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Is HGH a Steroid? (Differences Explained)

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: May 16, 2023
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As a gym owner and fitness coach, I've seen many people using human growth hormone (HGH) as steroids. This notion captured my attention, and I wanted to determine if HGH is a steroid.

I sat down with my doctor friend and went through a vast amount of research to learn more about HGH.

In this article, I will combine my previous knowledge and what I found out and explain whether HGH is a steroid and the difference between the two.

Keep on reading to explore the topic with me.

Quick Summary

  • HGH is not a steroid, but a peptide hormone, and it offers the body numerous health benefits.
  • Muscle building, promoting mental health, acting as an anti-aging property, and promoting weight loss are some of the benefits linked to HGH.
  • HGH hormone is produced in pituitary glands.

What Is HGH?

Close up shot of a person holding a syringe

The human growth hormone (HGH) is a hormone naturally produced by the pituitary gland, necessary for cell development, renewal, and reproduction [1].

This chemical messenger can help with the healing of an injury and the restoration of muscle tissue after exercising [2]. It also aids in increasing metabolic activity, burning calories, and building muscle.

In addition, there are reports that HGH improves skin health and appearance. This, in turn, delays signs of aging and helps cure ailments associated with elderliness [3].

However, the evidence to back up these assertions is limited.

What we do know is that HGH activates metabolism by accelerating metabolic activities in cells. It causes the liver to create an insulin-like molecule that causes cartilage cells to form.

This secretion is essential for bone density and organ development, as well as the production of muscle protein [4].

Although HGH occurs naturally, I found that there is also a synthetic human growth hormone that can be consumed as a replacement therapy or a supplement.

What Are Steroids?

A person wearing gloves while holding a syringe

Steroids are synthetic forms of hormones that your body produces. They work similarly to their natural equivalents and strive to lessen inflammation [5].

Also known as corticosteroids, these medicines differ from anabolic steroids, which bodybuilders and athletes take.

Steroids will not cure your underlying problem but will significantly reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms like edema, stiffness, and discomfort [6].

In most situations, the inflammatory response is the body's natural reaction to microorganisms or infection.

Your body's immune system creates extra fluid to combat these infections and microorganisms. This excess production then causes inflammation, redness, and warmth in the afflicted area.

In other cases, such as inflammatory arthritis, the immune system mistakenly causes inflammation of the joints or other regions of the system, which may cause lasting damage if left untreated [7].

Steroids may be administered to suppress this immunological response.

Differences Between HGH and Steroids

Two syringes side by side

First, it is important to emphasize that somatropin (HGH) drugs are safe to own and take when prescribed by a qualified doctor.

On the other hand, anabolic steroid use is strictly prohibited under all circumstances.

Second, despite the fact that they are all growth hormones, their impacts on the human body are significantly different.

The chances of severe side effects are limited when a physician performs the essential screening steps. These tests allow a health professional to establish whether a client with a shortage in HGH levels is eligible for treatment.

I found that the FDA has approved HGH substitution treatment, and numerous respectable pharmaceutical producers provide high-quality HGH products (somatropin), including:

  • Norditropin
  • Genotropin
  • Omnitrope
  • Saizen
  • Tev-Tropin
  • Humatrope

The quality and safety of these human growth hormone drugs are audited. In contrast, steroids don’t undergo such inspections.

Related Articles:

Why Do People Confuse Steroids and HGH?

Close up shot of a person's hand holding a syringe

The following are some of the various reasons why someone could confuse one with the other:

  • They are both anabolic, which means they stimulate muscle mass (aid in developing lean muscle), but in different ways and with distinct adverse effects.
  • HGH and steroids are often administered through injection, which is frequently linked with artificial performance-enhancing drugs.
  • Most black-market steroid companies also produce illicit (sometimes impure) HGH items to sell at below-market prices.
  • Athletes frequently misuse both to benefit from their performance-enhancing properties.
  • Both are occasionally advertised as a 'spring of youth,' although it's worth noting that intravenous HGH treatment can provide some anti-aging benefits.

"Growth hormone has extremely therapeutic benefits. It is prescribed privately by Harley Street clinicians who assist in anti-aging. But it can also enhance athletic performance through muscle growth, and promote weight loss by preventing carbohydrates from turning into fat."

- Dr. Michael Graham, Professor in Substance Abuse at Birmingham's Newman University College

The Dangers of Unprescribed Steroids and HGH

Close up shot of a doctor holding a syringe

Since steroids are obtainable strictly on the black market, most are tampered with or adulterated.

According to WHO research, one in every ten pharmaceutical supplies acquired from developing countries is either counterfeit or does not satisfy the quality criteria of pharmaceutical-grade items like FDA-approved HGH [8].

When delivering HGH or any other hormone, constant examination by an expert endocrinologist is essential.

It is a crucial part of the treatment that protects the patient's condition.

While HGH replacement therapy can be administered under this kind of clinical governance, it is hard to monitor the wellness of those who use steroids because of the drug's unlawful status.

  • Norditropin
  • Genotropin
  • Omnitrope
  • Saizen
  • Tev-Tropin
  • Humatrope


Is HGH Harmful?

Yes, HGH may be harmful. Long-term exposure to higher growth hormone levels can result in permanent acromegaly, but even low doses can cause consequences like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Is Hgh Considered a Drug?

HGH is considered a controlled drug by the Food and Drug Administration. It is prohibited to use human growth hormone for an unapproved condition, like muscle development or anti-aging therapy in older people.

Is HGH Legal in Bodybuilding?

No, HGH is not legal in bodybuilding. They are unlawful for non-medical usage and are prohibited in the majority of nations under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Will HGH Burn Fat?

Yes, HGH burns fat. Human growth hormone shots are believed to reduce fat storage and enhance muscle development to a certain extent. Still, research has not demonstrated that this is a viable or effective weight reduction method.

Is HGH Considered a Steroid?

Human growth hormone (HGH) is not a steroid but a peptide hormone. It has many benefits, including anti-aging, weight loss enhancement, mental health, and muscle building.

However, most of the HGH supplements sold on the market are adulterated, making them unsafe for consumption. That's why it’s essential to do your research to avoid harming your body.

If you are looking for the safest way to enhance your HGH production cost-effectively, we've rounded up the 10 best HGH supplements that will increase your HGH levels.

We've tested these HGH supplements for years and recommended some to our clients, and they brought a myriad of fitness and health benefits.


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