No - there is no proof for growth hormone therapy's anti-aging powers - says a team of US scientists from Stanford University, after analyzing 31 scientific papers based on growth hormone.
'There is certainly no data out there to suggest that giving growth hormone to an otherwise healthy person will make him or her live longer, we did find, however, that there was substantial potential for adverse side effects.' - says Dr. Hau Liu, a research fellow in the Division of Endocrinology and in the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research at Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif.
In fact, the study found the therapy posed a risk of side effects, including swollen joints, carpel tunnel syndrome and diabetes.
Their findings were published in Tuesday`s edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine, the journal of the Philadelphia-based American College of Physicians.
Many people will do almost anything to try to stave off aging - one of the hottest anti-aging elixirs du jour is human Growth Hormone (GH), naturally produced by the pituitary gland, a pea-sized organ at the base of the brain, which has been touted for its supposed ability to do everything from build muscle, thicken bones to lower cholesterol.
Early Researches have found that men injected with GH gained extra muscle, and bone density, and lost fat. Though the researchers admitted that their study was far from definitive, they suggested the effect was 'equivalent in magnitude to the changes incurred during 10 to 20 years of ageing.'
GH is critical to proper development in children, particularly their height, and injections of growth hormone are considered a legitimate treatment for short children and for adults whose pituitary glands don't produce enough growth hormone to maintain normal metabolism.
But most promoters of growth hormone promote it as an anti-aging therapy targeting the healthy elderly people. The journal also publishes an editorial warning against the general use of growth hormone as a therapy in adults. It claimed that there was a danger that it would do people more harm than good.