Growth hormone may be beneficial in the treatment of obesity. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Treatment of Obesity Using GH.
Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2006 Spring;4(1):57-69. PMID: 18370772
The obesity epidemic calls for complementary treatment possibilities in addition to lifestyle changes. One of the important regulators of lipid homeostasis is growth hormone (GH). Clinical trials have tested if GH can reduce obesity in humans. The mechanisms underlying the response to GH administration have also been investigated in animal models of human obesity. A literature search yielded 19 randomized placebo-controlled clinical studies and several animal studies investigating chronic GH treatment of obesity. Significant effects were found in some of the larger trials. One clinical trial showed significantly increased weight loss due to GH treatment, and in seven trials, a significant reduction of fat mass was found. The improvements observed were modest, but even minor improvements have been shown to be beneficial, especially if the reduction in fat mass includes visceral adipose tissue, as was reported in three of six trials. In principle, animal data support the clinical observations although the reduction of fat mass was more dramatic than observed in humans. The mechanisms resulting in lipid mobilization most likely include adipose tissue lipo-protein lipase (LPL) inhibition and antagonization of the anti-lipolytic activity of insulin. By feeding a restricted amount of a high fat diet to GH exposed rats hyper-insulinemia was avoided, loss of body fat was accelerated and metabolic markers were improved. Provision of a diet suitable for the metabolic conditions during GH treatment shows promise for improving metabolic control and can perhaps increase the efficacy and/or widen the therapeutic window of GH.