Fasting and Growth Hormone Physiology – Part 3

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In our previous post (part 2), we took a quick overview of the physiology of fasting.  I’d like to take a more in-depth look at some of the studies that have been done to really try to understand what is actually happening when we fast. Today I want to focus in on human growth hormone (HGH).

HGH is a hormone made by the pituitary gland (the master gland). It plays a huge role in the normal development of children and adolescents as the name implies. However, it also plays a role in adults. HGH deficiency in adults typically leads to higher levels of body fat, lower lean body mass and decreased bone mass (osteopenia).

HGH only lasts a few minutes in the bloodstream.  It goes to the liver for metabolism, where it is converted into a number of other growth factors, the most important of which is Insulin Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF1).

Scientists first harvested HGH from cadavers in the 1950s (eeewww), but only synthesized it in labs in the early 1980s.  Soon afterwards, it became a popular performance enhancing drug. Normal levels of HGH peak in puberty (as you might expect) and gradually decrease thereafter.

Growth hormone is typically secreted during sleep and is one of the so-called counter-regulatory hormones.  HGH along with cortisol and adrenalin tell the body to increase the availability of glucose – so it counters the effect of insulin. High doses of HGH, (or cortisol) will produce higher blood sugars.  These hormones are typically secreted in a pulse just before waking (4 am or so) during the ‘counter-reulatory surge’.  Remember that all hormones exhibit pulsatile secretion to prevent the development of resistance as we covered in a previous post.

Since HGH typically goes down with age, there may be some benefit to giving HGH for its ‘anti-aging’ effects. Perhaps this decrease in HGH-IGF1 may contribute to the decrease in lean body mass both in lower muscle mass, but also lowered bone mass. So, what are the effects of giving HGH in older people?  This was studied in 1990 in a New England Journal of Medicine article.Fasting and HGH

HGH is difficult to measure since it is pulsatile, so IGF1 can be measured as a surrogate. Healthy men with low IGF1 levels were given HGH for 6 months and the effects measured.

Group 1 is the HGH group and Group 2 is the control group that did not receive HGH.  Over 6 months weight overall did not change between the two groups.

But look at the lean body mass.  Compared to the control, the HGH group packed on 3.7 kg (8.8%) more lean mass.  That’s 8 pounds of lean mass!  Fat mass decreased an extra 2.4 kg (5.3 pounds)! Thats a decrease of 14.2%. Even the skin thickness improved.  That’s anti-aging, baby!

In a 2002 JAMA article, similar results were obtained in women as well.  There was a decrease in fat mass and an increase in lean mass.  Sounds pretty great.  So, why aren’t we using it for everybody?  Well, there’s a little thing called side effects.

There was an increase in blood sugars.  This makes sense, since HGH is a counter-regulatory hormone.  Pre-diabetes also significantly increased.  There was an increase in fluid retention as well as blood pressure, too.  Over the long term, there is also a theoretical risk of increased prostate cancer and heart problems (enlarged heart). So, that’s not very good news.Kerndt study

So artificial injections of HGH are out. What if there is an all-natural method of increasing growth hormone? What about, say, fasting?

In 1982, Kerndt et al published a study of a single patient who decided to undergo a 40 day fast for religious purposes.  They measure numerous metabolic indices over that forty days to see what happened.  There is a wealth of data here, but several notable things.  Blood pressure slightly decreased. Glucose goes down.  From 96 initially, it drops to 56.  Insulin goes way, way down.  Starting at 13.5, it quickly drops to 2.91 and stays down.  That is almost an 80% drop!

Glucagon goes from 139 to a peak of 727 or a 423% increase.

But our concern here is HGH.  It starts at 0.73 and peaks at 9.86.  That is a 1250% increase in growth hormone. Even with a relatively short 5 day fast, we are talking about 300% increase.  All this HGH increases without drugs.  Fasting GH2

What about the potential side effects?  Increased glucose? Nope.  Increased blood pressure? Nope.  Higher risk of cancer? Nope.

Other studies have shown the same increase in growth hormone.  In 1988, Ho KY et al studied fasting and HGH. On the control day, you can see that meals (marked M) very effectively suppress HGH secretion.  This is to be expected.  Like cortisol, HGH increases glucose and thus is suppressed during feeding. Fasting is a great stimulus.

During fasting, there is the spike in the early morning, but there is regular secretion throughout the day as well. Hartman et al also showed a 5 fold increase in HGH in response to a 2 day fast.

