There seems to be a persistent confusion regarding the actual nature of Human Growth Hormone or HGH. You often see fitness gurus comparing HGH with anabolic steroids, like testosterone. Of course, HGH might behave like anabolic steroid. However, the simple answer is, they are not the same thing!
Here’s clearing the fog!
Steroid, Or Not Steroid?
To begin with, HGH is an endogenous hormone. Which means it is produced in the body. HGH is actually secreted from the pituitary gland.
Again, a number of steroids which are produced in the body, including testosterone are organic compounds. They have a definite and unique molecular shape. Their structures are quite similar to certain hormones, as well to vitamins and alkaloids. So they are frequently compared to steroids.
Even the sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone, and anti-inflammatory drugs are often called as steroids.
Then again, steroids are almost automatically linked with athletes and bodybuilders who inject various types of steroids (and of course, HGH) to develop stamina, and enhance muscle growth.
What HGH Actually Is
Inside your system, growth hormone is responsible for cellular growth, tissue growth, bone growth and organ growth. But this is something steroids also do! However, unlike steroids, growth hormones have nothing to do with strength enhancement. Again, HGH is naturally secreted in your body. It helps in bone regeneration and improves joints and ligaments.
Doctors occasionally prescribe HGH to treat children suffering from retarded growth and poor secretion of hormones. Nevertheless, its abuse and constant illegal use by athletes has forced WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) to ban it. This remains a constant problem.
Similarities between Anabolic Steroid and HGH
Now you can understand that often steroids and HGH are used interchangeably. After all, they frequently offer identical benefits and results to their users. Taking the cue from it, you can call certain anabolic steroids (those boosting sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone) as hormones. Then again, both HGH and anabolic steroids are sold legally with prescriptions. But when traded on the black market, the purchase is considered illegal. Perhaps, it gives rise to the confusion regarding the true nature of HGH.
The Last Word
There seems to be no straight answer to the question“is HGH a steroid”. But you can still satisfy the question by getting hold of a clear-cut definition of hormones that the pituitary gland produces.
To start with, this gland gives protection to Adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), which encourages adrenal cortex to produce androgens and control the function of gonadotropins. Gonadotropins stimulate the testes in males and ovaries in females. So it is essential for reproduction.
The pituitary gland also protects Gonadotropin-releasing Hormones or (GnRH), which stimulates the follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) and luteinizing hormones (LH).
Finally, pituitary gland secreted GH or growth hormone. It is also known as Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and Somatropin. It helps to stimulate cells and tissues. It also promotes bone growth and improves joints and ligaments.
Testosterone, on the other hand, is a hormone produces in the testes in male. It helps in the maintenance of male characteristics. Athletes often inject it to develop body mass and build stronger muscles.