Growth hormone (GH) is formed in the pituitary gland under the direct control of the hypothalamus. It is responsible for the growth of the body, the regulation of metabolic processes, including the breakdown of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, as well as the work of the endocrine glands. The largest concentrations of GH are observed in childhood, when the baby is actively growing. During this period, “IGF-I stimulates the multiplication of chondrocytes and osteogenic cells as well as protein deposition in the cartilage and bone matrix” (Saladin, 2017). The maximum doses of growth hormone synthesis occur during the period from the birth of the baby to the end of puberty. However, it is important to monitor its concentration in the adult period. It is responsible for many important processes in the body, including cell production, tissue formation and proper metabolism.
Apart from directly influencing growth, GH performs a number of important functions to maintain human health. These are such processes as protein synthesis, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, and controlling electrolyte balance (Saladin, 2017). Growth hormone is produced at night when the body is resting. This happens because during the daytime, a person has enough carbohydrates consumed with food that give energy. At night, HG is actively produced and serves to split fat deposits. That is why after waking up, people look somewhat thinner than during the day. But these processes do not work if a person prefers to eat a hearty meal before going to bed or go to bed later than usual.
By breaking down fats, the hormone produces the energy people need. At the same time, even fats that have been deposited for a long time, stagnant in the body, are processed; thus, a person “loses weight” without making much effort. Participation in tissue regeneration, as well as enhanced protein production, helps to maintain skin tone. Due to HG, skin tightens and becomes more elastic. As a result of sufficient production of HG by the pituitary gland, muscles and bones become more resilient and springy (Growth Hormone). This helps to significantly reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a disease due to which minerals are washed out of the bones; moreover, the risk of fractures is significantly reduced. Thanks to sports training, it is possible to enhance these processes, since during physical exertion, the quantities of HG production increase. To make workouts more effective, it is necessary to refrain from eating chocolate before training, as well as sugary drinks, coffee and tea.
Growth hormone stimulates the production of glucose by the liver through two processes: gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis. Thus, “HG is one of hormones that serve to maintain blood glucose within a normal range” (Growth Hormone, para. 9). It helps to reduce the risks of obesity and diabetes I and II development, which largely depend on insulin secretion and the ability of the body to stimulate the uptake of glucose. HG also regulates the production of harmful cholesterol, significantly reducing its levels in the blood. Harmful cholesterol is conducive to the development of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, and vascular disorders. The functions of growth hormones are quite extensive. It breaks down substances entering the body and energetically nourishes organs and tissues. As a result of the normal work of hormone synthesis, the bones and muscles are strengthened, the elasticity of tissues is enhanced, and metabolism within the body is normalized.
Growth Hormone (Somatotropin). VIVO Pathophysiology. Web.
Saladin, K. S. (2017). Anatomy and Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function (9th edition).