Somatropin, also known as Human Growth Hormone (HGH) or even sometimes just Growth Hormone (GH) is a hormone created in the pituitary gland dealing with growth. Before somatropin can be created, Human Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (HGHRH) and Somatostatin (SST) are released by the Hypothalamus.
Many factors can influence HGH release, of which the main ones are nutrition and exercise. When HGH is released, it affects body cells. It increases their size, initiates more rapid cell division, and enhances the movement of amino acids through cell membranes. All of these amount to a muscle-building effect.
This effect is also known as an anabolic effect. Anabolic relates to building something up and is usually mentioned with steroids. HGH also causes cells to decrease the normal rate at which they can utilize carbohydrates.
During the circadian (deals with sleeping) rhythmic cycle, HGH is secreted in pulses. To do this, HGHRH and SST are released by the Hypothalamus. HGH is obviously released through the HGHRH, as it is the HGH Releasing Hormone. GH then travels into either the Liver, develops bone and tissue growth, or helps with erythropoiesis.
If GH travels into the liver, it will help with cartilage growth. To do this, the liver will secrete a substance called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1 or formerly known as Somatomedin). IGF-1 and GH will work together in conjunction to grow cartilage. In some cases of injury, they might even reproduce cartilage. GH can also directly stimulate the elongation of bone tissue without IGF-1. It also shows positive effects on erythropoiesis, which deals which blood and glucose.
This process can be described as a loop. The graphic facilitates the process of explaining this loop. During sleeping, GHRH and Somatostatin are created, which release GH. GH can help with cartilage growth, erythropoiesis, or bone and tissue growth. If GH aids with cartilage growth, then IGF-1 is created. The IGF-1 will send a message to the anterior pituitary gland to stop producing HGH.
The body produces most of its HGH during the early years when growth spurts occur. Therefore, its main function is increased height in children and some adolescents. As a person grows older, they produce less HGH and its effect becomes less pronounced. HGH is also taken with steroids to increase muscle strength and mass.
However, despite its ability to produce high-quality weight and muscle gains, it cannot really induce strength gains. A recent study shows this and is very complicated. It takes into account many other hormones. HGH may have more effects on the body, but these are not heavily researched.
- Stimulation of immune system
- Reduces liver uptake of glucose
- Plays role in homeostasis
- Stimulates growth of all internal organs except brain
- Increases calcium retention
Ultimately, Human Growth Hormone or Somatropin is a hormone that affects human growth. Its function can be confusing and complicated, but in its essence, it is a hormone that increases growth