Human Growth Hormone (HGH) helps regulate a myriad of essential processes in our bodies. It plays a vital role in cellular regeneration, cell reproduction, and growth in general. HGH also works on a cellular level to reduce oxidative stress, aids in digestion, and even helps support a healthy sex drive. Learning some of the science behind HGH supplements can help better understand which compounds will help give you the boost you need and which ones are just marketing hype.
Hard to Find
Growth Hormone is produced by the somatropic cells within the anterior of the human pituitary gland. People with damage to this area of their brains have been found to have lower serum HGH levels. The exorbitant prices of synthetic HGH, as well as the near-impossibility of insurance coverage, leave many looking to dietary supplements for an answer to their HGH needs. Research has shown several natural compounds to be effective in causing significant short-term spikes in human growth hormone levels. This article outlines which of these compounds are, in my opinion, the likliest candidates for actually increasing serum HGH levels.
Natural HGH Supplements
When seeking to raise one’s growth hormone levels, no supplement will ever compare to the efficacy of synthetic HGH injections. However, there are supplements that have demonstrated the ability to increase hgh levels naturally. These compounds have limited research and, in many cases, don’t have their efficacy tested directly but through the inference via IGF-1 levels (like a footprint of HGH, kind of.) Chances are, if you’ve had your HGH levels tested you had an IGF-1 test rather than an honest-to-god HGH test. As we discuss some of the supplements known to impact HGH levels keep in mind that results are likely to vary wildly based on the individual and the conditions in which these compounds are taken. With that in mind, here’s a list of the compounds discussed in this article, all having demonstrated the ability to increase HGH levels:
Many health issues can be connected to below-normal human growth hormone levels. In addition to the direct impacts on many vital health processes in your body, HGH is also associated with many anti-aging effects and is therefore very sought after. HGH is released by the body in ‘bursts’  and is therefore difficult to detect other than by very specialized GH Stimulation tests. The most common means of measuring human growth hormone is through IGF-1 testing. This test measures levels of insulin-like growth factor 1, which is a kind of ‘footprint’ of human growth hormone release. Much of the research pertaining to the effectiveness of HGH supplements involves the measure of this metric.
Human Growth Hormone Supplements
Human Growth Hormone supplements are easy enough to find, but understanding which ones are effective can be quite a hat-trick. When researching HGH-stimulating supplements you have to realize that marketers have a field day with these types of products. Any health product that can be marketed as age-reducing, muscle-builder, or a weight loss enhancer gets dragged through the mud with regards to it’s credibility. To avoid this type of confusion and over-zealous marketing, it’s best to understand which isolated supplements are able to affect growth hormone production.
Marketers have a field day with [HGH] products
Another issue in finding effective Human Growth Hormone supplements is that manufacturers aren’t allowed to make ‘health claims‘ in most cases. This means that products that have demonstrated a very interesting amount of data in the stimulation of growth hormone aren’t likely to be marketed as such, due to FDA regulations. While the FDA may not be impressed, there has been very illuminating research conducted on many different compounds that demonstrate the ability to boost serum levels of Human Growth Hormone. Below, you’ll find a brief overview of some of the most-potent and promising supplements.
L-Arginine is an amino-acid that is known to be a building block of protein structures within your body. This compound is found naturally in many foods such as meats, eggs, and dairy. L-Arginine is considered a non-essential amino acid, which means that the body does not produce it on its own. Non-essential amino acids must be gotten from outside sources. L-Arginine is know to help fight inflammation, repair blood vessels, help to lower blood pressure, increase overall immune function, and even prevent the common cold.
In addition to these powerful health benefits of L-Arginine, this compound has demonstrated the ability to boost human growth hormone when combined with heavy weight lifting. In one study investigating the effects of short-duration strength training on athletes, it was noted that those given L-Arginine beforehand had greater levels of IGF-1 afterwards. Next to protein powder, L-Arginine is one of the most-popular supplements used by body-builders and those looking to put on lean muscle mass.
L-Ornithine is another amino acid known to have stimulating effects on your body’s production of growth hormone. This amino acid, unlike L-Arginine, isn’t directly involved in your body’s process for making new protein structures such as muscles. L-Ornithine is known to be an intermediary compound produced within your body’s Urea Cycle which primarily takes place in the your liver. This cycle is integral in the reduction of ammonia in the bloodstream. L-Ornithine may also show some ability to address conditions related to kidney and liver dysfunction, such as hepatic encephalopathy.
