GH is very expensive. Another way to give growth hormone is to provide an orally based releasing agent. This is an article demonstrating the concept and clinical application.
"Dietary energy restriction induces a predictable catabolic response in normal subjects (4, 5). This loss of nitrogen is associated with a decrease in insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and an increase in GH (19, 20), suggesting GH resistance. However, the resistance is not absolute, because administration of exogenous GH will effect an increase in IGF-I and increase nitrogen retention (4, 5). Because MK-677 is a potent GH secretagogue, the present study was undertaken to determine whether MK-677 could reverse the catabolic response to dietary energy restriction in healthy volunteers. "
MK-677, an Orally Active Growth Hormone Secretagogue, Reverses Diet-Induced Catabolism1
M. G. Murphy, L. M. Plunkett, B. J. Gertz, W. He, J. Wittreich, W. M. Polvino2 and D. R. Clemmons
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Vol. 83, No. 2 320-325Copyright © 1998 by The Endocrine Society
The reversal of diet-induced negative nitrogen balance by GH suggests a possible therapeutic role for GH treatment in catabolic patients. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, two-period, cross-over study was designed to investigate whether MK-677, an orally active nonpeptide mimic of GH-releasing peptide, can reverse diet-induced protein catabolism. Eight healthy volunteers (ages 24–39 yr) were calorically restricted (18 kcal/kg·day) for two 14-day periods. During the last 7 days of each diet period, subjects received either oral MK-677 25 mg or placebo once daily. There was a 14- to 21-day washout interval between periods. During the first week of caloric restriction (i.e. diet alone), daily nitrogen losses were similar for both treatment groups (mean ± SE; MK-677 group -2.67 ± 0.40 g/day vs. placebo group -2.83 ± 0.26 g/day). During the second week (diet and study drug), mean daily nitrogen balance was 0.31 ± 0.21 g/day in the MK-677 treatment group compared with -1.48 ± 0.21 g/day in the placebo group
MK-677 reverses diet-induced nitrogen wasting, suggesting that if these short-term anabolic effects are maintained in patients who are catabolic because of certain acute or chronic disease states, it may be useful in treating catabolic conditions.