January 26, 2010
Growth Hormone Lack Not Life Shortening

Low growth hormone among dwarves in a state in Brazil does not shorten their life expectancies.

People profoundly deficient in human growth hormone (HGH) due to a genetic mutation appear to live just as long as people who make normal amounts of the hormone, a new study shows. The findings suggest that HGH may not be the "fountain of youth" that some researchers have suggested.

"Without HGH, these people still live long, healthy lives, and our results don't seem to support the notion that lack of HGH slows or accelerates the aging process," says Roberto Salvatori, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Endocrinology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The researchers, working with an unusual population of dwarves residing in Itabaianinha county, a rural area in the northeastern Brazilian state of Sergipe, and led by Salvatori, sought to sort out conflicting results of previous studies on the effects of HGH on human aging.

Some studies have suggested that mice whose bodies don't efficiently produce or process the mouse equivalent to HGH have an extended lifespan. Other research has shown that people with low levels of HGH due to surgical or radiation damage to the pituitary gland that makes HGH have increased risk of cardiovascular disease, a factor that can shorten life span. These patients also have decreased levels of other important hormones that the pituitary produces, possibly confounding results.

Some people take HGH to reverse some of the effects of aging. Does HGH taken in this manner lengthen or shorten life spans?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 January 26 11:51 PM  Aging Drugs


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