This is a good one for men.

By Nick Delgado, Ph.D.

Dr. Nick Delgado is the author of ten books including the Grow Young and Slim Series, reflecting his interest in educating physicians and the public about the latest advancements in approaches to reverse aging. He is certified by the American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners (ABAAHP). Dr. Delgado shares his life improving insights on-line at www.growyoungandslim.com, and he may be reached by telephone at (949) 289- 5160, or by e-mail at nickdphd@yahoo.com.

Introduction

A number of studies since the landmark Rudman study have documented that the correction of human growth hormone (HGH) deficiency in men and women above the age of 30 can:

build bone mass
build muscle mass
reduce body fat/obesity
improve energy
improve cognitive function
improve mood
enhance immune function
improve sleep quality
decrease insomnia
boost libido
improve skin elasticity/thickness
reduce wrinkles

When you look at these kinds of results you have to wonder why all doctors don't prescribe HGH therapy for adults. Since all people have declining hormone levels as they age, it's easy to see why so many physicians assume this is natural. However, if a younger person were to be diagnosed with a hormonal deficiency, it would quickly be corrected. Researchers around the world have shown that hormonal deficiency at any age - young or old - requires replacement. Scientific evidence suggests that doing so in middle-aged and older people may ameliorate the aging process.

Anti-Aging Growth Hormone Therapy and Protocol

The typical dosage of injectable HGH suggested by many anti-aging doctors is often a very low dosage, as that delivers the best results. Most people use between 0.25 and 1 IU (1/3 mg) of growth hormone per day.

Injectable use of HGH during a one to three month period may increase IGF-1 levels by as much as double or triple the original baseline levels, which commonly will be sustained for up to six months. At that time, an increase in binding proteins and/or the activity of negative feedback loops may reduce levels by 50% to 100% returning to baseline. Patients are recommended to cycle off of injectable therapy for at least two to three weeks, and may resume after the binding proteins (IGFBP-3) have reduced sufficiently to allow restored IGF-1 levels again. It may be appropriate to reduce the dosage after the first few months, to adjust for the negative feedback loop and to avoid cortisol deficiencies.

There are several pharmaceutical companies that manufacture HGH, and selection of the specific product is often based on convenience of usage. Recently, a long-acting dosage form of HGH became available for treatment of GH deficiency in adults. This new form increases patient compliance by decreasing the number of injections required for GH therapy. Patients are trained on self-administering their subcutaneous injections and perform them in the privacy of their own home according to the schedule determined by their physician.

Treatment Considerations

The combination of growth hormone with testosterone for men or added estradiol and progesterone with growth hormone for women is, by far the most effective when compared to single hormone therapy. Scientists believe that this synergistic effect occurs because growth hormone pushes the other hormones into the tissues where they are needed. This increases the effectiveness of almost any kind of replacement therapy. The opposite is also true: that is, growth hormone levels are restored to optimum levels when the other key hormones are replaced in small dosages.

Certain phytochemical herbs in combination with anabolic and catabolic hormones may be administered with HGH to improve the effects of treatment (see Table 1).

Note that artificial (non-bio-identical) oral estrogen replacement and birth control pills (containing synthetic estrogen) may suppress the activity of HGH.

Dr. Delgado's Personal Experience

In 1996, my levels were starting to decline. Adults with low IGF-1 levels (under 350 ng/ml) have growth factor deficiency and can choose therapy or supplements, according to FDA clearance given in 1986. My IGF-1 levels were as low as 125 to 175 ng/ml. I decided to undergo HGH injection therapy. I did this for a six month period under the guidance of three different doctors. During the six-month course of GH therapy, my IGF-1 levels climbed up to 249 to 350 ng/ml, which was accompanied by tremendous restoration of my former health and fitness levels.


I was, however, curious as to whether I could employ other, natural agents to either increase the efficacy of the GH injection therapy, or - for people preferring not to take GH by injection - serve as suitable alternatives. I discovered that it is possible to restore HGH and other hormones by clearing the binding proteins.