In addition to the ability to reduce stress on your liver, and potentially reduce serum levels of ammonia, L-Ornithine has demonstrated the same abilities to increase growth hormone levels that L-Arginine does. L-Ornithine also promotes the stimulation of IGF-1 levels when taken before workouts or physical exertion.  L-Ornithine’s reduction of ammonia concentrations is also tied to the reduction of fatigue symptoms. This may also allow for more effective levels of exercise, in turn promoting even more growth hormone stimulation.
Alpha GPC (Alpha-glycerophosphocholine) is a choline bound compound that has been shown to benefit health in many ways. Alpha GPC is regarded as one of many powerful natural Nootropics, having the ability to show increased levels in body brain and blood concentrations—something choline doesn’t demonstrate. The interest in Alpha GPC for growth hormone stimulation revolves heavily around a study in which acute spikes of growth hormone were observed when large doses were taken before workouts. 
On the whole, this compound shows promise but could stand to have more research before any concrete conclusions can be made. An effective dose for increasing growth hormone levels is more between 600mg and 1200mg before a workout. Alpha GPC is a water-soluble molecule, so it can be taken orally on an empty stomach and be effective. For those interested in Alpha GPC for it’s cognitive properties, another interesting choline compound having demonstrated nootropic action is CDP Choline—although it hasn’t been know to be effective in stimulating growth hormone production.
L-Dopa is another amino acid compound that is found naturally in foods like velvet beans, and is a direct precursor to the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter Dopamine. In clinical tests, L-Dopa has shown the ability to increase levels of circulating growth hormone. L-Dopa is popular among many men as a penis-enlargement supplement, having demonstrated the ability to increase penile girth naturally. The research indicating this ability of L-Dopa also saw a correlation between the increased penile size and amounts of testosterone available.
L-Dopa is also commonly referred to as Levadopa, and has also demonstrated many other remarkable influences on health and physiological functions in the human body. As with many non-prescription compounds, incentives for clinical and laboratory research are sparse—leaving much to hypothesis. A few other potential benefits of L-Dopa have been shown to include the increase of libido, increase of luteinizing hormone, and the lowering of cortisol levels. More research is needed for these areas, but L-Dopa’s ability to increase growth hormone naturally is a certainty.
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)
GABA is involved in one of the most integral neural pathways within your brain, and is responsible for a myriad of vital operations. GABA is most-associated with the reduction of stress, and acts as a ‘downer’ neurotransmitter which balances out the actions of glutamate pathways. In addition to exhibiting anti-anxiety effects, GABA has also demonstrated the ability to increase growth hormone levels during periods of rest and exercise.
GABA is also know to be a very effective Nootropic, although there is much debate to it’s ability to cross the blood brain barrier. Using GABA for anxiety treatment is popular among many people who are leery of anti-depressants which have become commonly prescribed drugs for anti-anxiety issues. One noteworthy fact relating to GABA, is that many people taking it observe a slight tingling sensation approximately one hour after taking it, as well as a momentary (10-15 seconds) period in which breathing becomes slightly difficult. This side effect is common, mild, and usually goes away with continual use.
Expect a Boost, Not a Miracle
HGH supplements aren’t by any means qualified as substitutes for diets rich in anti-oxidants, exercise, or health amounts of sleep. If you suffer from a pituitary disorder, or are otherwise producing lower-than-normal amounts of growth hormone—don’t think that any of these supplements will alleviate your issues. The supplements mentioned here are meant to be just that—supplements to an already healthy lifestyle. They should only be considered as human growth hormone stimulators, and not compensation for medical conditions where HGH isn’t produced. These supplements are meant to help you gain a much needed edge, sleep a little more deeply, or recover from workouts faster. Another potential avenue of increasing growth hormone naturally is by taking measures to ensure better rest. Several studies  note that the majority of your daily HGH secretion occurs during your sleep. Supplements like GABA that calm the nerves may also be able to indirectly increase HGH levels by promoting deeper more restful sleeping patterns.
These supplements may help you gain a much needed edge, sleep a little more deeply, or recover from workouts faster
Working hard to maintain an active, healthy life is an everyday struggle for many people in modern society. Desk jobs, long times spent traveling, and the prevalence of digital entertainment all work against our will to stay active. Just walking 10-15 minutes a day has been shown to eliminate risks of heart attack by 50%! You don’t have to be a triathlete, but you need to move! Also, such practices as reducing fruits and vegetables to liquid in juicers can be a very effective compliment to your active lifestyle. Juicing allows your body easy access to a fuller range of micronutrients and minerals. Overall the supplements discussed in this article are regarded by many health professionals to offer a means to help increase your overall serum HGH levels. If you are serious about increasing your HGH levels, these supplements would be most effective in conjunction with heavy-lifting exercises and extended sleeping cycles. As with anything related to your health, you should always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your normal routine.