This HGH is crucial in the maintenance of lean mass – both muscle and bone. One of the major concerns about fasting is the loss of lean mass.  This does not occur. In fact, the opposite happens – there is likely an increase in lean mass. Think about this for a second.

Let’s imagine that we are living in Paleolithic times.  During the summer of plenty, we eat lots of food and store some of that as fat on our body.  Now it is winter, and there is nothing to eat.  What do you suppose our body does.  Should we start burning our precious muscle while preserving our stored food (fat)?  Doesn’t that sound pretty idiotic?

It’s as if you store firewood for a wood-burning oven.  You pack lots of firewood away in your storage unit.  In fact, you have so much, it is spilling out all over your house and you don’t even have enough room for all the wood you’ve stored. But when the time comes to start up the oven, you immediately chop up your sofa and throw that into the oven.  Pretty stupid right?  Why would we assume our body is also so stupid?

The logical thing to do is to start burning the stored wood.  In the case of the body, we start to burn the stored food (fat stores) instead of burning precious muscle.

This has enormous implications for athletes. While studies are few, it is possible that the elevated HGH stimulated by fasting will increase muscle mass as seen in the earlier studies on HGH administration.  This would be an important advantage in elite level athletes, and we are seeing more and more interest in doing this exact sort of protocol.

Brad Pilon

Brad Pilon

The recovery from hard workouts would similarly be improved.  The increased adrenalin during fasting (to be discussed in future) will also allow you to perform a more intense workout.  It will make workouts easier and recovery faster.

It is not by accident that many of the early proponents of training in the fasted state are bodybuilders.  This is a sport that demands, in particular, high intensity training and extremely low body fat for definition.

Martin Berkhan

Martin Berkhan

For example, Brad Pilon, who wrote the fantastic book “Eat, Stop, Eat” is a bodybuilder, as is Martin Berkhan, who popularized the ‘lean gains’ method of fasting.  Somehow, I don’t think that fasting for these two fellows was ‘eating’ their muscle.

So, for all those people who thought that fasting would make you tired, or that you could not exercise during fasting, well, you’re just wrong. Fasting does not ‘burn’ muscle.  There is no ‘starvation’ mode from fasting where you shrivel up into the fetal position on your couch.

Rather, fasting has the potential to unleash the anti-aging properties of HGH without any of the problems of excessive HGH (prostate cancer, increased blood sugar, increased blood pressure).  For those interested in athletic performance, the benefits are even greater.

So, let’s see.  Train harder.  Lose Weight. Faster recovery. Decrease insulin and insulin resistance. Decrease sugars.  All of these benefits are achieved without drugs, supplements or cost.  Yes, like all the best things in life, it’s free. So why is everybody so against it?

Start here with Fasting part 1

Continue with Fasting part 4

Start here with Calories part 1

Watch the lecture – The Aetiology of Obesity 4/6 – The Fast Solution

 

 

2017-09-02T11:54:13+00:00 86 Comments

About the Author:

Dr. Fung is a Toronto based kidney specialist, having graduated from the University of Toronto and finishing his medical specialty at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001. He is the author of the bestsellers ‘The Obesity Code’ and ‘The Complete Guide to Fasting’. He has pioneered the use of therapeutic fasting for weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal in his IDM clinic.

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86 Comments on "Fasting and Growth Hormone Physiology – Part 3"

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TD
Guest

Ever since I’ve started to fast, I’ve noticed I wake up around 5am almost every night. I wonder if this has to do with that growth hormone pulse around that time.

Christina
Guest
I have only been doing OMAD for a short time, eating just dinner and I also have been waking up between 4:30 and 5am. I’m fine through the whole day as long as I don’t eat. One day I did eat breakfast and lunch and then needed to take a nap. ha. This is great as I use to wake up in the middle of the night, more like 3am to go to the bathroom which I’ve read is associated with high blood sugar level. I sleep more deeply and soundly which I have also read is associated with greater… Read more »
Susan Parker
Guest
Pre-diabetic and overweight I have been utilizing a LCHF ketogenic diet for just over 2 years, ( not perfectly and fell off the wagon a few times.) I dropped a bunch of lbs. Stuck at the same place for months and frustrated in mild ketosis, my caloric intake of fat was good, but It was as if my body had become used to this. A few months ago I began using IF ( 16 hr. and more fasting window) in hopes of strengthening ketosis and increasing weight loss but did not see any results. Using your fasting protocol for a… Read more »
Randy
Guest
Hey wanted to note, that any consumption of calories during the fast breaks it. Even if in full Ketosis. If you are hitting platforms, you might want to dry a water, or dry fast with no calories. Any sort of fat technically breaks the fast – usually at 16 hours in, your body’s Glucose Oxidation inclines around 50%. I would be more interested in that then just the Ketosis portion. There are a myriad of benefits from just abstaining from any source of calories, or fats. A dry or water fast is way better – well from my personal experience… Read more »
Susan Parker
Guest

Norepinephrine and Epinephrine are released when insulin levels are low.

