Using a proprietary combination of amino acids to boost levels of human growth hormone (HGH) produced by the pituitary gland, the GF-9 dietary supplement promises to help you achieve a more youthful, stronger, and active body. You could potentially even experience “improvements in parameters of endurance and sleep efficiency.”
To support these claims, the manufacturer points to a double-blind clinical trial showing these amino acids naturally increased participants’ HGH levels up to 682%. To achieve this, they advertise customers just have to take four capsules with water on an empty stomach per day, either two hours before breakfast or two hours past dinner.
Novex Biotech advertises that if something “has a chance of helping you get in the best shape of your life, [it] is... at the very least... an investment worth making.”
Perhaps so. But, how do we measure the probability that what’s found in GF-9 will deliver on the manufacturer’s claims? You obviously don’t want to start taking dozens of supplements—and paying their often steep prices—in the hopes that it might deliver some small benefit concerning achieving your fitness goals.
Let’s start by going into more detail about the physical effects the supplement is supposed to have on the body.
The Basics Behind Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
So we can fully understand what we’re discussing, we’ll break this into bite-size pieces.
What is Human Growth Hormone?
In our Guide to Human Growth Hormone Supplements, Dr. Annthea Fenwick, owner of Achieving Fitness After 50 in Nevada City, California, explains “that the pituitary gland releases six hormones, growth hormone (HGH), prolactin (PRL), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).”
Of these, “HGH is responsible for cellular growth” and thusly, “stimulates the growth of essentially all tissues of the body, including bone” she says.” Given this, it’s easy to see why too little HGH in the body could have health consequences.
What Causes Low HGH?
Fortunately, Healthline reports only about one in 7,000 births is diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency, which can lead to stunted growth in childhood and puberty, as well as reduced bone strength later in life. HGH deficiencies can also manifest at any time due to many causes, including tumors, “serious head injuries, infections, and radiation treatments.”
Outside of these, a person’s pituitary gland typically begins slowing HGH production after the age of 30, although it never ceases altogether. However, WebMD emphasizes:
“Because the body's HGH levels naturally decrease with age, some so-called anti-aging experts have speculated and claimed that HGH products could reverse age-related bodily deterioration. But these claims, too, are unproven. The use of HGH for anti-aging is not FDA-approved.”
Granted, this statement relates to the injectable form of HGH often used for off-label purposes by healthcare practitioners.
Now, the next logical question is: What does the clinical evidence have to say about the HGH-boosting power of GF-9’s formulation, when taken orally?
Taking a Closer Look at GF-9’s Ingredients
According to the supplement facts label listed on the Novex Biotech website, GF-9 contains:
Proprietary blend 2.9 g – L-lysine hydrochloride, L-arginine hydrochloride, Oxo-Proline, N-acetyl L-cysteine, L-glutamine, Schizonepeta (aerial parts) Powder
Resources like WebMD, Examine.com, and Natural Medicines provide extensive databases of clinical evidence summarizations related to the effectiveness of common supplement ingredients. They’re invaluable during the HighYa team’s research process, and they’re equally priceless for consumers when investigating a dietary supplement they’re considering.
And according to them, anywhere between three and six grams of arginine per day may boost circulation, which could certainly help improve vitamin and mineral absorption by muscles following exercise. However, these sites don’t indicate anything related to improved fitness or sleep, or to boosted HGH levels in the body.
Outside of this, they report there’s insufficient clinical evidence to support the manufacturer’s advertising claims for GF-9’s ingredients.
Potential GF-9 Ingredient Side Effects
Examine.com, WebMD, and the Natural Medicines Database indicate that the most common side effects associated with GF-9’s ingredients include nausea (lysine, n-acetyl cysteine), abdominal and stomach pain (lysine, n-acetyl cysteine, l-arginine), and diarrhea (l-arginine, n-acetyl cysteine). No dosages or other specifics were provided.
They also indicate that in some instances (again, no further details), l-arginine can also lead to “gout, blood abnormalities, allergies, airway inflammation, worsening of asthma, and low blood pressure,” while n-acetyl cysteine might cause “rashes, fever, headache, drowsiness, low blood pressure, and liver problems.”
The Novex Biotech website emphasizes that no one under the age of 18 should take GF-9 and that you should always consult with a physician beforehand if you’re pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
Regardless of the scenario, it's always a good idea to talk with a doctor about diagnosis-based side effects before placing an order for GF-9, or any other dietary supplement.
