At a message board I go to on occasion (not good at all, geared for 13yo “athletes”), someone had suggested taking arginine as a means to increase GH output. I referred him to the article “The NO2/Arginine Scam”, to which he replied:
I will start with your article, then go on to my evidence.
“…some companies will scrounge up data showing that arginine can elevate growth hormone levels.”
Oh really? What companies would that be? The last time I checked arginine isn’t marketed, and there’s barely any money in it. They have maybe 2 or 3 arginine products total at GNC. The only people I’ve really heard of that take it are men with erectile dysfunction, which a small dose of arginine will help. If T-Nation wants to talk companies manufacturing data they should look at things like, I dunno, creatine maybe, or even cell-tech? Theres a few more bucks in that.
“Unfortunately, only five subjects were studied…”
Then that’s not a study. Five people is not a study by any means in the health field. Why doesn’t T-Nation cite one of the hundreds of REAL studies where a real sample of people was used?
“There’s little evidence to support that this short term increase in GH would do anything for your physique anyway.”
This is very true, and I agree with it. We do know from our physiology books that growth hormone plays a huge role in muscle hypertrophy, an even bigger role than testosterone. However, we do not know if increasing growth hormone levels by 50% or so has a significant effect on this muscle growth or not. It has, however, already been proven that an increase in testosterone of 50-100% has no effects on hypertrophy. So why not go with growth hormone? Or even better, why doesn’t someone do a study? Why does T-Nation (and the supplement industry) promote and sell so many testosterone increasing supplements when they DO NOT WORK? Speaking of company conspiracies…
Here’s some info from “Optimum Sports Nutrition” by Dr. Colgan, a highly renowned sports nutritionists–possibly the best in the world:
“The darling of free-form amino acids is still arginine, and research continues to pile up supporting its use by athletes. There are now more than 50 positive studies. Arginine is so reliable at releasing growth hormone that is is used as a test of pituitary function in undersized children…Some skeptical folk, including some sports medicine professionals, who cannot have read the studies, still insist that arginine is at best a weak and variable stimulus to growth hormone release…There is a pile of new studies that prove these skeptics wrong.”
Citing one of the studies, Colgan writes, “Peak growth hormone release to l-dopa was 14.6 mcg/l, a large amount. Peak growth hormone release to arginine was 15.4 mcg/l, even larger. Total growth hormone release to somatocrinin was 891.7mcgmin/l, a very large amount. Total growth hormone release to arginine was 898.2 mcgmin/l, larger again. So arginine causes at least as big a boost to growth hormone release as the hormone naturally used by the body…”
Colgan concedes, however, that this study was with injected arginine. He goes on to explain that oral doses are effective as well, and he cites two studies, then he explains what dosages to use for oral consumption. Keeping in mind that this book was written in 1993, I decided to email Dr. Colgan (earlier this year) about the issue. In fact, to this day he still has his athletes supplement with arginine in the sleep cycles I described earlier. The smaller dose of 7-15 grams of arginine is effective because of the timing, as well as the reduced competition of other amino acids.
Do you really think that one of the top sports nutritionists in the world would supplement with arginine in this manner for 12+ years if it didn’t work? Especially when he has the studies and the results (in his athletes’ gains) to prove that it works? Yeah, T-Nation all the way…
Now, I am familiar with Michael Colgan and I don’t consider him to be the type of guy to…well…make shit up. He strikes me as being bright and I also don’t see why he would have his athletes using a supplement that doesn’t work.
What are T-Nations thoughts on this?
ps, I was completely unaware that increasing testosterone 50-100% has no effect on muscle hypertrophy. Can anyone explain this to me if it’s true?