Thread: GH on MSNBC
07-25-2002, 06:45 PM #1New Member
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- May 2002
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GH on MSNBC
Just seen this on msnbc.com
IN A STUDY published in The Lancet medical journal, researchers from Britain's Institute of Cancer Research followed more than 1,800 people who received HGH as children. Fifteen to 40 years later, they were significantly more likely to develop, and die of, cancer. "Specifically, there were risks about tenfold for colorectal cancer and Hodgkin's disease," said study author Anthony Swerdlow, an epidemiologist. Swerdlow also found the patients had a threefold increased risk of dying from cancer overall. The scientists say those who got growth hormone years ago as children need to be followed closely. "Our data do not show conclusively whether cancer incidence is increased by growth hormone treatment, but they do suggest the need for increased awareness of the possibility of cancer risks, and for surveillance of growth-hormone-treated patients," Swerdlow said. But how much should people taking HGH today be worried? Researchers point out that the growth hormone used when the children in the study got it came from human tissue, a practice that was discontinued after doctors discovered it could cause Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease, a fatal brain illness. Nowadays patients receive injections of a genetically engineered synthetic protein. Although the scientists had no evidence about the effects of synthetic hormone treatments, Swerdlow said it needs to be examined. Some doctors prescribing growth hormone say there is no danger. At the Cenegenics Medical Institute in Las Vegas, Dr. Alan Mintz says he has treated more than 4,000 middle-aged people in what he calls age-management medicine. The program includes HGH injections, which he says can help make people feel younger and stronger. "The typical profile is a hard-charging executive male or female — some very famous people," Mintz said. He says in four and a half years, only one of his patients had cancer — and that was in the ovaries. There is also no evidence of it causing cancer among athletes who use it to build muscle mass so far. But Dr. Hossein Gharib of the Mayo Clinic says other side effects like fluid retention and high blood pressure already make the drug a risky proposition "For off-label use in anti-aging and body-building or generally increasing vigor and energy, growth hormone should not be used," Gharib said. And with a possible cancer link, there's another reason to question a drug that many see as a fountain of youth. Uses: Injections of human growth hormone (HGH) — which can cost as much as $15,000 a year — are prescribed for children and adults deficient in the hormone. It's also marketed by promoters as a way to boost muscle mass and energy and extend lifespan — practices that can be dangerous, doctors say. Click on a tab above to find out more. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Uses: Some adults who were deficient in growth hormone as children may need to continue HGH therapy in adulthood to maintain muscle mass and prevent obesity and weak bones. Damage to the pituitary gland area resulting from tumor, infection or irradiation may cause growth hormone deficiency in adults that may be treated with HGH injections. As growth hormone levels decrease with age, HGH is touted by some doctors as promoting youthfulness, vitality and extending life. It is also marketed as a way to build up muscle mass and shed fat. Most doctors discourage these uses because of a lack of evidence of effectiveness and safety. Science:
Lack of growth hormone can cause excess body fat, lack of muscle tissue, weak bones and heart problems in adulthood. HGH can prevent these conditions in adults who are deficient. There's no good evidence that HGH supplementation offers any life-extension benefits. In fact, research even suggests that people with high HGH levels are more likely to die at younger ages than those with lower levels of the hormone, and studies of animals with genetic disorders that suppress growth hormone production suggest that reduced levels of the hormone may actually prolong lifespan. Studies in older men not deficient in the hormone have shown certain short-term benefits of HGH such as improvements in muscle mass, bone density and skin elasticity, but the long-term effects of the hormone are not known. Complications seen with use of HGH in adults who do not need it include excess bone growth, carpal tunnel syndrome, fluid retention, glucose intolerance, diabetes, hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and heart enlargement.
Children with certain conditions that cause them to fail to grow normally, such as growth hormone deficiency, kidney disease, Prader-Willi Syndrome and Turner's Syndrome, can benefit from injections of synthetic HGH. The injections are also sometimes given to children who are short, but not hormone deficient — a practice that is widely discouraged because of the risk of serious side effects. Science:
Human growth hormone is considered a safe therapy when used for children with inadequate hormone levels. However, side effects may include: ear infection, abdominal pain or bloating, changes in vision, headache, nausea and vomiting, skin rash or itching, carpal tunnel syndrome, enlargement of breasts, joint pain, muscle pain, fatigue and swelling of hands, feet or lower legs. New research also suggests a link to colorectal cancer later in life. Long-term over-dosage could result in symptoms of acromegaly, or excessive bone growth. If HGH is given to children with normal growth, serious side effects may occur because levels in the body become too high. They include development of diabetes; abnormal growth of bones and internal organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver; hardening of the arteries, and high blood pressure.
07-25-2002, 07:47 PM #2
I think the interaction of hormones on children are completely different from those in adults so I would not be shocked to find that children (who obviously were having medical problems to get GH at that age) would have a higher tendancy towards medical problems such as cancer later in life. I think it is comparing apples to oranges when it comes to GH replacement therapy in aging adults however.
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