Difference Between HGH (Human Growth Hormone) and Steroids

With busy life schedules, our life styles have changed enormously. It has gone to the extent where it has affected our food culture and, as a result, affected our health and nutrition. In the past few decades nutrition supplement market has reached sky high levels due to high consumer rate. Now it has come to a point where people think any deficiency could be overcome by using tablets and capsules. It is high time that people realize that there are always “proven risks” in the “artificial ways”. HGH and steroids are two such groups which have been abused always.


Human Growth Hormone also known by the names Somatotropin or Somatropin is a protein type hormone. It is secreted by the pituitary gland. The main role of HGH is to stimulate growth, cell reproduction and regeneration. HGH cannot affect any cell type. For an instance, it cannot reproduce or regenerate brain cells. Therefore, it is a mitogen to specific cell types. HGH as mentioned earlier is a protein which is comprised of 191 amino-acids assembling in to a single polypeptide chain. HGH has been used as a prescription drug for children suffering from growth disorders and for adults having HGH deficiencies. Due to the anabolic properties of HGH it has been abused by sportsmen and sportswomen since the 60’s. Unfortunately, the traditional drug test: urine analysis could not prove if a person has taken HGH or not. It was in year 2000 the first HGH test was done through a blood test, followed by a test to distinguish natural and artificial HGH.

Taking HGH is banned by international sports associations such as IOC. Although HGH is a simple peptide hormone, it is considered as a complex hormone, simply because, its functions are not fully known yet. Natural stimulators of HGH are GHRH secreted by hypothalamus, increased levels of androgen and estrogen, deep sleep, vigorous exercise, hypoglycemia and etc.


Steroids are not just one compound. It is a massive group of organic compounds having a common core structure. Steroids have a rigid fused ring structure which is known as a gonane core. This core can be changed in to several steroids depending on the numerous substituents. Steroids are found in animals, plants and fungi. In animals, the most common ones are cholesterol, sex hormones such as progesterone and testosterone, and corticoids such as aldosterone. The illegal steroid usage happens due to its anabolic properties. These steroids can promote skeletal muscle growth and, as a result, enhance performance of sports personnel. But due to the resemblance o male hormone testosterone, if a sportswoman takes steroids there is a high risk of developing male characteristics. In men, it could cause impotence, breast development etc. Apart from these very serious effects there are other very dangerous side effects of steroid usage, which is why it is considered illegal.

What is the difference between HGH and Steroids?

• HGH is a protein formed by a single polypeptide chain and Steroids are made up of fused organic ring structures.

• HGH is not as addictive as steroids.

• HGH has lesser number of adverse effects compared to steroids.