Marketing of HGH and Testosterone is considered “disease mongering” in a new article by Thomas Perls, gerontologist at Boston University.(1) Of course, it is. The pharmaceutical industry typically uses disease mongering as a marketing strategy because it works very well. They have used it for statin drugs, SSRI antidepressants, ADHD drugs, Restless leg syndrome, fibromyalgia drugs, etc. Dr Perls says these types of direct to consumer TV ads should be banned. I agree completely. However, I would go further and ban all direct to consumer drug advertising, as has been done in most other civilized countries.
Is Aging A Disease Which Requires Treatment?
How do we define Aging ? For old friends and family members we haven’t seen in a while, we sometimes say they look like they have “aged”. They may have have lost some hair, or their hair has turned grey,or they have gained weight, or they have more wrinkles, or they may have lost muscle mass and become frail. These are the usual signs of aging we see every day.
Medical Definition of Aging
There are more sophisticated measurements of aging obtained with medical testing. A decline in bone density on DEXA Scans, and loss of brain mass called atrophy on CAT scans are typical of aging. A decline in hormone levels in women called menopause associated with ovarian failure is universally a sign of aging in women. A decline in testosterone levels with loss of testicular function in the male counterpart, is also indicative of aging. Other hormone levels, such as thyroid hormone, typically decline with age as well. Wouldn’t it be prudent to test hormone levels and if found low, to replenish them to healthy levels? I think so.
Should Growth Hormone be included in this list of anti-aging interventions? Some doctors such as Thierry Hertoghe thinks so, as indicated in this letter to JAMA.
Others such as Dr Thomas Perls, professor of gerontology at Boston University may fundamentally disagree. As Dr. Zs-Nagy has stated in Arch Gerontolontolgy and Geriatrics 2009 ” consensus in anti-aging medical intervention may be an elusive expectation and not a realistic goal.”
As Dr Binstock has suggested, the “war on Anti-Aging Medicine“ is likely to continue. This is explored further by Dr Jennifer Fishman in the “curious and contradictory case of anti-aging medicine.”
Gastric Acid Production Declines With Age
In addition to the endocrine organs responsible for hormone production, other organs in the body may fail or gradually decline as we age. The gastric lining is responsible for gastric acid production. This may decline as we age, leading to poor digestion and absorption of key nutrients. This is easily treated with digestive aids at the health food store. Untreated, low gastric acid production or gastric atrophy may lead to a cascade effect with acceleration of the aging process because of the associated nutrient deficiencies.
Aging as a Result of Oxidative Damage
One theory of aging is derived for the fact that our cellular organelles are under constant barrage of damaging products of oxidation which originate as a by-product of routine energy production by mitochondria, or may be associated with the immune system or thyroid gland which create oxidative byproducts to destroy foreign substances or make thyroid hormone.
The seleno-protein repair system is our way of defending against oxidative damage. What if we have selenium deficiency, or a genetic defect in our seleno-protein repair system as in the BRCA gene mutation? Obviously this will result in accelerated aging and various diseases may manifest, such as breast /ovarian cancer in BRCA carriers. Wouldn’t it be prudent to test for these types of things and correct them? I think so.
Another theory of aging is the metabolic theory. Our metabolic processes slow down and fail us.
Below you will find a compilation of articles on HGH Human Growth hormone, and the Testosterone and Diagnosis and Treatment of adult human growth hormone deficiency.
Link to articles with related interest:
Jeffrey Dach MD
Links and References:
1) Disease Mongering of Age-Associated Declines in Testosterone and Growth Hormone Levels by Thomas Perls MD, MPH1 and David J. Handelsman MBBS, PhD2 MAR 2015 Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
2) The testosterone and HGH boom: How critics say ‘disease mongering’ created a multibillion-dollar industry By Amy Brittain March 24 2015 washington post
3) FDA To Testosterone Makers: Stop Wooing Average Aging Guys Arlene Weintraub Contributor Forbes 3/04/2015
4) Growth Hormone for “Antiaging” Thierry Hertoghe, MD; Suzie Schuder, MD JAMA. 2006;295(8):888-890. doi:10.1001/jama.295.8.888.
Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2009 May-Jun;48(3):271-5. 2009 Mar 9. Is consensus in anti-aging medical intervention an elusive expectation or a realistic goal? Zs-Nagy I.
Bartke, Andrzej. “Growth hormone and aging: a challenging controversy.” Clinical interventions in aging 3.4 (2008): 659.
Short Bowel Syndrome:
Jeppesen, Palle Bekker. “Growth Hormone, Glutamine and Glucagonlike Peptide 2 in Short Bowel Syndrome ” PRACTICAL GASTROENTEROLOGY (2008): 37.
