MORE FACTS: CLINICAL STUDIES ON hGH
"After ninety, there's no need to worry about dying. Not many people
die over the age of ninety."
- George Burns
Recently, the FDA has approved hGH therapy for adults who are
deficient, which includes nearly everyone over the age of 40. This is an
important step in recognizing aging as a disease and opening the doors to
the acceptance of a variety of anti-aging therapies. The approval of
Humatrope, manufactured by Eli Lilly, is based on clinical data that
demonstrate its effectiveness in increasing lean muscle mass, decreasing
body fat, increasing exercise capacity, and raising HDL cholesterol ("good
cholesterol") levels. Several major pharmaceutical companies have research teams who are
racing to release the first FDA approved growth hormone secretagogue.
There are already natural hGH secretagogues available over the counter, which are being continually refined and formulated to
exceed the efficacy of growth hormone itself.
Why is there so much focus on growth hormone, and what does all of this
mean for those of us who suddenly have these substances available? To put it simply, there is no
other substance known to man that has such far reaching ability to prevent
and reverse the aging process.
Studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and other
journals show that hGH may reverse human biological aging by:
- Restoring muscle mass
- Decreasing body fat
- Thickening the skin, reducing wrinkles
- Restoring lost hair
- Restoring hair color
- Increasing energy
- Increasing sexual function
- Improving cholesterol profile
- Restoring size of liver, pancreas, heart and other organs that
shrink with age
- Improving vision
- Improving memory
- Elevating mood
- Improving sleep
- Normalizing blood pressure
- Increasing cardiac output and stamina
- Improving immune function
- Assisting in wound healing
It may seem too good to be true that a single substance could have so
many far-reaching effects, but as we look more closely at the scientific
evidence from human studies and at the physiologic interaction between
growth hormone and the body's various systems that affect these areas,
everything begins to fall into place. By the time Dr. Rudman began his
work in 1985, the safety of growth hormone had already been well
established through its use in children with GH deficiency. Decades
earlier, growth hormone from pituitary extract had been shown to decrease
body fat significantly in laboratory rats. Dr. Rudman hypothesized that
the changes in body composition which become apparent around age 35 had to
do with declining hormone levels, and he began by testing hGH to examine
its effects on lean body mass and body fat. Dr. Rudman studied 12 men
between the ages of 61 and 80 who experienced significant changes in body
composition with age, but who were otherwise healthy. These men were
overweight and had significantly low levels of growth hormone. They were
instructed not to alter their lifestyle in any way throughout the course
of this six-month study. Despite the fact that they did not alter their
diet, exercise, or smoking habits-the men who were given hGH gained an
average of 8.8% in lean muscle mass while losing 14% of their body fat.
They experienced localized increase in bone density and their skin became
thicker and firmer. According to Rudman and his associates, the subjects
of this study reversed these parameters of aging by 10-20 years. This
represented the biggest breakthrough in anti-aging medicine at the time
and led to a wide acceptance that, in the words of Dr. Rudman, "The
overall deterioration of the body that comes with growing old is not
In his study, Dr. Rudman used dosages of hGH that produced blood levels
that exceeded those that the body would normally maintain. He and his
researchers concluded that because these extremely high doses caused some
side effects, including edema and carpal tunnel syndrome, "the optimum
hormone dose is only one quarter to one half as great as was previously
Subsequent studies have confirmed the conclusions of Dr. Rudman's study
to show that lower doses of growth hormone used to replace diminished
levels within a physiologic boundary, produce the same degree of benefit
without any side effects. Studies done in Europe and in the United States
demonstrate that hGH therapy, when used properly, improves cardiac output
and stamina while restoring many of the other functions to potentially
extend length and quality of life.
In 1989, Dr. Franco Salomon and his associates in London, England
demonstrated that growth hormone given to deficient adults over a course
of 6 months resulted in an increase in lean body mass of over 10% and a 7%
reduction of body fat. These subjects experienced an increase in basal
metabolic rate as well as improved strength and exercise performance,
which had previously been below normal.