Christoph Dollis
Guest

And cortisol, I believe.

Alex
Guest

It probably has to do with the fact you’re hungry lol.

ALz
Guest
I see all this great information on growth hormone and fasting, but I wonder about growth hormone and the ketogenic diet. I see on a non fast day that hgh doesn’t spike much, but to be clear, is this non fasting growth hormone relation on the chart related to a properly conducted ketone diet lchf style? I was just trying to see how much my hgh would be impacted, because In ketosis and a low animal protein diet(more plant proteins vs animal) should lead to lower insulin in an extended – long term perspective. So does hgh go higher on… Read more »
Rohan
Guest

Does 2 day fast increase height in teens males ?

John
Guest

So…how does IF affect the GH levels of people over 60? Is it advantageous to supplement with some arginine or ornithine on fast days?

Jane
Guest
I really look forwar to each of your posts! Thank you. If I have missed some part of your website that already explains the answers to my questions, would you please let us know? Were the subjects in the studies you describe in this post all men? What is believed about the HGH effects in women? Women of all ages. Surely the complexities of cyclic hormonal changes, and overall hormonal differences, matter in this analysis of muscle preservation and growth. And,what about hormonal “side” effects of fasting, such as on the HPA axis? I would also like to know what… Read more »
deirdra
Guest

Does the major concern about fasting causing the loss of lean mass perhaps come from people doing JUICE FASTS? – drinking “healthy” sugar all day and preventing HGH spikes?

Nate
Guest
After reading Fasting Part 2 yesterday, I started a fast today. A few hours after that decision, I walked past my weight room. Should I lift weights today, I thought? As you had explained, my HGH should be going up and maybe that would help me make muscle. Well, no, I thought, it will just make me more hungry. Besides where would the amino acids come from if I’m fasting? So, today, you say that it is ok and, possibly, good to workout with weights while fasting. Cool, tomorrow, I’ll start pumping. But, still, where do the amino acids come… Read more »
kfacwpup
Admin

Hi Nate

The amino acids in the the first 24 hours or so will come from the diet. After you have eaten, you have excess circulating glucose and AA. The glucose will get used. The AA will get used for gluconeogenesis, unless you took in absolutely zero proteins in the last 24 hrs, which is not really all that healthy since there are certain essential amino acids.

After the first 24 hours or so, the rest of the gluconeogenesis substrate comes from glycerol.

Yes, I am in the process of writing a book due to come out Jan 2016

Barb
Guest
I am a little confused… I have just started an extended fast, and plan to fast for 4 days as this is the first time that I have ever fasted beyond 24 hours. I am consuming nothing but calorie free liquids and salted bone broth. But in your response to Nate, you mentioned that “taking in zero proteins is not all that healthy”. Does this only apply to heavy exercisers? I was also considering doing some HIIT cardio today but didn’t as I was concerned that the exercise would make me hungrier. Should we be exercising while doing an extended… Read more »
kfacwpup
Admin
Sorry – taking zero protein for extended periods (months) is not that healthy. For 4 or 7 or even 14 days, it is OK assuming that you are not malnourished to begin with. HIT is an excellent idea – fasting is an excellent time for exercise due to increased HGH. Coming off fasts, it is best to go slow. Gorging will make you feel quite uncomfortable, but not probably dangerous. Regarding IR – yes – there is a 70% genetic contribution to obesity. So some people can truly eat whatever they want and never gain weight. I covered this is… Read more »
Barb
Guest

Thank you!! That makes sense.

golooraam
Guest

Thank you Dr. Fung
After reading this, I am doing a 1 (maybe 2?) day water fast and plan on working out both days, one a 1 hour walk with hand weights and tomorrow 50 to 100 pushups… good to know I can keep my workouts in…

Christoph Dollis
Guest

I did hit the gym today after 19 h of fasting, and while I hardly have put in their efforts or have their results, at least I got it done today.

