Human growth hormone may build muscles - but will it make you a faster, stronger and better athlete? Don't count on it, says a new Stanford University study. An analysis of more than two dozen studies of human growth hormone concludes that drug-induced muscles may look impressive - but they don't perform better. In fact, treatment may even cause impairment.
"What we found suggested that it didn't help - and at some point, it might hurt," said lead investigator Hau Liu, formerly of Stanford and now at San Jose's Valley Medical Center. The study was published in Monday's issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
One interesting thing about the study is the finding that the increased mass doesn't lead to increase strength because so much of it is fluid retention instead of actual tissue growth. Oops.
There are tons of caveats in the study so it's not like this is definitive or anything, but the evidence here is nowhere near as thin the evidence that has been used by the ill-informed to suggest that baseball has been ruined or disgraced by PEDs, let alone the evidence used to link many players to their use in the first place.