HGH: Good For Me, Bad For Sports?

David AlenCorrespondent IMarch 9, 2009

So, with the rash of steroid and HGH news going on right now I decided to take a look at one of these performance-enhancing drugs.

I already had a casual knowledge of steroids and its effects, but what of this new PED, HGH? I had no idea what this stuff was...I thought it was just another type of steroid that will shrink your testicles and make you go off on uncontrollable rages.

I decided to look deeper into Human Growth Hormone and here is what I found.

HGH is also known as Somatotropin. When we are kids the pituitary gland controls how much somatotropin is secreted into our bodies.

If you were one of the bigger kids in your elementary school this meant that you secreted more of this growth hormone. As we age, less and less of this growth hormone is secreted into the body.

If you happen to have a fast metabolism and can easily lose weight, this means you have very high levels of somatotropin.

As a person ages, levels of somatotropin fall dramatically which can lead to a slowing down metabolism, reduction in energy, weakening muscles, gaining weight, reduction in bone density, and bouts of depression.

By the time most people reach 30, somatotropin secretion has practically stopped.

Sounds pretty bad...

That is where HGH can help you. All those symptoms can be reversed with some injectable HGH. Studies have found that regular injections of HGH have improved quality of life.

Such benefits include: increase in muscle strength, increase in muscle size, improvement in body fat loss, improvement in exercise tolerance, improvement in exercise endurance, improvement in skin texture, re-growth of hair, heightened sexual drive, faster healing and recovery time, and improvement in memory.

Wow! All that sounds great! Where do I sign up?

If HGH does all that for a normal person imagine what it can do for a high-class athlete?

That is where the problem lies.

People in all walks of life are looking for ways to enhance their performance, whether it's at their job, where office workers down energy drinks and coffee to keep them going, or at home, where countless men have taken "the little blue miracle" to keep their marriages alive, then take an Ambien to help with the insomnia.

In schools kids are normally prescribed Adderall to help them concentrate and get good grades. Actors get plastic surgery to stay looking young in order to get more roles.

Why, as regular humans, are we allowed to enhance our ways of life with all kinds of different pills and medications, yet athletes are not?

In a profession where the body is the main tool, why are athletes the only ones not allowed to enhance anything?

Why do we hold athletes up to such high standards, yet millions of people take medications and enhancers to help them get through whatever it is they need to get through?

I think it's time the hypocrisy stops. If athletes have to stop using enhancers, we all should.


Sorry Sally, no breast implants and lipo for you. I don't care if men think you're disgusting.

Sorry Bob, looks like you'll have to naturally get an erection. I'm sure your wife can wait.

I know you haven't slept in two weeks Jimmy, but give me your Ambien and here is some warm milk.

High cholesterol? Sorry Ed, no Lipitor here to help you, just go and do some running, that should help.

Maybe this is an idea whose time has finally come. Maybe if people thought for themselves and didn't let the media cloud their mind they would be a little more open-minded about such things.

Or maybe people have forgotten that sports are just another form of entertainment.