John C
Guest
For me at least, training in a fasted state is not the problem I thought it could be. One of my weekly gym sessions is after fasting 20 hours into one of my 24-hour fasts and I do not notice any dip in energy levels. My personal trainer says I am noticeably stronger since I switched to low carb / high fat and intermittent fasting and he is increasing the weights I press in resistance training. My lean muscle mass does not seem to have diminished even though my weight has reduced by around 70 pounds over the past couple… Read more »
Nate
Guest
Thanks to Christoph and John C for sharing your stories. Well, I’m in my second fast day. And like others have said, I woke up last night at 4:00 am. My blood sugar was low. (I’m a T1.) I ate two spoonfuls of apricot jam and went back to bed. Normally, increasing my blood sugar to the normal range will relax me and often put me immediately to sleep. Not so this morning. My heart was pounding and my mind was dinking along, even with some subliminal melatonin. Around five, I gave up and got up. I’ve lowered my morning… Read more »
Christoph Dollis
Guest

Hi Nate.

I overlooked that you are a type-1 diabetic. Of course, you do need insulin! My apology.

Christoph Dollis
Guest

Hi Nate,

Is tight blood glucose control the correct goal to guide your therapy efforts or is periodically lowering blood insulin the correct therapeutic goal?

I believe that Dr. Fung is arguing that the latter goal is the correct approach to treating type-2 diabetes.

Nate
Guest
Christoph, yeah, I’m on a crusade to limit the use of the word ‘diabetes’. So, I just use T1 to say I have Type 1 diabetes. I can imagine that T1 would be easily overlooked, because it is not the normal way to write it. Diabetes is an old word that was created when the technology used to determine whether or not you had high blood sugar was to taste your urine (eeeww). Our technology has, thankfully, increased tremendously and so has our knowledge of the causes of high blood sugar. Auto immune problems cause T1; insulin resistance, T2; many… Read more »
Christoph Dollis
Guest
It isn’t that one shouldn’t want lower blood siugars, but what is the best way to get it? Rather than, for a T2, inject and/or produce massive quantities of insulin and with it shove sugars into the muscles, organs, and fat cells in pursuit of lower blood sugar, if insulin sensitivity itself is actually obtainable, then it seems to me to be preferrable. This may require less tight blood sugar control, and there is evidence that tight blood sugar control efforts can be harmful. Not that good blood sugar is bad, but that not all attempts to achieve stable blood… Read more »
Joe E O
Guest

I routines list weights and exercise after 16 to 24 hours fasts with no ill effects. I believe I am actually somewhat stronger due to the fasting.

Jenny Wilkinson
Guest
I read your posts with great interest, so nice to see rational scientific data presented so well. I am pretty sure I have high insulin, I am 71, from a family with diabetes but not diabetic myself. Have always had reactive hypoglycaemia and been wary of sugar and carbs. I am always hungry. I searched your site for reactive hypoglycaemia, any comments? I would like to lower my insulin but have read that women do not react to fasting in the same way as men. It can mess up hormones and so on. Do you have any data or observations… Read more »
kfacwpup
Admin

I would point out that most of the studies of fasting have included many women as well. Clinically, I see no difference in men and women and fasting.

Christoph Dollis
Guest
I’m glad you’re getting more exposure for your ideas, Dr. Fung. I don’t know (as in I have thought I knew in the past, and now am uncertain) whether a whole-food, plant-based; low-carb, high-fat; or paleo-style, omnivorous diet is best, but I am certain fasting is beneficial. I intend on getting back to it. I had massively slacked off after some initial success. If you don’t mind taking the time to answer, do you think the Martin Berkhan LeanGains (also David Zinczenko and Peter Moore The 8-Hour Diet) style of 16 hours fasting/8 hours eating most days can work well,… Read more »
kfacwpup
Admin

I think the LeanGains style of fasting works perfectly fine. For some diabetics, with severe insulin resistance, it may not be powerful enough. For somebody just trying to lose a little weight, I think it should be fine. Fasting comes in infinite varieties but usually comes down to – if you do more fasting, you lose more weight.

Christoph Dollis
Guest

That perspective helps. Thanks.

