Dr. Jeya Prakash, a Harley Street plastic surgeon plans to sell a controversial anti-ageing drug that he claims to have made him and his wife "look years younger".
He asserts that human growth hormone (HGH) has improved his memory and removed wrinkles, and made his wife, Nanthini, 48, look young enough to be his daughter.
AdvertisementThe plastic surgeon and his wife have been taking regular injections of it for 18 months.
Mr. Prakash is hopes to open his "aesthetic medicine" clinic next year where he could administer the drug as an anti-ageing treatment.
However, other doctors have warned about the fatal side effects of the drug.
Mr. Prakash says that HGH had had a "brilliant" effect on his wife. "People are convinced I've given her surgery but she's had only HGH. We were having our passports renewed and an official thought she was my daughter. I wasn't sure whether to be annoyed or delighted."
HGH has not been approved for use as an anti-ageing drug. It is to be used to treat dwarfism. However, physicians can prescribe HGH to patients "off licence" only if the patients are told that it is not officially approved.
HGH reversed "10-20 years of ageing" in elderly men, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1990. As a result, in spite of no official approval, the sales of HGH rose to £400million a year.
Yesterday, doctors announced that they would NOT recommend HGH to adults wanting to look younger.
The Sun's doctor Carol Cooper said: "Growth hormone is very potent and it's not licensed for this use. It's not even licensed for use for mild growth deficiency."
According to her, the likely side effects included headaches, increased pressure inside the brain, fluid retention, ankle swelling and pains in muscles and joints.
Mr Prakash said: "If you read the literature, you see the risk is tiny and typically associated with too-high doses of the hormone".
However, if a user has cancer that has not been detected, the disease could be accelerated drastically. Long-term usage can cause diabetes or heart failure and can make the thyroid underactive.
Mr Prakash said: "Taken in low doses, research shows that human growth hormone is as safe as vitamin C".
Long-term usage can also result in acromegaly — a condition that causes oily skin, a large tongue and protruding forehead.
Dr Cooper said: "Sufferers sometimes have a huge chin, huge spade-like hands, a deep voice and curved spine.
"The last person I saw with it could not wear shoes because his feet were so big."
Douglas McGeorge, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, condemned Mr Prakash's plan. He said "The product is not licensed for use in this way. If doctors are daft enough to inject themselves with it, that is their problem but if they are giving it to others they need to explain it very carefully to patients that they are using it off licence".
"He is obviously experimenting with it and it should be used very carefully and under controlled circumstances so the effects can be monitored," McGeorge said.
However, Paul Jenkins, consultant endocrinologist at Bart's, said: "It's time we stopped being so disparaging about HGH. I welcome this guy's decision to bring the debate into the open. I, for one, will be looking to contact him because he is at the forefront of something big."
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