Human growth hormone (HGH): Does it slow aging? - Mayo Clinic

Growth Hormone

hgh or gh

Thierry Hertoghe talks about the effects of growth hormone: Risks There is very little chance of a problem from having a blood sample taken from a vein. Food and Drug Administration. Annals of Internal Medicine , p Athletes in many sports have used human growth hormone in order to attempt to enhance their athletic performance.

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In addition to increasing height in children and adolescents, growth hormone has many other effects on the body:. Sections Basics Healthy aging: Should I be tested for growth hormone deficiency? What is the effect on longevity? In , the National Pituitary Agency was formed as a branch of the U. These somatotroph adenomas are benign and grow slowly, gradually producing more and more GH. Why should HGH work as an anti-aging therapy?

Mutations in these genes may also cause decreased synthesis and secretion of other pituitary hormones. In other cases, the somatotrophs themselves are incapable of producing GH, or the hormone itself is structurally abnormal and has little growth-promoting activity. In addition, short stature and GH deficiency are often found in children diagnosed with psychosocial dwarfism, which results from severe emotional deprivation.

When children with this disorder are removed from the stressing, nonnurturing environment , their endocrine function and growth rate normalize. Children with isolated GH deficiency are normal in size at birth, but growth retardation becomes evident within the first two years of life.

Although puberty is often delayed, fertility and delivery of normal children is possible in affected women. GH deficiency is most often treated with injections of GH. For decades, however, availability of the hormone was limited, because it was obtained solely from human cadaver pituitaries.

In , use of natural GH was halted in the United States and several other countries because of the possibility that the hormone was contaminated with a type of pathogenic agent known as a prion, which causes a fatal condition called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

That same year, by means of recombinant DNA technology , scientists were able to produce a biosynthetic human form, which they called somatrem, thus assuring a virtually unlimited supply of this once-precious substance. Children with GH deficiency respond well to injections of recombinant GH, often achieving near-normal height.

However, some children, primarily those with the hereditary inability to synthesize GH, develop antibodies in response to injections of the hormone. Children with short stature not associated with GH deficiency may also grow in response to hormone injections, although large doses are often required.

A rare form of short stature is caused by an inherited insensitivity to the action of GH. This disorder is known as Laron dwarfism and is characterized by abnormal GH receptors , resulting in decreased GH-stimulated production of IGF-1 and poor growth. Dwarfism may also be caused by insensitivity of bone tissue and other tissues to IGF-1, resulting from decreased function of IGF-1 receptors.

GH deficiency often persists into adulthood, although some people affected in childhood have normal GH secretion in adulthood. GH deficiency in adults is associated with fatigue , decreased energy, depressed mood, decreased muscle strength, decreased muscle mass, thin and dry skin , increased adipose tissue , and decreased bone density.

Treatment with GH reverses some of these abnormalities but can cause fluid retention, diabetes mellitus , and high blood pressure hypertension.

Excess GH production is most often caused by a benign tumour adenoma of the somatotroph cells of the pituitary gland. In some cases, a tumour of the lung or of the pancreatic islets of Langerhans produces GHRH, which stimulates the somatotrophs to produce large amounts of GH. In rare cases, ectopic production of GH production by tumour cells in tissues that do not ordinarily synthesize GH causes an excess of the hormone.

Somatotroph tumours in children are very rare and cause excessive growth that may lead to extreme height gigantism and features of acromegaly. Acromegaly refers to the enlargement of the distal acral parts of the body, including the hands, feet, chin, and nose. The enlargement is due to the overgrowth of cartilage , muscle, subcutaneous tissue, and skin. Thus, patients with acromegaly have a prominent jaw, a large nose, and large hands and feet, as well as enlargement of most other tissues, including the tongue , heart , liver , and kidneys.

In addition to the effects of excess GH, a pituitary tumour itself can cause severe headaches , and pressure of the tumour on the optic chiasm can cause visual defects. Because the metabolic actions of GH are antagonistic opposite to those of insulin, some patients with acromegaly develop diabetes mellitus. Other problems associated with acromegaly include high blood pressure hypertension , cardiovascular disease , and arthritis.

