These days, science seems to have a solution for almost everything. Pain, acne, athletic performance, weight loss.
Almost any ailment can be treated, almost anybody imperfection can be corrected.
And a few years ago, science even came up with a solution for aging.
It’s called ‘age management medicine’. To those who want to preserve their youth and escape the dreadful degenerative effects of age, it’s like a dream come true.
But it’s not just about vanity. Women going through menopause can suffer numerous ill-effects such as hot flashes, insomnia, poor libido, and depression.
And, thanks to both advances in medicine and the “baby boom” era, the aged population is now larger than ever. Which makes for a huge market!
Doctors who promise to treat their patients with ‘age management medicine’ say that they will halt their aging process and allow them to once again have supple skin, strong joints, and a young body. They claim that you can cut body fat, build lean muscle, boost sexual function and restore your energy to its youthful levels.
All you have to do is take recombinant human growth hormone (HGH), a synthetic version of a pituitary hormone.
You see, in a normal body, HGH is secreted by the anterior pituitary gland, initiated by the hypothalamus. This secretion is regulated by the biofeedback loop – that is, when levels of growth hormone in the blood reach a certain threshold, the hormone stimulates receptors in the pituitary to stop them from secreting more. This is our body’s natural, built-in system for making sure that we don’t have too much anyone hormone.
HGH naturally declines in our bodies as we age. This decline is referred to as “somatopause” and begins at around the age of 30 in both men and women. It then continues as we get older, accompanied by the deterioration in the structure and functional capacity of the body.
Growth hormone can be given either subcutaneously or by intramuscular injection.
(By the way, those injections can cost $12,000 or more per year.)
But what happens when you start messing with nature?
There’s no proof that using HGH will actually restore your youth. In fact, the FDA hasn’t approved using HGH for anything other than the treatment of medical conditions.
But it seems the anti-aging theory is enough because the non-approved use of this drug has been steadily increasing.
What there IS proof of is the fact that increasing HGH levels with drugs appears to increase susceptibility to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Researchers have found that HGH stimulates the liver and other organs to make insulin-like growth factor-1 or IGF-1. This compound affects many tissues and organs in the body.
They’ve also found that, since 2010, people receiving HGH treatment for medical conditions during childhood had a 30% increased risk of early death compared with the general population. The incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer and the mortality of Hodgkin’s disease were also shown to increase.
In one case, a 68-year-old man with colorectal cancer was found to have been taking HGH therapy for anti-aging purposes for 7 years. When his tissues were examined, it was found that the immunoreactivity to IGF1R was more powerful in his tumor cells that what is considered normal. The researchers concluded that this increased tumor tissue IGF1R expression supported the theory that growth hormones may play a role in the development and progression of colon cancer.
Then there’s the effect that the supposed anti-aging benefits of HGH may not even be so good for you. Evidence suggests that while muscle mass can increase, it doesn’t actually increase your strength. This seems to be because muscle growth due to HGH alone may not necessarily improve the functioning of the muscle if aged neural pathways to the brain aren’t repaired as well.
While there’s no recent clinical evidence of HGH causing tumors to grow faster, it certainly doesn’t look good. Basically – there aren’t enough long-term studies yet to know exactly what will happen.
And remember – there’s also no evidence that anti-aging therapy even works!
See our natural lists of Anti-aging food here.
Is it really worth the risk?
And is there any way to beat the effects of aging without turning to a potentially life-threatening drug?
Yes, there is. Look after yourself!
We all know that eating well and exercising regularly is good for us. Yes, it’s good for you – and it’ll help you live longer. You’ll also feel better. THAT much has been proven by science!
Keep your weight at a healthy level. Don’t smoke. Moderate your intake of junk food and alcohol. Get 6-8 hours of sleep each night. And take time out from stress.
At the end of the day, aging is something you simply cannot avoid – at least, not if you want to live!