How would you feel if you could take 5 years off your face? 10? 20?
According to Robin Ashinoff, MD, “Many women as well as men believe that aging skin is inevitable, but with the information and technologies we have today, you really can look as young as you feel.”
In the pursuit to stay young and beautiful forever, men and women around the world turn to anti-aging products, gimmicks, and fads advertised as tools to turn back time and melt away the years.
Statistics estimate the anti-aging industry has grown from almost nothing to a staggering $88 billion in the last 10 years, despite very little clinical proof that such products work – or even that such products are 100% safe. 
However, what if you could get rid of wrinkles naturally – without spending a fortune on cosmetics and creams?
HGH: The Secret to Staying Young?
Human Growth Hormone, or HGH, is a naturally produced hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. As its name implies, this hormone regulates bone, muscle, and connective tissue growth. HGH is primarily secreted during adolescence, though it’s continually released in small spurts throughout your adult life.
But what does HGH have to do with wrinkles?
HGH levels decline with age, and by the time you reach sixty, you have approximately 80% less HGH in your body than you had when you were twenty. A decrease in HGH often results in increased body fat, decreased energy levels, and a lack of positive wellbeing.
According to Stuart Weinerman, MD and endocrinologist, “HGH has effects on body composition, not just growth .. patients feel generally better, as seen in quality of life scores.”
Furthermore, HGH is essential for maintaining youthful characteristics. It stimulates protein production required for elastin and collagen formulation, both of which contribute to the elasticity, structure, and repair of healthy skin.
Although scientists are still learning about the relationship between HGH and aging, the decline in HGH levels is often linked to the most common signs of aging, including gray hair and wrinkles.
Alana Stewart, Rod Stewart’s ex-wife, reported to Vanity Fair “I had started noticing a few gray hairs coming in. But I noticed that when I was taking it [HGH]- no gray hairs.”
Cost of HGH Injections
“Some men [and women] have had success using [HGH] to treat, and sometimes reverse, many dreaded signs of aging,” explains Jen Woodword, lifestyle correspondent for AskMen.com. “Results of HGH therapy include a reduction in body fat, an increase in muscle mass, a heightened sex drive, restoration of hair growth, and lowered blood pressure and cholesterol. “
Unfortunately, HGH injections are only legal with a doctor’s prescription, which can only be obtained if you’ve been diagnosed with an HGH deficiency. Furthermore, injections can be expensive, costing upwards of $500-$1000 per month. Add on blood work and lab tests, and you’ve got a hefty medical bill on your hands.
“The true cost of HGH isn’t written in stone,” explains Matt Crenshaw author at HGHMeds.org. “There are many variables that factor into the cost which can range from thousands of dollars a month to anywhere below $100. . . Typically, those looking for human growth hormone being sold at a discount rate turn to the internet to make their purchase. While ideal for many, you should be wary of the products you are buying and only buy from reputable manufacturers.”
How to Increase HGH Naturally
Fortunately, there are ways to increase HGH production (and eliminate those wrinkles) without spending a cent.
1. Get Adequate Sleep: Although HGH is secreted in pulses throughout the day, the largest pulse is primarily secreted about an hour after the onset of night-time sleep.
“The release of HGH is correlated with that portion of sleep cycles showing slow, synchronized electroencephalographic activity (EEG),” or slow wave sleep. Researchers observed that when individuals are deprived of these essential sleep stages, HGH secretion was “diminished and delayed.” 
Dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, MD, adds, “If you truly want to maintain a youthful appearance, it is essential to get enough sleep . . . when we do not get enough sleep it results in elevation of a hormone called cortisol. Now cortisol, even though it is an essential hormone in the body, in excess quantities is called the “death hormone.” It has a lot of negative side effects. It actually breaks down tissue.”
2. Keep Blood Sugar Levels in Check: Increased blood sugar levels triggers an increase in insulin secretion. Unfortunately, elevated insulin reduces HGH production.
Pharmacologist James Jamieson, author of In Pursuit of the Methuselah Factor, explains, “Growth hormone levels increase significantly when insulin levels are low, about four hours after a meal . . . By avoiding food during the last four hours before bedtime we may enhance circadian growth hormone release, and fat burning potential.” 
Additionally, increased blood sugar contributes to a natural process known as glycation, which creates harmful new molecules known as Advanced Glycation End Products (or AGEs for short). “As AGEs accumulate, they damage adjacent proteins in a domino-like fashion,” explains Fredric Brandt, MD, a dermatologist.” The proteins most vulnerable to glycation damage include collagen and elastin, resulting in wrinkles and sagging.
3. Exercise Above the Lactate Threshold: According to researchers at Brunel University, “An exercise intensity above lactate threshold and for a minimum of 10 minutes appears to elicit the greatest stimulus to the secretion of HGH. Exercise training above the lactate threshold may amplify the pulsatile release of HGH at rest, increasing 24-hour HGH secretion.” 
What is the lactate threshold? Lactate threshold occurs when lactic acid starts to accrue in the bloodstream. During intense bouts of exercise, the proton accumulation associated with lactate production creates a “burning” feeling that impairs muscle contraction and leads to fatigue.
Furthermore, exercise promotes blood flow to the skin, which in turn increases the rate of new cell growth, giving a healthier, more youthful glow to your skin.
Keep it Simple
While HGH injections for anti-aging may be all the rage in Hollywood, you don’t have to break the bank to stay young and healthy. Simple lifestyle changes such as following a healthy diet and exercising regularly can optimize HGH production and give you the tools for maintaining a more youthful appearance. Your body and skin will love you for it – and you’ll save money in the long-run.
- Harris, Paul. “America’s $88bn anti-ageing industry: dangerous and with no scientific backing.” The Observer. 4 Sept. 2010. Http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/sep/05/anti-ageing-america-arlene-weintraub
- Sassin, J.F. et all, “Effects of slow wave sleep deprivation on human growth hormone release in sleep: preliminary study.” Life Sciences, Volume 8, Issue 23, Part 1, 1 December 1969, Pages 1299–1307. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0024-3205(69)90034-4
- Jamieson, James, “In Pursuit of the Methuselah Factor. Available from: http://www.hgh-usa.com/optimizing_hgh_therapy_with_diet_and_exercise.htm
- Godfrey, Rj, Madgwick, Z, Whyte Gp. “The exercise-induced growth hormone response in athletes.” Sports Medicine. 2003;33(8):599-613. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12797841