HGH Isn't Worth the Hysteria
Hyped as the next big doping scandal, there's not much evidence it even works
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2007 11:47 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Crusaders against performance enhancing drugs should lighten up about Human Growth Hormone: In the sports version of the war on drugs, anabolic steroids are heroin and HGH is marijuana, writes Daniel Engber. Studies haven't shown any definitive increase in athletic abilities resulting from taking HGH, and they have minimal harmful side effects.

HGH has been shown to increase lean muscle mass and decrease fat, he notes, but bigger muscles don't necessarily increase strength or agility. If it is giving athletes an edge, it's probably in the form of reduced recuperation times rather than on-field gains. But because HGH is just as banned as steroids, athletes, fans and media all seem unable to draw distinctions.