To determine if GHRH, Diindolylmethane (DIM), chrysin, avena sativa with androstenediol-4 combined in a transdermal liposome would assist or reduce the need for injections, I had my baseline IGF-1 level measured before I began any type of therapy. Also, when I started my testing, I stopped taking all the other natural replacements such as DHEA, melatonin and herbs for testosterone. Even though test results showed I was low in these biochemical levels, I stopped the treatment because I wanted to get a feel for what HGH by itself would do for me. I can report that using HGH by itself will increase levels (mine increased to 249 for IGF-1); however, it was not until I began combining therapies that optimum results were achieved.

I began using GHRH, L-dopa, and DIM to clear estrogens, along with several herbal combinations to support testosterone and thyroid (which were in encapsulated form and easier for the body to process). I later learned to also balance and support my adrenals with cortisol and I got even better results.

Table 1. Assisting Hormones and Phytochemicals

Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH) Thyroid: T3 time release, Armour, L-tyrosine, iodine
Testosterone Melatonin
Bio-identical Estrogen: estradiol and estriol compounding cream DHEA**
Estrogen-clearing product, such as Diindolylmethane (DIM)* Pregnenolone**
Cortisol
L-Dopa: derived from velvet bean (Mucuna Pruriens), this amino acid is a potent stimulator of HGH release. D5 is a specific type of Mucuna Pruriens that has sufficient L-dopa (in a correct delivery system) to release HGH and increase dopamine levels*

*Found in products such as Grow Young and Slim's Strength and Romance" (www.growyoungandslim.com)
** Found in products such as Grow Young and Slim's Sensual Energy" (www.growyoungandslim.com)

Within eight weeks, my repeat blood tests revealed my IGF-1 levels had climbed to a level you would find in a 25-year-old! My levels ranged between 290 and 425 for IGF-1. This was progress since my baseline IGF-1 unsupported drops to below 175 mg/ml.

I was pleased to notice that my results using the combined therapies surpass those that I had encountered using injectable HGH by itself. Physically, I noticed an increase in strength, an increase in muscle density and an improvement in libido and performance. Obviously, I was extremely happy to get the same physical and emotional benefits from combining therapies as I did with the injections as well. After two months, I continued to show youthful levels when I retested my blood and I continued using this natural protocol for a full six months.

I cannot stress the necessity for clearing estrogens enough. When I began taking special transdermal creams with multiple herbs to support the clearing of bad unmetabolized estrogens (16a hydroxyestrone-OHE). I noticed that I slept deeper, my skin looked healthier and my wrinkles decreased. Also, my muscular density increased by ten pounds and I lost over 5% body fat. This was quite an improvement after only 12 weeks of using this approach! I was already in pretty good shape, so at 5'8" , to see my muscle density increase from 172 pounds to over 182 pounds was quite an increase in muscle, and another sign of aging reversal.

Also, unlike most body builders who over-stress their bodies with a high percentage of animal products in their diet, I follow a plan in which I consume mostly vegetables, salads, legumes and fruit and rarely even eat meat or dairy products. In addition to my diet, I attribute my youthful appearance and strength to a combination of natural biochemical replacements and consistent resistance training. I only train with weights from 15 to 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

I have continued to test my HGH levels and I regularly take blood tests to take into account the normal variation or fluctuation in hormone levels. In 1999, I went off of any source of HGH support and my IGF-1 levels also dropped. When I started back on HGH, again my levels returned to normal after 8 weeks. As of this writing, I have continued using various forms of delivery systems including liposome creams for hormones, herbs and HGH for almost six years with great results. I have experienced first-hand the rejuvenating powers of biochemical hormones and supplements to achieve youthful levels of lab markers as well as physical and mental fitness.

Closing Thoughts from Dr. Delgado

Hormones are powerful and effective and should be used judiciously and according to the labeled use. Low dosages of hormones are effective, as is shown by the wisdom set forth by Mother Nature: our bodies only manufacture up to 1/100 millionths of a gram of thyroid hormone per day to regulate the entire body of a 200 lb. person. Additionally, advanced delivery systems for hormones improves their efficacy. When combined with a program of natural supporting agents, GH replacement therapy is an effective anti-aging regimen.

An original article as appeared in Anti-Aging Medical News, Summer-Fall 2002, published by the A4M.