Bernard P.
Guest

Dr. Fung, after following you for more than a year, watching all your lectures and reading all your blog posts, a question suddently comes to me…

Since you obviously don’t have any problem with extra weight, do you yourself follow a fasting regimen? Do you fast at some interval as a “preventive” measure?

kfacwpup
Admin

Yes, I generally do 1-2 24 hour fasts per week. If I have overindulged, I may do a few extra to make up. Yes – I do it for preventive measures against diabetes, but also to stimulate growth hormone, to lower insulin and to increase autophagy (to be discussed later).

jason

Bernard P.
Guest

Thanks for your reply. I have looked up “autophagy” and you have piqued my interest… I’m staying tuned!

Bernard

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[…] important to note that fasting strongly increases levels of growth hormone in humans, by up to 5-fold, which preserves and even increases muscle mass, as well as bone mass. So we see […]

Sam
Guest

What’s your take on the heart failures reported in fasting studies (such as the ones described at http://paleoleap.com/long-fasts/ under Dangers and Drawbacks) ?

Barb
Guest
I am curious about something Dr. Fung… Do you think that a baby can be born with IR, or develop it shortly after birth or in childhood? The reason that I ask is because I have been overweight since the age of 5, and don’t feel that I should have been. I grew up on a farm and are excellent grass fed meats, our own veggies, raw dairy products (made our own butter and cheeses). Ate the entire animal, including the organs. While we did have cereals and breads/homemade cookies/cakes, etc. Since town was 12 miles away… We weren’t walking… Read more »
Ed II
Guest

I believe many overweight people have some genetic conditions, and the only solution is to be very careful with your diet. Did you try fasting, even intermittent or alternate fasting, already ?

Nate
Guest

Barb, Dr lustig is the more or less famous pediatric who explains that yes infants have IR. His very popular you tube talk, The Bitter Truth, gives examples of that IR in infants and why it is happening now. Here’s his talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

GREAT talk!

Christoph Dollis
Guest

Would it be a silly protocol to take a little bolus insulin with meals on the basis that it’s short acting and will flush out of the system soon but could provide some protection against tissue damage, and then stop taking insulin on fasting days to regain insulin sensitivity? Or does that basically make sense?

F
Guest

Hi,
I was wondering : why do I have migraine almost time I eat to much sugar, and every time I am fasting more than 12 hours. I do not fast on purpose, but when I am not hungry (for example when I ate too much at the previous meal and I skip the meal), when I am sick, when I am on business trip, to have a medical examination…)
I suspect that this have to do with glucose and insulin? How to improve this?

kfacwpup
Admin

Headaches are quite common when starting fasting. I do not know why. However, with repeated fasting, it often goes away. Staying hydrated, especially with bone broth or mineral water seems to help.

EB
Guest

Doesn’t bone broth break your fast, technically speaking?

Dr. Jason Fung: Technically, perhaps. Clinically, it seems to make no difference.

EB
Guest
Thanks for the reply and for this wonderful fasting series, Dr. Fung! That is certainly good to know. I have some bones in the freezer and may make some bone broth. I’m on day two of a water fast (black tea, black and green tea being the only exceptions) and it is going well. I typically have fasted once or twice a week for 18-24 hours but after reading your posts I have endeavored for a longer fast. No problems so far and am feeling pretty good. I’m a 40yo male, btw. Again, thanks for this wonderful resource. I’m trying… Read more »
Nata
Guest

Headaches are common because with fasting all the toxins are released into the blood stream very fast. If you do an enema and drink lots of water – they disappear as you flush them out from your gut.

Claudia
Guest

Hi, Im new to all this fasting protocol/s. I have read all the info that Dr. Fung writes, which I think is amazing! There is something I still don’t understand. If somebody with type 2 diabetes fast, will not be more at risk of having ketoacidosis ending in coma? That part of the human physiology I don’t get. Thank you!

Calvin
Guest

Hi! Dr. Fung, is fasting suitable for who have type 2 diabetes already? Thank you!

kfacwpup
Admin

Yes, but you must be very careful with your medications to avoid low blood sugars. You should only fast with close medical supervision in that case.

stenB
Guest
Very informative article that makes perfect sense to me and spurs some questions. I see in Table 3 above how fasting insulin (FI) dropped from 13 to around 3 in just 5 days. Any data on the long term effects on FI after the fast? Either going back to a “standard diet” or a low carb? And I guess the length of the fasting time will mean longer time for FI to return back up after fast, or the number of shorter time fasts times their length, each over a minimum “starting up” threshold of course. ( making 24 hour… Read more »
Imislam
Guest
Hello Mr. Fung, I am type 2 diabetes from february, 2015 and reduced my weight 23 lbs (186 to 163 now) in last 2.5 months and a1c reduced from 10.3 to 6.4 by this time. I did extreme exercise and low carb food. Currently on low carb diet (maximum 30 g -60g of carb/day) with lot of fat, vegetable and protein most of my calories. I was having fasting bg few days ago only 94-103 and after meal maximum 110-138. But last 1 week my bg goes up to 114-120 with same diet and exercise. Even, 2 hours after dinner… Read more »
stenB
Guest

This is exactly what the fasting (IF) will cure but only when waistline reduces I understand. Measure waist instead of weight!

