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GROWTH HORMONE AND AGING

I do not recommend growth hormone releasers that are advertised to slow aging, build muscle and help you lose weight. It is true that growth hormone levels drop as a person ages, but there is no evidence whatever that lack of growth hormone causes aging or that taking growth hormone slows aging, grows muscle or gets rid of fat.

You cannot buy growth hormone without a prescription, but entrepreneurs can sell you growth hormone releaser products because they are nothing but food. Every time you eat anything, blood levels of growth hormone rise. When you eat protein, blood levels of growth hormone rise even higher. All foods are growth hormone releasers, but growth hormone releaser pills cost much more than ordinary food and have not been shown to raise blood levels higher than food does.

Research shows that growth hormone is lowered by having lots of fat stored in your belly, and by having high blood levels of two hormones called insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-I). So the aging process and resultant tissue damage may be caused by these two hormones that are increased by sudden rises in blood sugar that follows meals. The best way to lower insulin and insulin-like growth factors is to reduce your intake of sugar and flour. High blood levels of insulin are associated with increased risk for heart attacks and high levels of ILGF-1 are associated with increased risk for cancers.

If you want to lose weight and gain muscle, exercise. A study from Utrecht University in the Netherlands shows that exercising raises growth hormone even higher than eating does. If you want to gain muscle and lose fat, reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates and fatty foods, eat more foods taken from plants, and start a regular vigorous exercise program.

1) ML Hartman, JL Clasey, A Weltman, MO Thorner. Predictors of growth hormone secretion in aging. Journal of Anti - Aging Medicine, 2000, Vol 3, Iss 3, pp 303-314Address Hartman ML, Eli Lilly & Co, Lilly Corp Ctr, Drop Code 4126, Indianapolis,IN 46285 USA.

2) JAMA, October 13, 1993.

3) Clin Endocrinology Oct 1993;39(4):417-425.

4) Taaffe DR, Jin IH, Vu TH, Hoffman AR, Marcus R. Lack of the effect of recombinant human growth hormone (GH) on muscle morphology and GH-insulin-like growth factor expression in resistance trained elderly men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 1996(Jan);81(1):421-425.

5) Medicine and Science in sports and Exercise July, 2000 Pages 1226-1232.

Checked 8/9/09

May 30th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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