In the latest frenzy to prolong life, aging baby-boomers seem to have latched onto another supposed magic cure for anti-aging: Human Growth Hormone (HGH). On an episode of CNN: Chasing Life today, CNN writer Caleb Hellerman wrote about several people in Kansas City, KS, who have tried this banned substance, HGH, with the hope that their symptoms of normal aging could be reversed. A couple in Kansas claim to have felt much less tired and a lot better since taking daily doses of HGH; they stated that this drug is not for everyone, but it worked for them. A Dr. Jackie Springer of the Green Rock Clinic is one of the proponents of this drug which is supposed to increase muscle mass and bone density, and reduce fat. Springer who had been prescribing Human Growth Hormone, lost her license as a result. HGH is a worthwhile drug, for certain patients such as those suffering from stunted growth, but they are illegal if prescribed for anti-aging purposes.
Dr. Thomas Perls, who spoke out against this latest panacea, is warning people of the dangers associated with taking this hormone, stating that there is no evidence that it actually works. He believes it could bring on cancer, among other problems like diabetes, joint pain and many other ailments.
"Growth hormone is secreted in our body to promote cell growth, and cancer is unbridled cell growth," says gerontologist Dr. Thomas Perls, who campaigns vehemently against the use of HGH."
Endocrinologists tell us that the endocrine system works in such a way that all hormones have to be delicately balanced for the human body to function properly; when one hormone spikes, the others all go wonky - think of puberty, menopause ... Yet in spite of the dangers of this unproven drug, HGH sites flourish like crazy on the internet. No doubt some people will continue to experiment with anything that promises a longer or better life but Doctors warn of trouble in the future (similarly as the problems brought on by excessive use of steriods by athletes).
Photo credit: CNN: Ed and Beth Lothamer believe taking human growth hormone has improved their health. "It's not for everybody, but we think it works, so we do it," says Ed Lothamer.