Growth hormone and weight loss

Currently, scientists believe that growth hormone ( somatotropin , STH) has anti-aging properties, promotes muscle gain, is involved in fat burning and others. In many ways, it is the latter that forces girls to seek information on how to increase the level of such a hormone.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the role of growth hormone in all processes associated with fat burning (

How does fat burning work?

The process of fat burning in the body can be roughly divided into several stages:

  1.  Physical activity (stress);
  2. Increased body temperature;
  3. Release of free fatty acids (lipids) from adipocytes (fat cells);
  4. Transport of lipids to muscle fibers, namely to mitochondria;
  5. Oxidation of lipids in mitochondria and energy production;
  6. Return of unused fatty acids back to adipocytes .

Point 3 is of the greatest interest to us. The release of free fatty acids is the breakdown of adipocytes . This process occurs thanks to the enzyme lipase , a universal enzyme that performs a similar task in the human gastrointestinal tract. The higher the lipase activity, the faster and more efficiently the body breaks down and oxidizes body fat.  

Lipase activity in fat cells ( adipocytes ) depends only on two hormones: insulin and adrenaline . The higher the level of insulin, the more inhibition of lipase occurs, not only in adipocytes , but throughout the body. This is why insulin is thought to slow down fat burning and lead to fat storage.   

It should be noted that the fitness community has misapplied the fact that the higher the insulin level, the more lipase is inhibited. The logic was simple: to avoid high insulin levels, you need to cut out any carbohydrates, especially around training time. In practice, this method will not work, since lipase is inhibited not due to carbohydrates, but due to insulin, which increases both when eating protein and carbohydrate foods. In addition, fatty foods in the same way inhibit the action of lipase, since a large amount of free fatty acids appears in the blood, and the body does not see the need to release even more, spending additional energy on it.

Therefore, it is most logical not to eat before and immediately after training if its goal is to burn fat . Against the background of a drop in insulin, the level of cyclic adenosine monophosphate ( cAMP ) rises , thereby activating lipase by 100%. Insulin, on the other hand, lowers the level of cAMP .

( cAMP is a mediator neurotransmitter that can carry various hormone molecules through the cell membrane that cannot do this on their own. In our case, these are adrenaline and norepinephrine).

Participation of growth hormone in fat burning

The attentive reader noticed that in the above fat burning scheme there was no place for growth hormone. However, the role of growth hormone is significant. Growth hormone is an insulin antagonist. Of course, insulin, under equal conditions, always dominates, since it is a vital hormone, but in the absence of its surges, growth hormone lowers insulin and increases the amount of glucose in the blood, that is, it mobilizes energy resources when needed.

This process is fully manifested during a lack of food and a slight feeling of hunger or during exercise. Insulin goes down and sugar levels go down, leading to tiredness and fatigue. In response, the body triggers the synthesis of growth hormone, which increases blood sugar, which is needed to nourish the brain and central nervous system.

Interesting fact: growth hormone causes insulin resistance in muscle cells, it limits the ability of muscles to use glucose to maintain contractile activity. Instead, the muscles are forced to switch to fatty acids. This process is a banal insurance and preservation of glucose, which the brain needs. Muscles can work on fat without long-term “restructuring” processes, which is not the case for the brain and ketone bodies.

Thus , we can conclude: the lower the level of insulin (and, accordingly, blood glucose), the higher the level of growth hormone, and the higher the insulin resistance of the muscles (provided there is no food during the training time). These conditions are ideal for burning fat. Growth hormone helps to improve lipase activity, which accelerates the breakdown of adipocytes . In general terms, this is how the participation of growth hormone in fat burning looks like . And all this is true in the presence of physical activity, mainly aerobic low-intensity format. 

Growth hormone and thyroid hormones

These types of hormones are mutually synergistic. High levels of T3 and T 4 will certainly accompanied by a high level of growth hormone (, which in total makes more efficient to burn fat. Also, T3 and T 4, normalize lipid metabolism.

In addition, it should be noted that growth hormone has a positive effect on the metabolism and condition of internal organs, which also indirectly affects the rapid and effective burning of fat.


Summing up, it must be said that growth hormone does not play a major role in fat burning , however, despite this, its role is quite significant.

The main inhibitor of fat burning is insulin, since it suppresses the work of lipase, as well as the activity of adrenaline, which interferes with the productive release of free fatty acids.

Growth hormone suppresses insulin levels. Its high blood level is favorable for weight loss, especially during training. That is why these days, supplements to increase growth hormone are not inferior in popularity even to testosterone boosters. In addition, growth hormone is not only a ” fat burner “, it also has a positive effect on nitrogen balance and metabolism.