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The New GH Culture in Pro Sports and the Emergence of Advanced Technologies for Natural Stimulus of GH Production

It's the most prominent "open secret" in professional sports. Anyone who watches pro sports or participates in sports at the college or advanced prep-school level can see the signs everywhere. Certainly, it's no secret among the pro athletes themselves.

Across the board, in every sport, athletes are bigger, faster, stronger than they were 20, even 10 years ago. They have greater endurance. Their careers last longer. Athletes who retired in the 1980's can only look on in bewilderment as the performance benchmarks they established in their primes are blown away by a new generation of "super athletes." Shortstops and second basemen hit tape-measure home runs. Two-hundred-eighty-pound defensive linemen run 40-yard dashes in 4.4 seconds. Careers are extended to the point where the all-time baseball record book has been completely rewritten from top to bottom in the last decade.

What's it all about? In three words:
performance enhancing drugs.

When we speak of performance enhancers, we're talking mostly about steroids and human growth hormone. In the last couple of years, methods for detecting steroids have grown much more sophisticated. These roadblocks have made it more difficult and potentially costly career-wise for athletes to engage in steroid use. But in another area, that of human growth hormone enhancement, the blood testing protocols are in their infancy and barely exist at all. And so players, because the competition is so incredibly fierce at the pro level, take advantage of the existing technologies.

We'll take a look at some of those technologies, both exogenous growth hormone therapy (injections) and secretagogues (supplemental methods of boosting one's own GH secretion), including ProSource's own best-selling product in that second category, DopaTech-HGH. But first, let's take a look at the science.

Your body's master hormone for support of youthfulness, vitality, strength, and elevated physical performance
Growth hormone, produced by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland, is a powerful factor that promotes cellular growth and suppresses cell death, while increasing protein synthesis, plasma glucose, and calcium levels. As such, it is closely associated with the key processes that form the foundations of youthful strength, vitality, and rejuvenation. When we're very young, we produce growth hormone in abundance. But GH secretion declines after age 20, and drops off steeply as we age, until it flat-lines after age 60 or so. As GH production ebbs, the symptoms of aging (decreased vigor, reduced endurance, diminished capacity for cellular repair and recovery after exercise) advance. Clearly, you don't have to be a scientist to recognize that GH plays a major role in athletic performance, over both the short- and long-term.

While there really is no dispute in scientific circles about the many physical benefits that spring from abundant bodily levels of growth hormone, there is some difference of opinion about the best way to go about attaining and maintaining those levels of GH.

Most experts who have studied or administered growth hormone therapy (that is, growth hormone enhancement via a series of injections) agree that the positive benefits of such a regimen have a short duration. Dr. Carlon Colker, a bodybuilding and physical therapy consultant who has spent decades observing the effects of growth hormone on professional bodybuilders, says that, in his experience, "In order to gain any real strength or size advantage, you'd have to take the shots daily over a lifetime. That's more than anybody is really willing to do."

Add to this the fact that exogenous growth hormone therapy is very expensive (often $1,000 a month or more for injections), and that it artificially introduces more hormones into the body which may, in turn, disturb the body's own homeostasis for hormone production, and it becomes evident that a regimen of growth hormone injections has significant drawbacks. Fortunately, other strategies for growth hormone augmentation exist.

Macuna Pruriens, L-Dopa, and Growth Hormone
While one branch of science has pursued GH maximization through the introduction of artificial hormones, another has been dedicated to the augmentation of the body's own GH secretion through the utilization of naturally occurring precursors. Central to this second strategy is a potent naturally occurring compound called L-dopa or Levodopa (3,4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine), found in plants such as Macuna pruriens (or Velvet bean). L-dopa has been studied in both traditional Indian Ayurvedic as well as modern western medical systems for a variety of therapies. As a result of this research, it was discovered that L-dopa influences growth hormone (GH) output in humans during various clinical studies.

At least four studies discuss L-dopa stimulating growth hormone in humans. One study found that just a "500 mg oral dose caused a significant increase in plasma GH levels in normal subjects"(1). The three other studies all indicated L-dopa induced increases in GH levels to varying degrees (2, 3, 4).

Many people are surprised to discover the significant volume of published research that documents effective supplemental means of supporting GH production. In another recent clinical study, a unique botanical extract of Macuna pruriens, standardized for 15% L-dopa was linked to elevation of GH levels from one nanogram to 21 nanograms in just 90 minutes. Another study showed that Macuna pruriens exerts powerful antioxidant effects, specifically that it has an anti-lipid peroxidation property, which is mediated through the removal of superoxides and hydroxyl radicals. Increased L-dopa supplementation, the cornerstone of secretagogue technology, can also be beneficial in stimulating muscle growth through amino acid sparing and promotion of amino acid transport into muscle cells.

Obviously, these are all beneficial physical outcomes for high-level professional and amateur athletes. At the same time, natural (or secretagogue) methods of boosting GH production have a pronounced additional advantage in that they are entirely legal and do not subject athletes to the risk of being penalized or banned by the administrative agencies of their sports.

Choosing a GH support supplement
Not surprisingly, the GH support supplements on the market today vary greatly in quality and efficacy. When choosing a product in this category, you want to look for one that contains the highest-quality ingredients, most specifically a potent extract of Macuna pruriens, typically standardized for the same 15% L-dopa cited in the studies above. ProSource's own DopaTech-HGH and DopaLean-GH , contains exactly such a dose, standardized to provide 300 mg of this powerful neurotransmitter.

In direct response to the media frenzy centered around performance enhancing drugs in pro sports, we've seen a great escalation of interest in secretagogues generally, and in DopaTech-HGH specifically. As orders for it have increased, we've been getting a significant amount of positive feedback regarding Dopa-Tech's efficacy and the results it delivers. As a consequence, DopaTech-HGH has one of the highest reorder rates for any product of its kind.

Clearly, the science of GH support and maximization is here to stay, regardless of the current media controversy. In fact, ridiculous media demonization aside, GH research is a critical branch of scientific inquiry devoted to the betterment of human life. Whatever supplemental means you might be considering in order to keep pace with athletes who are utilizing GH enhancements, a basic knowledge of GH science is a must.

1.) Chihara K, et. al. L-dopa stimulates release of hypothalamic growth hormone-releasing hormone in humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1986 Mar;62(3):466-73.
2.) Garcia-Borreguero D, et. al. Circadian variation in neuroendocrine response to L-dopa in patients with restless legs syndrome. Sleep. 2004 Jun 15;27(4):669-73.
3.) Lal S, et. al. Comparison of the effect of apomorphine and L-DOPA on serum growth hormone levels in normal men. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1975 May;4(3):277-85.
4.) Mims RB, et. al. Inhibition of L-dopa-induced growth hormone stimulation by pyridoxine and chlorpromazine. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1975 Feb;40(2):256-9.