Dr. John Koroloff
Guest

I have been on an 18:6 IF fast for about 3 months and record daily blood glucose (mg/dl) and recently fructosamine, A1C, Lipid panel.
Paradoxical Results:
Daily BG meter reads end of 18 hr. fast = 115-120 bg/dl (ouch! thats diabetic)
Yet lab test health paramaters have all have improved.
body -20 lbs, %body fat -8%, fructosamine, A1C NORMAL/good, Lipid panel NORMAL/good, Resistance exercise show improvement in wt/reps and reduced level of difficulty.
Conclusion: I think IF increases HGH which increases blood glucose but increase is non problematic because fructosamine/A1, Lipid panel levels remain in Normal/good range.

Mary
Guest

Just an FYI. Have you tried recalibrating your meter or taking a few test in a row to see variation? If the three numbers vary widely, it may be your meter or strips. Just something to check.

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[…] Continue with Fasting part 3 […]

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[…] growth hormone (HGH): Levels of growth hormone may skyrocket during a fast, increasing as much as 5-fold (5, 6). Growth hormone is a hormone that can aid fat […]

del
Guest
I am 81 male. 2 years ago I had my blood tested at HDL [health diagnostic labs] and my insulin was 28. It went up over the past 2 years to the high 70’s and fell to the mid 40’s 7 weeks ago. I have had 8 blood tests during this time and will have it tested in 2 weeks. I have been on a strict Keto diet for 16 months. [ 20 gm. cruciferous carbs. total 1600 cal 80% fat, 15 to18 % protein]. a1c = 5.9. All vascular inflammation markers are perfect. I am insulin resistant and have… Read more »
pedro ivo
Guest

well, there are solid research too showing the opposite in regards the HGH / IGF 1,
http://michelsonmedical.org/2014/12/26/igf-1-fasting-discussion-valter-longo/
it is a controversial point that it is almost not discussed… I would like to understand this better…

Dr. Jason Fung: I think you are confusing Growth Hormone (GH) with IGF-1 (Insulin Like Growth Factor 1). They are quite different Fasting increases GH but decreases IGF-1, as well as insulin.

Gwen
Guest

I got the answer to my previous question. But I still need to understand the difference because you talk about “decrease in HGH-IGF-1” in the article and using IGF1 measurement as a surrogate for HGH. So that is where I got confused. Shall reread article plus a bit more research.

pedro ivo
Guest
How? in your text above it is “Perhaps this decrease in HGH-IGF1”, you put they together because igf1 increases or decreases in response to GH levels… “HGH only lasts a few minutes in the bloodstream. It goes to the liver for metabolism, where it is converted into a number of other growth factors, the most important of which is Insulin Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF1).’ “Produced in the liver, IGF-1 mirrors GH excesses and deficiencies, but its level is stable throughout the day, making it a useful indicator of average GH levels.” http://www.labtestsonline.org.br/understanding/analytes/growth-hormone/tab/test/ Dr. Jason Fung: While GH may influence… Read more »
Preben
Guest
Good to get this clarified. The connection between HGH and IGF-1 was not clear in the post, and there is absoulutely nothing about IGF-1 in your book “The Complete guide to Fasting.” This I find very strange as IGF-1, as far as I have understood, is a leading biomarker for aging. Prof Valter Longo also highlights fasting and the effect of IGF-1 (it goes down). It is also recognised by many as a driver for many types of cancer. You have a small part about mtor in the book, but I think this could be a much bigger part as… Read more »
pedro ivo
Guest

thank you, it is a good explanation… so it is possible measure GH by other means… not only trough IGF-1 levels… one hipothesis was that the GH maybe decreases in the fasted state, and would increase dramaticaly in the refeeding, but is not, increases in the fasted state itself, correct? thanks

