. Biogerontology.
14(4) 431 – 442.

Melmed GY et al. 2008. Anti – Aging Therapy with Human Growth Hormone Associated with
Metastatic Colon Cancer in a Patient with Crohn’s Disease. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol.
6(3): 360 – 363.

Mikol J et al. 2012. Creutzfeldt – Jakob Disease with Unusually Extensive Neuropathology in a
Child Treated with Native Human Growth Hormone. Clinical Neuropathology. 31(3): 127
– 134.

Pierard Franchimont et al. 1996. Mechanical Properties of Skin in Recombinant Human Growth
Factor Abusers Among Adult Bodybuilders. Dermatology. 192(4): 389 – 392.

Rogol AD. 2009. Growth Hormone and the Adolescent Athlete: What are the data for its safety
and efficacy as an ergogenic agent. Growth Hormone and IGF Research. 19(4): 294 – 299.

Sajadi E, Deezagi A, Chaparzadeh N. 2010. Studying the Anti – Aging Effect of Human Growth
Hormone on Human Fibroblast Cells via Telomerase Activity. Yakhteh. 12(2): 287 – 294.

Wolfgram PM, Carrel AL, Allen DB. 2013. Long – Term Effects of Recombinant Human Growth
Hormone Therapy in Children with Prader – Willi Syndrome. Current Opinion in
Pediatrics. 25(4): 509 – 514.

Zajac A et al. 2010. Effects of Growth Hormone Therapy and Physical Exercise on Anaerobic and
Aerobic Power, Body Composition, Lipoprotein Profile in Middle Aged Men. Journal of

Human Kinetics. 25: 67 – 76.

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