Molitch, Mark E., et al. Evaluation and treatment of adult growth hormone deficiency Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 96.6 (2011): 1587-1609.
Horber, Fritz F., and Morey W. Haymond. Human growth hormone prevents the protein catabolic side effects of prednisone in humans Journal of Clinical Investigation 86.1 (1990): 265.Ward, H. C., D. Halliday, and A. J. Sim. ”
Protein and energy metabolism with biosynthetic human growth hormone after gastrointestinal surgery Ward ” Annals of surgery 206.1 (1987): 56.
Herndon, DAVID N., et al. “Effects of recombinant human growth hormone on donor-site healing in severely burned children Herndon 1990” Annals of surgery 212.4 (1990): 424.
Gilpin, D. A., et al. “Recombinant human growth hormone accelerates wound healing in children with large cutaneous burns.” Annals of surgery 220.1 (1994): 19.
Ramirez, Roque J., et al. “Growth hormone treatment in pediatric burns a safe therapeutic approach Ramirez 1998” Annals of surgery 228.4 (1998): 439.
Przkora, Rene, et al. “Beneficial effects of extended growth hormone treatment after hospital discharge in pediatric burn patients.” Annals of surgery 243.6 (2006): 796.
Ziegler, THOMAS R., et al. “Metabolic effects of recombinant human growth hormone in patients receiving parenteral nutrition Annals of surgery 208.1 (1988): 6.
Growth Hormone – Hormone Replacement for the Somatopause? Richard Savine, Peter Sönksen Department of Medicine, St Thomas’ Hospital, London, UK, Growth Hormone Research, Vol. 53, Suppl. 3, 2000
Hew Fen Lee Frank Alford Growth hormone deficiency in adults JUMMEC 1999 Hew, Fen Lee, and Frank Alford. “Growth hormone deficiency in adults.” Journal of the University of Malaya Medical Centre (JUMMEC) 4.2 (1999): 74-80.
HGH References from Dr Elmer M Cranton
HGH References Cenegenics AntiAging Atlanta
HGH References Uzzi Reiss Book .
HGH Citations Ron Rothenberg MD
Header Image courtesy of Best Medicine News.
Metabolic effects of recombinant human growth hormone in patients receiving parenteral nutrition. T R Ziegler, L S Young, J M Manson, and D W Wilmore Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Ann Surg. 1988 July; 208(1): 6–16.
The effect of recombinant human growth hormone and resistance training on IGF-I mRNA expression in the muscles of elderly men. M Hameed, K H W Lange, J L Andersen, P Schjerling, M Kjaer, S D R Harridge, and G Goldspink. J Physiol. 2004 February 15; 555(Pt 1): 231–240.
Growth Hormone, Glutamine, and an Optimal Diet Reduces Parenteral Nutrition in Patients With Short Bowel Syndrome A Prospective, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Clinical Trial. Theresa A. Byrne et al. Ann Surg. 2005 November; 242(5): 655–661.
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and hepatic steatosis in patients with adult onset growth hormone deficiency. T Ichikawa et al. Gut. 2003 June; 52(6): 914.
Perioperative growth hormone treatment and functional outcome after major abdominal surgery: a randomized, double-blind, controlled study. P Kissmeyer-Nielsen et al, Ann Surg. 1999 February; 229(2): 298–302.
The Role of Anabolic Hormones for Wound Healing in Catabolic States. Robert H. Demling, MD et al. J Burns Wounds. 2005; 4: e2.
Cardiac cachexia treated with HGH. P H Sönksen, F Salomon, R Cuneo, M Umpleby, and S Bowes. BMJ. 1991 March 23; 302(6778): 725–726.
Effects of recombinant human growth hormone on muscle protein turnover in malnourished hemodialysis patients. G Garibotto et al. J Clin Invest. 1997 January 1; 99(1): 97–105.
Metabolic effects of recombinant human growth hormone in patients receiving parenteral nutrition.T R Ziegler et al. Ann Surg. 1988 July; 208(1): 6–16.
BMJ. 2001 January 27; 322(7280): 203. 2001, BMJ Science commentary Insulin-like growth factor and cognitive function Abi Berger, science editor BMJ
Growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor I and cognitive function in adults.van Dam PS et al.Growth Horm IGF Res. 2000 Apr;10 Suppl B:S69-73.
Insulin-like growth factor-I, cognition and brain aging. Van Dam PS et al. Eur J Pharmacol. 2004 Apr 19;490(1-3):87-95.
The role of the somatotropic system in cognition and other cerebral functions. Creyghton WM, van Dam PS et al. Semin Vasc Med. 2004 May;4(2):167-72.
Jeffrey Dach MD
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