Recent Blog Articles

Growth hormone not safe or effective in slowing aging, reports Harvard Men's Health Watch

May 04, 2010

More and more men are turning to human growth hormone in hopes of slowing the tick of their bodies' clocks. Some men are motivated by the claims of the anti-aging movement, others by examples of young athletes seeking a competitive edge. But does growth hormone actually boost performance or slow aging? And is it safe? Not really, reports the May 2010 issue of Harvard Men’s Health Watch.

Among its many biological effects, human growth hormone helps increase muscle mass and reduce body fat. As men age, their levels of the hormone fall. During the same time span, muscle mass declines and body fat increases. In hopes of reversing this aging-related physical decline, some theorists suggest taking injections of human growth hormone. However, the FDA has not approved human growth hormone for anti-aging treatment or athletic enhancement, and it is illegal to market or distribute the hormone for these purposes.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.