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Growth hormone use linked to a decrease in abdominal fat

Stubborn abdominal fat has been shown to decrease in response to GH stimulation.

Studies reveal that through the use of GH stimulating agents, visceral fat storage is reduced in both males and female subjects.

It is no coincidence that in both ageing males and females, the propensity to carry extra fat within the abdominal region is as likely as the crows feet and laugh lines. Though there are individuals, those lucky few, who have managed to keep lean, it more than likely has taken much sweat and tears in order to maintain. There is a hormonal reason for this struggle.

Growth hormone endogenously is a hormone that we secrete after exercise or when in the stages of deep sleep. Our levels are ordinarily at healthy ranges in our youth, where it is responsible for growth and maintenance unless we have been diagnosed with a deficiency early in life. At around the age of 30, these healthy levels of GH start a rather steep decline. It is not ridiculous at all to think that many of us are already experiencing a GH deficiency. Due to the increase in endocrine disrupting agents found in our environment and in our food, the hormonal system begins to lose its function. There are a number of symptoms resulting from a GH deficiency. One which we will cover in this article is increased fat storage, or more specifically the increase in deep belly fat or “visceral fat”.

GH supplementation lose belly fat

How does GH promote fat loss?

  • GH  helps to burn fat by making it available as fuel for the body.
  • Each fat cell in the body has its own growth hormone receptor. GH binds to these receptors.
  • It triggers a series of enzymatic reactions in the cell that breaks down fat. This process is called “lipolysis”.
  • Insulin promotes the creation of fat cells, called “lipogenesis”. GH counters the effect of insulin and so promotes the destruction of fat cells.
  • Without GH to inhibit the effect of insulin, the fat cells are free to expand.
  • Fat present in the body causes a decrease in the release of growth hormone by the pituitary gland.
  • Obese or overweight individuals release less GH in comparison to those of the same age who are not overweight. This is the reason why it is so very hard to remove the dangerous visceral fat from the abdomen once it has been stored.
  • GH supplementation plays a key role in facilitating the removal of this fat

GH administration has been shown to decrease the size of subcutaneous abdominal fat cells in men with abdominal obesity.

Duration of Study: 6 Weeks
Randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled
Objective: Researchers set out to investigate the result of GH administration on male fat cells to see whether there was a decrease in size that could be attributed to increased GH levels.

Conclusion: GH administration decreased the subcutaneous abdominal fat cell size in the males studied in comparison to those receiving a placebo. This conclusion was also positively associated with measures of impaired glucose tolerance. The GH administered to the subjects were in doses that also raised IGF-1 levels back to normal ranges, where they had been at deficient levels previously and before GH treatment.

Effects of growth hormone supplementation in premenopausal women with abdominal adiposity

Duration of Study: 6 Months
Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
Objective: To investigate what effects GH stimulation had on the premenopausal female body, alongside identifying whether there were any cardiovascular risk markers present.

Conclusion: GH administration successfully increased lean muscle mass showing evidence of increased thigh muscle mass. The study confirmed GH administration was able to decrease subcutaneous abdominal and trunk fat when compared with the placebo. This study, however, did find an association with reduced glucose tolerance in some of the women studied, but it was evident only in the minority.

Growth hormone treatment reduces abdominal visceral fat in postmenopausal women with abdominal obesity

Duration of Study: 12- month
Randomised double-blind and placebo-controlled
Objective: To compile long-term data on the effects of GH treatment on postmenopausal women with abdominal obesity alongside study the effect on insulin sensitivity.

Conclusion:  GH treatment reduced visceral fat mass, increasing the thigh muscle and reducing total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol when compared with the placebo. At 12 months, insulin sensitivity was shown to have improved with baseline values in the GH-treated group. The improvement in insulin sensitivity was associated with reduced hepatic fat.


Bredella, M., Karastergiou, K., Bos, S., Gerweck, A., Torriani, M., Fried, S., & Miller, K. (2017). GH administration decreases subcutaneous abdominal adipocyte size in men with abdominal obesity. Growth Hormone & IGF Research35, 17-20.  doi: 10.1016/j.ghir.2017.06.001

Bredella, M. A., Lin, E., Brick, D. J., Gerweck, A. V., Harrington, L. M., Torriani, M., … Miller, K. K. (2012). Effects of growth hormone in women with abdominal adiposity: a 6-month randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. European Journal of Endocrinology / European Federation of Endocrine Societies, 166(4), 601–611. http://doi.org/10.1530/EJE-11-1068

Stanley, T. L., & Grinspoon, S. K. (2015). Effects of Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone on Visceral Fat, Metabolic and Cardiovascular Indices in Human Studies. Growth Hormone & IGF Research : Official Journal of the Growth Hormone Research Society and the International IGF Research Society, 25(2), 59–65. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ghir.2014.12.005

Franco, C., Brandberg, J., Lönn, L., Andersson, B., Bengtsson, B., & Johannsson, G. (2005). Growth Hormone Treatment Reduces Abdominal Visceral Fat in Postmenopausal Women with Abdominal Obesity: A 12-Month Placebo-Controlled Trial. The Journal Of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism90(3), 1466-1474.  doi: 10.1210/jc.2004-1657

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