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[…] – Fasting increases HGH secretion in the body by up to 1000%. That staggering figure is backed by multiple studies. HGH plays a huge role in athletic performance and is crucial for building and maintaining lean […]

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[…] fasting” is a great way to enhance your growth hormone levels. There have been many scientific studies on how fasting increases HGH levels and how HGH causes […]

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[…] sehr guter Beitrag zu diesem Thema ist übrigens auch auf der Seite Intensive Dietary Management zu […]

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[…] who did try intermittent fasting revealed increased human-growth hormone levels, weight loss, stabilized insulin levels, brain repair and strengthening, anti-aging, fat loss, […]

Art Deco
Guest

Very interesting article, I had no idea that HGH became elevated during fasting or the role it played in healing the body.

Robert
Guest
I have been inspired to start fasting after watching BBC’s Horizon programme “East, Fast and Live Longer” (by Dr Mosley). A lot of your posts, Dr Fung, make perfect sense to me and both the available research and common sense tell me that this should work. However, I am slightly confused by this post about IGF1. Dr Mosley in his programme was talking about elevated levels of IGF1 being one of the risk factors contributing towards many types of age-related diseases (such as cancer). After starting his fasting regime, Dr Mosley’s IGF1 levels dropped by half (after 5 weeks of… Read more »
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[…] we are clearing out all our old, junky proteins and cellular parts. At the same time, fasting also stimulates growth hormone, which tells our body to start producing some new snazzy parts for the body. We are really giving […]

david
Guest
I started fasting in February 2016 and by early June 2016 I’ve lost 42 lbs–absolutely amazed me–Sure at first it was hard but as Dr. Fung very eloquently explained in his wonderful book “The Obesity Code” most people have never fasted before so I wasn’t used to it-but the hunger pangs ultimately disappeared and ultimately I continued to a 24 hour daily fast (just having dinner every evening-and tea in the morning and carbonated water at lunch). I still eat at special occasions (birthdays, holidays etc) but I know that I can go right back to fasting and maintain my… Read more »
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[…] Hormônio do Crescimento ou GH – jejum é uma forma natural para aumentar a produção de GH. O GH auxilia na recuperação de exercícios de alta intensidade, assim como aumenta o […]

Ed II
Guest

Levels of HGH have been measured as high as 1000x higher than average in people fasting for several days, but what about intermittent fasting ? How high does HGH get ?

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[…]  The increase in Human Growth Hormone activates the body’s own fat loss system, by increasing lean muscle gains.  Lean muscle burns more calories than fat – leading to not only a leaner body, but one […]

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[…] we are clearing out all our old, junky proteins and cellular parts. At the same time, fasting also stimulates growth hormone, which tells our body to start producing some new snazzy parts for the body. We are really giving […]

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[…] we are clearing out all our old, junky proteins and cellular parts. At the same time, fasting also stimulates growth hormone, which tells our body to start producing some new snazzy parts for the body. We are really giving […]

Ron
Guest
I am a type 2 diabetic And I am in day 6 of a planned 14 day fast. So far I am doing great. I have lost about 9 pounds. My a.m. fasting sugars the first day were 101. The p.m. sugars were 66. I did not take in any insulin. Day 2 I quit metformin. Day 3 Ketones were 4.2mmol/l and sugars were in 70s. I feel great. Morning of day 5, sugars were 84. p.m. 95. Day 6 a.m. sugars were 101. I took one metformin and we will see what happens. I was wondering what could be… Read more »
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[…] обмена. С другой стороны, голодание приводит к выработке гормона роста, указывающего нашему организму, чтобы тот начал […]

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[…] Fasting and Growth Hormone Physiology – Part 3 – Intensive … – The effect of fasting on Growth Hormone is discussed and the benefits of training in the fasted state. […]

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[…] Fasting and Growth Hormone Physiology – Part 3 […]

Raf
Guest

Hi Dr Fung,

Always been a big fan of your work and especially this one.
I’m interested in boosting HGH levels from a bodybuilding point of view.

What would you recommend to be the most optimal fasting protocol to maximise muscle gains?

Thanks and I look forward to your reply, doctor!

Roger
Guest

I’m quite confused because the article below suggests HGH and IGF-1 go in tandem. So it’s a “Faustian bargain” whether you want short-term muscle and cognitive enhancement, or longevity. See http://blog.wellnessfx.com/2013/09/04/igf-1-trade-performance-vs-longevity/

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