Growth hormone (GH) is an anabolic hormone produced by the pituitary gland. The action of growth hormone is not only to promote growth in children, but it has a significant effect on metabolism and body composition also in adults. Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) leads to physical impairment (worsen muscle strength, aerobic and anaerobic capacity) and altered body composition - with increased fat and reduced lean body mass, particularly reduced skeletal muscle mass. On the other hand, GH excess in patients with acromegaly impairs physical function, especially aerobic capacity and muscle strength irrespective of GH-dependent muscle hypertrophy. There is unclear data about GH impact on physical performance among healthy populations. Some studies showed improvement in anaerobic capacity during recombinant human GH (rh-GH) administration, others showed no significant difference. Muscle strength did not improve after rh-GH administration among healthy adults. However, recombinant GH is abused by professional and recreational athletes to improve their physical performance.
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