A new study has indicated that not only does growth hormone not help you live longer, but it comes with a substantial potential for adverse side effects, such as diabetes, carpel tunnel syndrome and swollen joints. Growth hormones have been promoted for years as wonder products that can prevent, even reverse, the aging process.

You can read about this study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers from the University of Stanford looked at 31 studies. In all the studies growth hormone had been used on elderly patients. The patients were slightly overweight, but none had any serious health problems at the beginning of each study. The researchers found that growth hormones did bring about a slight reduction in body weight and a slight increase in muscle. They did not detect, however, any change in the patients' cholesterol levels, aerobic capacity or bone density.

The researchers did find that there was an increase in developing soft tissue edema (swelling), arthralgias, carpal tunnel syndrome and gynecomastia. They were also more likely to experience the onset of diabetes mellitus and impaired fasting glucose.

Dr Hau Liu, team leader, said "There is certainly no data out there to suggest that giving growth hormone to an otherwise healthy person will make him or her live longer. We did find, however, that there was substantial potential for adverse side effects. In short, the studies provided no real evidence that the therapy resulted in increased fitness."

The study looked at t total of 220 participants who received growth hormone (GH). Their average age was 69.

We all produce GH in the pituitary gland. Production peaks during our childhood years and wears off in our thirties.

"Systematic Review: The Safety and Efficacy of Growth Hormone in the Healthy Elderly"
right arrow Hau Liu, MD, MBA, MPH; Dena M. Bravata, MD, MS; Ingram Olkin, PhD; Smita Nayak, MD; Brian Roberts, MD; Alan M. Garber, MD, PhD; and Andrew R. Hoffman, MD
Annals of Internal Medicine
16 January 2007 | Volume 146 Issue 2 | Pages 104-115
Click here to see the review online




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