Mechanism for the Increase in Human Growth Hormone with Administration of a Novel Test Supplement and Results Indicating Improved Physical Fitness and Sleep Efficiency

J Med Food. 2020 Oct 8. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2020.0109. Online ahead of print.


An oral test supplement increases serum human growth hormone (hGH) levels after acute administration in healthy adults. We investigated the mechanism for the increase in hGH and the effect of continued daily administration of the test supplement on measures of physical fitness and sleep efficiency. In Study 1, serum triiodothyronine (T3) was measured in samples from a prior placebo-controlled, double-blind study in which 16 healthy participants received both placebo and the test supplement in a crossover design; treatment order was randomized, and treatments were separated by a 1-week washout. In Study 2, physical fitness (VO2 max) was measured at baseline and after 2 weeks of daily administration of the test supplement (N = 12 healthy participants). Study 3 assessed daily sleep onset latency and time awake during 3 weeks of daily administration of the test supplement (N = 15 healthy participants). A fall from baseline in T3 was observed with placebo (-6.1 ± 8.5 ng/dL, P = .01). Of note, the change in T3 was smaller with the test supplement (-3.3 ± 10.7 ng/dL, P = not significant) but was not statistically different from placebo. Mean VO2 max increased by 6% from baseline after 2 weeks (P = .02). Sleep-onset latency and time awake during the night were reduced from baseline to week 3 by 22% and 65%, respectively (P = .01 and P = .02). The conservation of T3 levels suggests that the mechanism for increased hGH secretion by the test supplement is through somatostatin inhibition. Furthermore, pilot studies indicated that daily administration of the supplement improved physical fitness and sleep efficiency from baseline, effects consistent with increased endogenous hGH release. Clinical Trial Registration No. NCT02987868.

Keywords: growth hormone; growth hormone secretagogue; insulin-like growth factor-1; somatostatin.

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