In Italy, Dr. Serafino Fazio recently evaluated the effects
hormone with moderate to severe heart failure.
The researchers found that
hGH, when combined with standard heart failure treatment, resulted in
of the heart's energy consumption and ability to pump
a higher volume of blood while increasing circulation
peripheral vascular resistance. This research opens the door for growth
hormone to not only enhance cardiovascular output in healthy people, but
to be used as
an adjunctive treatment for patients with heart disease.
Adults who are growth hormone deficient are known to have low bone
density. Growth hormone has a significant effect on the formation of new
bone tissue and, as we will see in the work that Dr. Chein has done, seems
to have a significant effect on restoring lost bone tissue. Standard
medical protocols offer the option of slowing bone loss, but they do not
cause new bone to be formed. GH and IGF-1 both stimulate osteoblast
activity, which increases the formation of new bone. With standard therapy
as it exists, most medical doctors would not expect to see any measurable
increase in bone density in one year, yet increases of 3% to 5% per year
are standard for many patients receiving growth hormone therapy.
Growth Hormone is known to increase the uptake of amino acids by muscle
cells, making it an excellent candidate for patients with wasting diseases
like AIDS. People who experience high levels of physiologic stress such as
surgery or severe burns often have difficulty in recovery from injury and
develop symptoms of wasting. The use of growth hormone
circumstances has been successful and continued study is underway. One of
the underlying problems in recovering from muscle wasting is the inability
to properly absorb nutrients; growth hormone not only assists in muscle
formation, but in the absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract.
Digestive Tract Disorders
Studies by Doug Wilmore, M.D. and associates at Harvard's Brigham &
Women's Hospital in Boston demonstrate the effectiveness of hGH injections
combined with the amino acid L-Glutamine in regenerating the digestive
tracts of patients with short bowel syndrome. Before therapy, the
digestive tracts of these patients were incapable of digesting food;
hence, patients had to be fed intravenously. After therapy, the same
patients were able to eat solid food and absorb nutrients effectively.
This work holds great promise for the number of people with colitis and
Crohn's disease whose diseases typically continue to worsen with standard
medical protocols. It also suggests yet another way that growth hormone
therapy works to reverse the aging process. All of us experience a decline
in nutrient absorption as we age due to the thinning of the lining of the
digestive tract. In fact, the permeability of the digestive tract lining
has been directly correlated with the onset of a variety of illnesses.
When the digestive tract lining becomes very thin a patient may be told
that she has Leaky Gut Syndrome-a condition that may lead to a variety of
autoimmune diseases, rheumatism, allergies, and arthritis.
The largest study of the effects of growth hormone on humans has taken
place at the Palm Springs Life Extension Institute under the direction of
Dr. Edmund Chein, director of the institute, and his associate Dr. Leon
Terry, a neuro-endocrinologist from the Department of Neurology at the
Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Chein follows a growth hormone protocol
that involves restoring GH levels is for patients who are deficient (IGF-1
less than 350 in ng/ml) with low dose, high frequency injections. Dr.
Chein, by combining hGH with other hormones that are shown to be low, has
developed a program that he claims has been 100% effective for all his
patients. He guarantees that his patients will experience an increase in
bone density of 1.5 - 2.5% every 6 months, as well as a loss of 10% body
fat and an increase of 10% muscle mass. These processes may continue until
the patient attains the body composition of a twenty-year-old.
Recently, Dr. Terry collected the data of patients who have been
treated at the Life Extension Institute and has written up the amazing
results. The following assessment figures were derived from 308 randomly
selected self-assessment questionnaires that were completed by 202
patients during the term of their therapy between the years of 1994 and
Effects of Growth Hormone Administration in 202 Patients
(Low Dose-High Frequency)
L. Cass Terry, M.D., Ph.D. & Edmund Chein, M.D. Medical College of
Wisconsin & Palm Springs Life Extension Institute
Strength, Exercise & Body Fat
Skin & Hair
New Hair Growth...............................
