Growth hormone (GH) plays a critical role in growth & development, as well as a variety of other bodily functions such as immunity, bone health, and muscle development. Certain supplements aim to elevate growth hormone – particularly in older individuals because GH levels decrease as we age – as a way to support overall health. This glossary lists and defines some of the main terms and concepts relevant to growth hormone and growth hormone supplements.
A group of organic compounds involved in many important biological processes. They are best recognized as the building blocks of proteins. Several amino acids, such as GABA, have been found to stimulate growth hormone release, although their use as GH boosters is not recommended in athletes.
Any compound used to stimulate or regulate the development of male characteristics. Shifts in androgen levels can affect the status of growth hormone in the body. Testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone are the most common examples.
Bone density, or bone mineral density (BMD), is the content of minerals—particularly calcium and phosphorus—present in a bone. Low bone density is linked to an increased risk of fractures. Human growth hormone is essential for maintaining healthy bone density.
Hormones secreted by the pituitary gland to help regulate growth, puberty, and sexual and reproductive function, sometimes by acting directly on the gonads (testicles and ovaries). Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) are two of the main gonadotropins. Fenugreek has been shown to increase the release of several gonadotropins.
The part of the brain that facilitates communication between the nervous system and endocrine systems. The hypothalamus regulates body temperature, appetite, energy levels, sleep, and growth hormone release.
Insulin-like Growth Factor 1
Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is an endocrine hormone that structurally resembles insulin and mediates most of the effects of growth hormone. GH and IGF-1 levels are intrinsically tied, which is why measuring IGF-1 levels is the accepted method for determining GH levels.
Lean Body Tissue
Also called lean body mass or simply lean mass, this refers to all body tissues except fat, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones, although is usually implied to refer to muscle mass in particular. Growth hormone plays a role in regulating lean body tissue, which is one of the reasons why aging is tied to reductions in muscle mass.
A small gland at the base of the brain’s hypothalamus that is responsible for the release of hormones in charge of regulating growth, blood pressure, metabolism, and pain and temperature sensation, among other processes. Growth hormone is one of the hormones released from the pituitary gland.