Human Growth Hormone: A Potent Anti-Aging Ally
Julian Whitaker, MD
In 1965, 90-year-old Jeanne Louise Calment, from Arles, France, made an arrangement with her lawyer that turned out to be the best deal she ever made – and his worst. They agreed that in exchange for a monthly pension of 2,500 francs for the rest of her life, the lawyer would take possession of Madame Calment’s apartment upon her death.
Little did either of them know at the time that Madame Calment would live another 32 years (she outlived the lawyer), and his descendants would end up paying her more than three times the value of the apartment. When she died in 1997, she had, according to the Guiness Book of Records, the longest life span ever documented: 122 years and five months.
What Is the Maximum Lifespan?
You’re likely familiar with the statistics that the average life expectancy has almost doubled in the past 100 years, from 46 in 1900 to around 76 today. Currently 70,000 Americans are at least 100 years old. Nobody knows the maximum potential human life span. I’ve heard all kinds of numbers bandied about: 120, 200, even longer. There is a lot of hope (and hype) that the human life span will be dramatically extended through genetic tinkering. One day, some predict, Madame Calment may be viewed as a youngster.
Frankly, I don’t care what the absolute maximum life span is. In my opinion, it’s all about living reasonably long but exceptionally well. The goal should be to die “young” at an advanced age. And I firmly believe that by living a healthy lifestyle and partnering with a physician who looks beyond “disease care” and actually helps you improve your health and longevity, you have a decent chance of doing exactly that.
Impressive Anti-Aging Benefits
An integral aspect of slowing down the aging process is hormone replacement therapy. By restoring your body’s levels of hormones to those of a young adult, you are taking one giant step away from the aging process.
In fact, the most powerful anti-aging therapy yet discovered is a hormone, human growth hormone (HGH). As its name suggests, HGH is involved in the tremendous growth spurts of childhood and adolescence. During these years, the production of HGH, which is secreted by the pituitary gland, is at its peak. After age 20, however, production falls off by as much as 14 percent per decade. By the time we reach age 65, production may be negligible.
Growth Hormone Turns Back the Clock
Supplemental HGH has been around for years as the treatment of choice – indeed the only treatment – for children of extremely short stature caused by a deficiency in HGH. The therapeutic value of HGH for adults was only recognized in 1990, when the results of a study by Daniel Rudman, MD, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, took the medical community by storm.
In this study, six months of HGH administered to 21 men, ages 61 to 81, resulted in an average gain of 8.8 percent in lean body mass and a 14.4 percent reduction in fat. Skin thickness increased by 7.1 percent. Dr. Rudman concluded that human growth hormone reversed the changes incurred during 10 to 20 years of aging. HGH turned back the clock!
Not surprisingly, this remarkable study led to hundreds of subsequent trials. HGH is now known to be highly beneficial in facilitating the healing of wounds and skin grafts, treating brain injuries, improving immune function, and increasing energy and sexual function. HGH strengthens the heart muscle, raises protective HDL cholesterol, lowers blood pressure and is an excellent therapy for heart failure. In addition, it has been reported to improve vision, tremors, hair growth, memory, and mood.
HGH is Quite Safe
Although excessively high doses of HGH may result in side effects of water retention, joint pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome, this hormone has proven to be quite safe. Early worries that it may cause cancer have been laid to rest, and its 30-year history of pediatric and adult use attests to its safety and efficacy.
A 1999 study examined the effects of long-term HGH usage. Twenty-one older patients who had taken part in a clinical trial on HGH in 1987 were divided into two groups. Eleven were continued on HGH for an additional 10 years. At the study’s conclusion, there were marked improvements in the group that continued on HGH.
Lean body mass increases of 4.4-12 pounds were maintained, and there was a reduction in LDL cholesterol and an increase in HDL cholesterol not seen in the untreated group. Ultrasound of the carotid arteries in the neck showed less thickening in this marker of heart disease and stroke risk in the subjects taking HGH. They also had more energy and scored better in tests measuring emotional and psychological well-being.
Educate Your Doctor or Find a New One
- To schedule an appointment with a doctor at the Whitaker Wellness Institute to discuss HGH, call (866) 944-8253 or click here.
- HGH is administered by injections with a small needle, which patients give themselves at home. At about $100 per week, it isn’t cheap, but you get a lot of bang for your buck with HGH.
- To learn more about HGH, read my book, Natural Hormone Replacement. You can order it from the Whitaker Wellness Institute at (800) 810-6655.
- Gibney, J et al. The effects of 10 years of recombinant human growth hormone (GH) in adult GH-deficient patients. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999;84: 2596-2602.
- Kirkwood, T. Time of Our Lives, The Science of Human Aging. Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 1999.
- Rudman, D et al. Effects of human growth hormone in men over 60 years of age.New Engl J Med. July 5, 1990;323(1): 1-6.
Modified from Health & Healing with permission from Healthy Directions, LLC. Photocopying, reproduction, or quotation strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher. To subscribe to Health & Healing, click here.