Healing, Flexibility & Resistance
Healing of old injuries.........................
Healing of other injuries......................
Resistance to Common Illness...........
Duration of Penile Erection................
Frequency of Nighttime Urination.......
Menstrual Cycle Regulation..............
Energy, Emotions, & Memory
Attitude Toward Life..........................
In general, these improvements were reported to occur within I to 3
months of the on -set of therapy with a tendency to continue improving
over 6 months of treatment. Chein and Terry are currently studying the
effects of hGH replacement therapy on triglycerides, HDL and LDL
cholesterol, PSA, blood pressure, and cardiovascular fitness.
It is important to note that Drs. Chein and Terry believe in a total
approach to deterring the aging process by replacing a variety of hormones
that are deficient, using aerobic and resistance training, dietary
evaluation, and stress reduction.
We believe in the importance of this
well-rounded approach as well. From clinical experience, when a wider
range of hormones are replaced to overcome deficiency, greater results may
be obtained with lower doses. As we detail in future chapters, using the
proper diet and exercise techniques to stabilize insulin and enhance
growth hormone release are essential to attaining optimal results.
Chein and Terry have demonstrated a 61% increase in IGF-1 levels after
I to 2 months of hGH therapy with low dose high frequency (LD-HF)
injections without the major side effects found in studies that involve
much higher dose lower frequency injection of hGH. However, some patients
experienced minor joint pain and fluid retention, which disappeared after
the initial two months of therapy. While the LD-HF protocol appears to
more closely mimic the patterns of the body's own growth hormone release
when compared with the high dose low frequency dosing used by Rudman; it
does not precisely duplicate our natural release patterns. This may
account for the minor side effects found in Chein's patients.
Can the Side Effects be Overcome?
Upon recognizing the importance of restoring growth hormone to
physiologic levels in order to maximize the effectiveness and reduce side
effects, it is important to examine the effects of natural secretagogues.
Natural secretagogues may be our best hope for raising growth hormone in
an entirely physiologic manner because of the ability to stimulate the
endocrine system to release its own growth hormone, Reference to the
stimulation of the endocrine system rather than the pituitary alone,
reflects the complex interactions among the liver, pancreas, adrenals,
thyroid, hypothalamus, and pituitary that effect the release and response
to growth hormone.
"Once we've identified the fight materials to use, the most challenging
obstacles in attaining consistent and significant growth hormone release
are 1) absorption and 2) delivery to the proper receptor sites. Our team
has researched and developed an array of Chaperone Molecule delivery
systems that address gastric absorption, transport through the
bloodstream, and attachment to appropriate receptors. What's exciting is
that we're using all natural substances."
-Pharmacologist James Jamieson
There are a variety of nutrients and other natural substances that have
been demonstrated to increase the release of growth hormone. For instance,
the amino acid L-glutamine has been shown to increase growth hormone by
15%, while the endogenously produced substance, L-dopa, has been shown to
restore youthful levels of growth hormone for men over the age of 60. The
amino acid arginine is used as a standard in measuring growth hormone
secretory potential, where the patient is loaded with arginine and
subsequent IGF-I levels are measured. It is plausible that the proper
combination of natural substances could produce a synergistic effect that
would exceed that of any single nutrient if the proper knowledge of
biochemistry and clinical response were combined with the right
pharmacology. But, in order to arrive at
an effective means of
accomplishing this - we must understand...
I've noticed my hair is turning darker.
-M.B. (Female, Age 76)
"I saw a definite change in my overall feeling within a few weeks. I am
62 years old and before starting this regime, I felt like I was 82. After
2 months I now breathe better with no more wheezing, my body is firmer,
stamina has improved, my memory is much better and I feel as if I were a 45
year old again."
-B.S. (Male, Age 62)