Patients with acromegaly also have an increased risk of developing malignant tumours of the large intestine. Some somatotroph tumours also produce prolactin , which may cause abnormal lactation galactorrhea. Patients with acromegaly are usually treated by surgical resection of the pituitary tumour.

They can also be treated with radiation therapy or with drugs such as pegvisomant, which blocks the binding of growth hormone to its receptors, and synthetic long-acting analogues of somatostatin , which inhibit the secretion of GH. Growth hormone , produced by the pituitary gland, stimulates linear growth and regulates metabolic functions.

Inadequate secretion of this hormone by the pituitary will impair growth in children, which is evidenced by their poor rate of growth and delayed bone age i. The pituitary growth hormone facilitates protein synthesis and decreases the urinary loss of nitrogen.

The sex hormones estrogen and progesterone exert an ill-defined activity as regards salt and water metabolism. Growth hormone secretion and serum IGF-1 concentrations decrease gradually with age. As compared with young adults, older people have mild deficiency of growth hormone and IGF Deficiency of IGF-1 could help to explain the decrease of muscle mass and the increase in fat….

The functions of growth hormone and prolactin secreted by the pituitary overlap considerably, although prolactin usually regulates water and salt balance, whereas growth hormone primarily influences protein metabolism and hence growth. Prolactin allows migratory fishes such as salmon to adapt from…. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles.

You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval. Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions. HGH has effects on body composition, not just growth.

People who have a significant HGH deficiency, generally due to pituitary disease, have increased body fat and decreased muscle mass and decreased bone density. These changes in HGH-deficient patients mimic aging. Interest in using GH to reverse these age-related changes in healthy adults dates to a study by Dr.

Rudman and others published in in the New England Journal of Medicine. This study found that a small number of older men who were given HGH saw improved muscle mass, decreased body fat, and better bone density. What are the actual results seen in research? The largest review of trials with HGH demonstrate that long-term use of growth hormone caused an average 2. Patients feel generally better, as seen in quality of life scores.

There are significant potential side effects to HGH therapy. Known side effects include increased swelling, joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, insulin resistance and increased risk of diabetes. The potential effect of HGH to promote cancer growth remains controversial.

People who purchase HGH illegally may be getting tainted or impure products, which are potentially dangerous. What is the effect on longevity? The effect on longevity is not yet known. There is a paradox that both HGH deficiency and HGH excess, a disease called acromegaly, are associated with shorter life expectancy.

Further, even though there is an increase in mortality in pituitary patients missing HGH, there is no evidence that this it improved with HGH treatment. Why not try it?

The biggest reason not to take HGH as an anti-aging therapy is simply that it has not been adequately studied. We do not know the risks and benefits of long-term use of HGH in healthy people.

As we have learned from many other similar situations, such as the safety of long-term hormone replacement in menopause, we should not make any assumptions of benefit or safety about potent drugs or hormones.

We should first do the correct studies, powered to look at real risks and benefits, not just short-term effects like changes in muscle. Only when large studies are completed should we consider treating large numbers of normal people. We should not be doing an uncontrolled experiment on millions of healthy people. Should I be tested for growth hormone deficiency?

Iamges: hgh or gh

hgh or gh

In , physicians became aware that Creutzfeldt—Jakob disease could be transmitted by neurosurgical procedures and cornea transplantation. The enlargement is due to the overgrowth of cartilage , muscle, subcutaneous tissue, and skin. Mayo Clinic on Healthy Aging Book:

hgh or gh

Extracted growth hormone was used since the late s until the late s when its use was replaced by recombinant GH. GH-secreting tumors are typically recognized in the fifth decade of life. The effects of growth hormone GH deficiency vary depending on the age at which they occur.

hgh or gh

I am a leader in many institutions. Children with short stature not associated with GH deficiency may also grow in response to hormone injections, although large doses are often required. One survey of adults that had been treated with replacement cadaver GH stanozolol injection half life has not been used anywhere in the world since during childhood showed a mildly increased incidence of colon cancer and prostate hgh or gh, but linkage with the GH hgh or gh was not established. However, their adoption of the "HGH" term has provided an easy way to distinguish the hype from the evidence. Mayo Clinic on Better Hearing and Balance.