Growth Hormone and Peptides

Melanotan II was developed originally as potential preventative treatments for various forms of skin cancer. It was thought that by artificially stimulating the internal tanning process among members of the population that were at high risk to develop skin cancer due to sun exposure that one may be able to lower the chances of these individuals from developing the disease later in life. While these findings have been relatively inconclusive in terms of the original intent of the product a few secondary uses for the drug have been found and are now utilized by many.

Insulin is peptide hormone produced in the pancreas. The release of this hormone in the human body is most closely tied to blood glucose levels, although a number of other factors including pancreatic and gastrointestinal hormones, amino acids, fatty acids, and ketone bodies are also  involved. The main biological role of insulin is to promote the intracellular utilization and storage of amino acids, glucose, and fatty acids, while simultaneously inhibiting the breakdown of glycogen, protein, and fat. It is most notably identified with the control of blood sugar levels, and insulin medications are typically prescribed to people with diabetes, a metabolic disorder characterized by high  blood  sugar. While insulin targets many organs in the body, this hormone is both anabolic and anti-catabolic to muscle tissue. Insulin first became available as a medicine during the 1920’s. The first insulin preparations made were produced from crude pancreatic extracts taken from dogs. At one point when the supply of dead dogs ran out, the group actually started taking stray dogs off the streets in order to use. Soon after it was  discovered that cows and pigs worked as well that had been slaughtered and this made the research and development much more convenient and acceptable to the public. In 1974, chromatographic purification techniques allowed the manufacture of animal insulin with extreme purity. The pharmaceutical company Novo was the first to release a drug made with this technology.

Somatrem is a synthetically manufactured form of human growth hormone. It is actually a variant of endogenous human growth hormone protein, containing the same sequence of 191 amino acids, but with the addition of an extra amino acid, methionine. For this reason somatrem is commonly described as methionyl human growth hormone. As an human growth hormone medication, somatrem supports the growth of bone, skeletal muscle, connective tissues, and internal organs. It also plays a role in protein, carbohydrate, lipid, and mineral metabolism. In a medical setting, somatrem is used to treat childen with growth failure caused by endogenous growth hormone deficiency. When administered as a long term treatment before linear growth is stopped due to closed growth plates, the drug may impart a significant positive effect on linear  growth. Somatrem is considered to be therapeutically equivalent to growth hormone or pituitary origin. As an human growth hormone drug, somatrem is valued by bodybuilders and athletes for its ability to promote fat loss and muscle and connective tissue growth. Somatrem was approved for sale by the FDA in the United States in 1985. It was the first synthetic growth hormone medication available worldwide, produced via a manufacturing process called Inclusion Body Technology. The technology involves inserting the DNA encoding for the human growth hormone protein into Escherichia coli bacteria, which assemble and synthesize the pure protein. Prior to the advent of synthetic growth hormone, HGH was made into a medication only by extracting the natural protein from human cadavers. Biological or cadaver HGH, as it was called, was banned in the U.S in 1985 due to the high prevalence of a rare neurological disease known as CJD in patients. Somatrem was approved for sale that same year, giving the company that produced it a short monopoly on the growth hormone market. Somatrem is most commonly supplied in multi dosed vials containing a while lyophilized powder that requires reconstitution with sterile or bacteriostatic water before use.

Insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is a substance which in manufactured by recombinant DNA technology. IGF-1 is the primary mediator of the growth promoting effects of human growth hormone. As such, the substance also can stimulate the growth of bone, muscle, and internal organs. Its effects on skeletal muscle are also highly hyperplasic, meaning it causes an increase in cell number. Unlike human growth hormone, however, this substance has very strong insulin like effects. It can support growth by increasing the uptake of amino acids, glucose, and fatty acids, but lowers blood sugar levels so efficiently that it can induce severe hypoglycemia if to high of a dose is taken. The increased uptake of fatty acids may also mean that the drug can increase the amount of body fat that is stored by the users. The United States FDA approved the medical use of IGF-1 in 2005. It is sold under the brand  name of Increlex manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Tercica Inc. Tercica licenses this technology from Genentech, which was the first company to sell synthetic human growth hormone in the United States.

Human growth hormone is an important mediator of the human growth process. This hormone is produced endogenously by the anterior pituitary gland, and exist at especially high levels during child hood. Its growth supporting effects  are broad and can be separated into three main categories which are bone, skeletal muscle, and internal organs. It also supports protein, carbohydrate, lipid, and mineral metabolism, and can stimulate the growth of connective tissues. Although vital to the roles of early development, human growth hormone is produced throughout adulthood. Its production and biological role decline significantly with age however, but continue to support metabolism and muscle and tissue growth throughout life. In a medical setting this drug  is used to treat a number of distinct health conditions. It is most notably associated with pituitary deficient dwarfism, a disease in which growth is hindered due to the body’s lack of natural growth hormone production. The first human growth hormone medications were made from pituitary extracts of human origin. These were commonly referred to as cadaver growth hormone preparations. It was later determined that using these preparations was causing patients to develop the fatal brain disorder CJD. Because of this, the FDA banned the cadaver made preparations of this drug. Years later, synthetic methods of producing human growth hormone were developed and the FDA approved them in 1985 for medical use.

GH-releasing hexapeptide (GHRP-6) is a secratogue that stimulates the release of growth hormone (GH) by acting at both hypothalamic and pituitary sites which has been clinically documented in a wide variety of species in vivo and in vitro. GHRP-6 duplicates the way the growth hormone works in the body. In studies it not only has shown to enhance growth hormone levels, but also increased the pulsatile secretory bursts of GH. Another remarkable trait of GHRP-6 is its increase in normal pulsatile physiological secretion by its hypothalamic action. Initial studies with GHRP-6 suggested that this compound acted primarily on the pituitary gland and was absolutely specific for GH release. More recent studies have qualified both of these assumptions. This peptide has been clinically verified to increase GH levels, increase appetite, raise IGF-1 levels, help sleep cycles and more.