How Much Does GF-9 Cost & Where Can You Buy?
If purchased directly from the manufacturer, GF-9 is priced at $99 per 120-capsule bottle.
We also found the supplement sold through popular third-party retailers like Bodybuilding.com, Amazon, GNC, and Walgreens (to name just a few), for as little as $59.99 per bottle (quantities varied between 58 and 120 capsules).
All direct orders come with a 30-day refund policy, less S&H, while third-party return details will vary by retailer. Customers can reach Novex Biotech support by calling 800-898-5153.
What Can We Learn From GF-9 Customer Reviews?
Here on HighYa, one customer provided feedback about GF-9 since writing our original article, who gave the supplement a five-star rating. They claimed they'd noticed a big difference at the gym, and that their hair was turning from grey to brown.
Between Bodybuilding.com, Amazon, GNC, and Vitacost, we encountered an additional 140+ combined customer reviews for the supplement, who gave it a slightly lower average rating of about four stars. Compliments typically referenced improved energy, better sleep, and increased strength, while complaints related to no results and high price.
GF-9 vs. SeroVital-hgh: How to Choose an HGH-Boosting Dietary Supplement
While you’ll certainly encounter no shortage of dietary supplements promising to boost your HGH levels, based on the ingredients listed on their respective websites, GF-9 contains the same proprietary formulation, in the same dosage, as SeroVital-hgh (SanMedica International, LLC).
In fact, it’s SeroVital-hgh that underwent the clinical study referenced on the GF-9 website, in which “mean growth hormone increased eight-fold over baseline (equivalent to 682%).”
While the study doesn’t appear to have been published in a scientific journal or on the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed, it involved just 16 patients (12 of whom were male).
Each had their “serum GH measured at baseline and 15, 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes after taking a single low dose” and found that they “had increased 8-fold from baseline (0.17 to 1.33ng/ml) and were significantly higher than placebo (P=0.01).”
“Whether these GH changes persist over a longer duration or have other positive effects,” they advised, “is being further examined.”
When it comes to dietary supplements, it’s often easy to become ‘tangled in the weeds’ of details like these and make the buying process more difficult than necessary. In other words, if you think you’re experiencing low growth hormone levels, the best first step is talking with a healthcare professional immediately.
Then, only after speaking with you in-depth, running the appropriate tests if necessary, and providing you with a medically sound diagnosis, can they advise whether or not a supplement like GF-9 will fit within your treatment plan. And, whether or not the potentially high price you’ll pay will deliver valuable benefits.
Based on our years of writing about supplements, HGH-related and otherwise, we’d also strongly advise only doing business with companies who:
- Support their claims of efficacy with peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies published in reputable journals
- Provide at least 30-day refund policies, with no penalty fees (e.g., restocking)
- Seem to come with positive responses from customers
Let’s use these details to wrap everything up in the final section.
Is GF-9 Right For You?
We’ve covered a lot of territory in a relatively short time in this article. But, when it comes to all of the nuances related to Novex Biotech’s claims for GF-9, we now have the appropriate framework to make an educated decision. And ultimately, it’s one you’ll have to make on your own—with your healthcare provider’s assistance, of course.
Taking everything at face value, though, we learned from sites like Examine.com and the Natural Medicines Database there’s insufficient clinical evidence to support the manufacturer’s claims for any of the ingredients found in GF-9.
With this said, there’s at least one unpublished, non-peer reviewed study presented on the identically-formulated (and often lower priced) SeroVital-hgh website, indicating the ingredient blend increased growth hormone by more than 600%.
Furthermore, most online customers report positive experiences with GF-9, Novex Biotech holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (as of 9/17/18), and they stand behind it with a 30-day refund policy, even if it’s open, and no restocking fees.
Together, it seems you might not have more to lose than a bit of your time (and perhaps return S&H charges) if you decide to give GF-9 a try and find that it doesn’t meet your needs. Just talk with your doctor first to make the best choice possible and avoid potential side effects or medication interactions.
53 out 158 people found this review helpful
It works for me
I am almost 70 years old. I started taking Factor-9 about a year ago. I look like I am in my 30s. When I go to the gym people are staring at me like "I own the gym." My hair has turned from white back to brown.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend