Godfrey, R. J., Blazewich, A., Rand-Weaver, M., Velloso, C., Bouloux, P., Harridge, S., & Goldspin, G. (2009). Effects of rhGH on selected markers of altered health status in trained sportsmen. ACSM 56th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. Presentation number 2414.

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This study examined selected measures of the healthy mileu that may be altered in favor of pathology as a consequence of the illicit use of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) in sport. Accordingly, the analytes, leptin, adiponectin and IL-6 were examined as indices of potential pathologic change. Male undergraduates (N = 14), with a minimum of three years resistance training experience served as Ss. Ss were regularly participating in a minimum of two resistance training sessions per week. A six-week standardized, supervised, resistance training program comprising three sessions per week was implemented. Ss were tested on two occasions: following four weeks of training and following two further weeks of training plus either a rhGH (0.1 IU/kg/day) or placebo administration. Testing sessions involved the use of an acute high resistance exercise test of 4-8 sets of 10 repetitions of a leg-press at 80% of maximal voluntary contraction with 90 seconds rest between sets. This took place at the same time in the morning for each S, in a fasted state and following insertion of a cannula in a radial vein. Blood samples were taken at rest, and at 5 and 60 minutes post-exercise.

There was a large (300-fold) increase in exercise induced IGF-1 secretion in the supplemented group compared to the placebo group. Administration of rhGH was demonstrated to have physiological efficacy. Despite this, there was no difference in either leptin, adiponectin or IL-6 when experimental and control groups were compared.

Implication. Any negative health-related changes in insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular risk are not mediated by leptin, adiponectin, or IL-6, that is, the taking of recombinant human growth hormone in the dosage used here does not appear to be overly dangerous.

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