A decrease in growth hormone levels in adults is associated with an increase in mortality rates. In other words, low HGH levels could lead to an earlier death. The effects of growth hormone on cholesterol levels may be partly to blame as they can lead to cardiovascular disease.
Adults with growth hormone deficiency (GHD) experience an increased prevalence of both total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. Additional symptoms associated with GHD include abdominal adiposity (belly fat), glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance.
These changes put an individual at a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a condition also characterized by elevated blood pressure. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, low HGH, and high cholesterol increase the incidence of heart attacks and strokes.
The body needs both HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is the basis for hormone production. Cholesterol undergoes a chemical conversion into the hormone pregnenolone followed by many other steps where it becomes testosterone and finally estradiol (estrogen). Without enough cholesterol, you would likely suffer multiple hormone deficiencies.
HDL cholesterol is responsible for seeking out excess LDL cholesterol and taking it away from the arteries. If you have high LDL cholesterol levels, you are at an increased risk of developing atherosclerosis – hardening of the arteries due to clogging (plaque) from LDL cholesterol. Growth hormone helps to keep cholesterol levels in balance. Atherosclerotic plaque can break free from arterial walls or rupture and cause blood clots that can impede blood flow to the brain or heart. The result from this would be a stroke or heart attack.
Why Low Growth Hormone Impacts Cholesterol Levels
Growth hormone deficiency slows down metabolic function leading to increased fat storage. Dyslipidemia is a disorder caused by elevated plasma and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol levels leading to an increased development of atherosclerosis. Adults with low HGH and cholesterol levels that are out of balance are often diagnosed with dyslipidemia.
Growth hormone exerts influence on hepatic LDL receptors that decrease in cases of low HGH levels.
The ensuing reduction in LDL receptors decreases the liver’s ability to help process and remove excess low-density lipoprotein cholesterol from the body.
These effects of growth hormone on cholesterol levels show the importance of LDL receptors in response to keeping cholesterol levels in balance. Adults dealing with the effects of dyslipidemia have a higher risk of the following factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease:
- Visceral adiposity (fat accumulation)
- Impaired glucose metabolism
- Insulin resistance
- Elevated C-reactive protein and inflammatory cytokines
- Metabolic syndrome
These contributors can influence mortality rates and lead to stroke or heart attack.
Can HGH Therapy Lower Cholesterol Levels?
Studies on the effects of growth hormone on cholesterol levels have proven exceedingly optimistic. Individuals treated with growth hormone therapy experience a decrease in total and LDL cholesterol levels. HDL cholesterol levels did not demonstrate a significant change from HGH therapy. HGH even managed to decrease LDL cholesterol levels in patients receiving statin therapy.
Extended use of growth hormone therapy may provide a subtle change in HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels in some patients. The most important benefit here is that HGH therapy decreases LDL cholesterol without removing what is needed by the body for hormone production.
Adults with prior cardiovascular history are at no increased risk of further cardiovascular events following growth hormone therapy. If anything, increasing HGH levels in the body help to improve cardiovascular capacity and output.
It is essential to remember that growth hormone therapy is a doctor-prescribed and supervised treatment. The only time to use HGH injections is when blood analysis turns up adult GHD. In those instances, treatment is safe and effective.
Our hormone specialists are available to answer any questions you have about HGH therapy and cholesterol levels. Please complete the form above or call us for your free, confidential consultation with a medical advisor at our hormone clinic.
- US National Library of Medicine
- The Wall Street Journal
- Yeagle PL (October 1991). “Modulation of membrane function by cholesterol”. Biochimie. 73 (10): 1303–10.
- How it’s made: Cholesterol production in your body – Harvard Health”. Harvard Health. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
- Brown MS, Goldstein JL (1997). “The SREBP pathway: regulation of cholesterol metabolism by proteolysis of a membrane-bound transcription factor”. Cell. 89 (3): 331–40.
- Cholesterol. American Heart Association. 17 November 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-21.