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Michael Mooney
One of the foremost experts on diet, hormones and supplements and a long-time exercise enthusiast. Michael Mooney is also the co-author of "Built To Survive", a book about medical options for people with HIV.
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Oral GH Supplements

QUESTION: I saw an ad in “another muscle magazine” for an oral GH supplement and wanted to know what your honest opinion was on these products? Do oral GH boosters really work or are they a total scam?

ANSWER: Many of you have asked about the so-called oral growth hormone (GH) boosters, ProhGH (Symbiotropin), and Regenesis. These products generally cost a little over $100 per month, significantly less than real doctor-prescribed injectable human growth hormone, which costs about $6,500 per month, so if they do increase growth hormone activity in the body, it would be a boon to people who are growth hormone deficient. Growth hormone dysfunction is common in HIV. The advertisements for these products typically have a doctor or several doctors endorsing them, and this makes the product appear to be quite credible. Do these products really increase growth hormone production?


Karlis Ullis, M.D., is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles who practices anti-aging medicine and sports medicine, and prescribes hormones for age-related hormone deficiencies. He also has been an Olympic team doctor during 5 Olympic games. Dr. Ullis reported to me the results of his investigation of ProhGH in six males, aged 55-72, over one to two months. Dr. Ullis confirmed that blood tests showed no increase in IGF-1, the most common measurement that is used to monitor growth hormone production in the body. He notes that ProhGH contains anterior pituitary tissue from pigs, and he (and I) recommend against eating animal brain tissue, as it has the potential to contain biologically active elements, and it may produce immune reactions. While some people say ProhGH makes them feel better, this might be caused by the L-dopa in the fava beans (vicia faba) it contains. Of course, maybe it is just a placebo effect. While I have heard credible people assert that they notice a difference in their energy level when they use ProhGH, the benefits typically reported are not only greater, but significantly different than the many reports I have from people I work with who are using prescription human growth hormone. I have no answer for what it is they may be feeling, but I doubt that it has anything to do with a change in growth hormone metabolism in the body.


Dr. Ullis said that adding up the amount of growth hormone that is supposed to be in Regenesis, doesn't add up. If it contains 50 nanograms (ng) of growth hormone per spray, and "even if it were to miraculously be absorbed (or even exist) it wouldn't come close to affecting the normal growth hormone blood content, which is 10 ng or more per milliliter (mL). The blood is about 5 liters, which equals 5,000 mL. At 10 ng per mL, our low end equals 50,000 ng of circulating growth hormone. At night we may have 125,000 ng secreted. If you divide 50 ng by 50,000 and 125,000 you get .001 to .0025 of the body's normal amount of growth hormone."
Dr. Ullis' conclusion: "It is foolish to expect results by adding between .001 to .0025 of the body's normal amount of growth hormone to the total body pool. This is a "scam."

Final Note:
Merck pharmaceuticals stopped clinical trials of their oral growth hormone booster MK-0677 because it wasn't effective enough to bring to market. Why would these over-the-counter products work any better than MK-0677, a high-tech multi-million dollar compound? The answer is - they don't! 

If you want Michael Mooney to answer one of your questions, send it to questions@muscle-insider.com or visit www.medibolics.com. Check out his book "Built To Survive" which is the leading resource on the use of diet, exercise, supplements, steroids and other drugs to improve the health quality of those infected with HIV or those with compromised immunity. There are vast bodybuilding applications to these teachings.