Every activity in human body is controlled by hormones. Be it growth, deciding the sex of individual or development of primary and secondary sexual characters is all controlled by hormones. Human growth hormone, shortly called as HGH is a peptide chemical which is responsible for stimulating growth of body, reproduction of cells and regeneration of lost body parts in human body. There is a mitogen in these hormones which acts on certain specific kinds of cells only. This hormone contains a long chain of about 191 amino acids. Bonds are all polypeptide in nature.
Certain children suffer from disorders related to growth as they age. Their body won’t develop as they age. As a result of this, a 14 year old boy may look like a 7 year old boy. This is all due to the lack of Human Growth Hormone. For such children, it is necessary to administer the hormone externally to enhance normal growth of their body. Such treatment is usually very costly and can’t be afforded by common man. Hence there is a need for inventing cheaper treatment for such disorders. World famous footballer Lionel Messi was suffering from lack of growth hormones when he was 14 and was treated with growth hormones for gaining normal body growth.
Use of this drug has been made legal for medical purposes, but whether it is 100% safe to use is still a matter of debate. Urine tests can’t detect this drug; hence WADA was finding it very difficult to enforce a ban on this drug. But in 2000, scientists developed a new blood test to detect this drug. This test can easily distinguish between natural HGH and HGH which has been artificially administered into body.
Growth Hormones are homologous to prolactin and chorionic somatomammotropin. Even though there are many similarities between growth hormones of different species, human growth hormone receptors react to only hormones from humans and old world monkeys. There are different molecular isoforms of GH in our body and are all released by pituitary glands into our bloodstream.
Hypothalamus contains neurosensory nuclei which regulates secretion of growth hormone from pituitary gland. There are two types of peptides released by these cells, namely Growth hormone releasing hormone and Growth hormone inhibiting hormone. These two are responsible for regulating the growth hormone secretion in body. There are certain other factors which stimulate production of these hormones. These factors include diet, exercise, sleep etc. lack of these factors may lead to underproduction of HGH and dwarfism may result.
GH is synthesized and secreted by Somatotropic cells which are present in anterior pituitary glands. They are released in a pulsating manner, according to stimulation of hypothalamus. Amount of this hormone in blood varies to a great extent in every individual every moment, but about one hour after sleep, blood contains maximum amount of growth hormone. It may be up to 13-72 ng/dl. More than half of secretion of GH takes place in deep slumber stage, i.e. in third and fourth stage of sleep of a human being which is called NREM sleep stage. So it is a fact which is established beyond doubt that good sleep is a stimulating factor to increase levels of growth hormones in blood.