Growth hormone is the most abundant hormone made by the pituitary gland in the brain. It peaks during adolescence, then steadily declines as we age.
Nine European Countries and the U.S. FDA have approved the use of HGH for adults with growth hormone deficiency. The definition of HGH deficiency is left up to the doctor who may use it either for pituitary disease or for aging.
Drawbacks include the fact that it has to be injected daily or twice daily and costs about $200 a week depending on the dose given. It also requires close medical supervision and monitoring.
The main side effects are due to overdosing. These include edema, carpal tunnel syndrome and joint pains. They are due to the water retention caused by HGH and disappear when the dose is adjusted downward. However, scientists are divided on whether HGH might increase cancer risk by promoting growth of tumour cells.
Montreal physician Dr. Roman Rozencwaig , author of, The Melatonin and Aging Sourcebook (Hohm Press, 1997), is concerned that HGH would accelerate cancer in people that had undiagnosed cancer. He is planning to cautiously use small doses of HGH for his frail elderly patients.
In his book, Klatz recommends a well rounded programme emphasizing diet, vigorous exercise and the use of natural growth hormone releasers.
Then if necessary, he suggests low doses HGH replacement 40 to 60 times lower than used in the studies. The aim is to keep the level of insulin-like growth factor one (IGF1) similar to that of a normal 30 to 40 year old.
HGH is converted into growth factors in the liver. The most important of these, IGF1 can be measured in the blood before and during treatment. Klatz also stresses replacing all hormones in a balanced way (preferably using natural hormones) including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Vincent Giampapa, medical director of the Longevity Institute in Montclair, New Jersey, also uses natural growth hormone releasers with good success. He uses an amino acid mixture of 2 grams each of arginine, ornithine, lysine, and glutamine. Giampapa will only use HGH if natural boosters don't work.
The Health Protection Branch has taken most amino acids off the market and they are currently being evaluated. However, they can be ordered through US companies like the Life Extension Foundation in Hollywood, Florida (1-800-841-5433).
Several oral growth hormone releasers have been developed by the major drug companies but are not yet on the market. These include GHRP-6, hexarelin, and MKO677. These compounds stimulate the pituitary gland to secrete its own HGH.
Meanwhile, Dr. Edmund Chein, an expert in rehabilitation medicine and Dr. Leon Terry , Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Medical College of Wisconsin have successfully treated over 900 patients since 1994 with hormone replacement including HGH at their Palm Springs Life Extension Institute in Palm Springs California.
Last week, Biomed Comm Incorporated of Seattle released the first patented homeopathic growth hormone factors. Researcher Dr. Barb Brewitt of the University of Washington did a pilot study on 30 AIDS patients and found that these factors with their infinitesimal amounts of substance produced an increase in T-cell count, a decrease in viral load and weight gain in the treated group. A larger study with 100 patients has just been funded.
Sound too good to be true? Canadians will have to go south to find out or else focus on natural healthy ways of increasing growth hormone through restricting calories, vigorous aerobic or resistance exercises with or without natural HGH boosters.
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