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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Fountain of Youth?

Fountain of Youth (St. Augustine, FL)

Don Juan Ponce de Leon arrived in America with Columbus on his second voyage, 1493. Leon and his fellows, not Columbus, completed Spain's claim to the New World. Made governor of Puerto Rico in 1510 and later deposed, Ponce de Leon, at his own expense, equipped an expedition to the North in 1513. A few years previous, Amerigo Vespucci had discovered and claimed the South American continent for Spain. Two of the mightiest nations in the world stood opposed for proprietorship of half the globe. Ponce De Leon heard Indians tell of Bimini, a fabulous island in the North. Historians do not unanimously honor at full value the beautifully romantic story that Ponce was seeking to find the fountain of youth.

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Hormone Offers Promise of Youth, Risks

AP: CHICAGO - Americans are injecting themselves with human growth hormone as part of a regimen prescribed by fringe doctors and a multimillion-dollar anti-aging industry that — depending on who is talking — is either solidly based on science or mostly hucksterism and quackery.

But a portion of patients also get blood tests that detect supposedly low levels of a marker for human growth hormone. Those patients often go home with a prescription for injectable HGH and a $500 monthly hormone bill that insurance does not touch.

University of Illinois-Chicago epidemiologist Jay Olshansky, who co-authored a paper published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association on legal issues surrounding HGH, said anti-aging doctors were surprised to learn they were on shaky legal ground.

They now are changing tactics by redefining growth hormone deficiency and making questionable diagnoses of their patients, Olshansky said.

"They've been administering growth hormone as an anti-aging intervention for a long time. They haven't been hiding it at all," Olshansky said. "Now they're trying to redefine it as a treatment for growth hormone deficiency."

Most prescriptions for HGH should go to children, according to Dr. Thomas Perls of Boston Medical Center, but 74 percent in 2004 went to people age 20 and older.

Whether HGH enhances health in already healthy adults remains uncertain, but small, short-term studies have shown benefits and risks.

In 2003, a placebo-controlled, randomized study of people 65 and older found that growth hormone increased lean body mass and decreased fat mass, but the study subjects experienced frequent side effects including diabetes and glucose intolerance.

Other studies have linked HGH to raised cholesterol levels, heightened blood pressure, joint problems, swelling and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Dr. Evan Hadley of the National Institute on Aging said legitimate research on growth hormone has been blown out of proportion by wishful thinkers and marketers.

"Science doesn't have immediate answers for people who want to know what the fountain of youth is today," Hadley said.

But age-management doctors said their work focuses on disease prevention, and so is an affront to the disease-oriented medical establishment.

"Many of my colleagues have criticized the work I do," said Dr. Geoffrey Jones, who puts about 15 percent of his patients on growth hormone. "I don't blame them. I was in the same shoes they're in. When I heard about it, I was critical of it. It's the old saying: If you're not up on it, you're down on it."


Read the whole article here...

On the Net:
National Institute on Aging fact sheet on hormones and aging
Cenegenics Medical Institute

So, half a millenium after old Ponce de Leon starting looking for the legendary Fountain of Youth, some people think they've finally found it. Of course, there are those pesky side effects...

21 Comments:

Blogger boberin said...

What is this bizarre desire to live so long? Goes to show many folks don't believe in an afterlife or, at least not one that's better than the deal they have now.
Good one Camo

March 22, 2006 10:57 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

boberin:
The funny thing is, since I started putting this article together the other day, I received an offer for "over-the-counter" Human Growth Hormone.

Weird timing...

March 22, 2006 11:24 AM  
Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Human Growth Hormone?... How tall do people want to be anyway?

Seems like we both have posts today on a new study. Check mine out .

March 22, 2006 11:40 AM  
Blogger boberin said...

Camo, grab some quickly! Who doesn't want to live forever?

March 22, 2006 11:44 AM  
Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Let's try that again... click here.

March 22, 2006 11:45 AM  
Blogger JR said...

What ever happened to sheep’s urine??? Or people recycling their urine??? That sick fad over???

There is a bio-logical Clock or counter… If anything growth hormones would speed up the clock rather than slow it down… Our DNA holds the key to how long the body lasts… When that DNA trait is found, a Retroviruse can be used to rewrite the bodies’ cells… Yes immortality is around the corner… The results of which open this in a new window

March 22, 2006 12:25 PM  
Blogger 'da Bunny said...

HGH, Botox, Retin-A, collagen, implants, liposuction, plastic surgery...so many options, so little money! I think I'll just stay as God made me. :-)

March 22, 2006 12:31 PM  
Blogger JannyMae said...

Funny you should post this. I was just watching our local news this morning, and they had a Doctor they were interviewing about botox treatments.

"Wrinkles are never attractive," was his amazing statement, followed up with a litany on how, "safe," botox is.

Thanks, I'll go with 'da bunny, and age gracefully, before I let some nut near me with botulism toxin.

March 22, 2006 1:01 PM  
Blogger Ms. RightWing, Ink said...

I tried it now I look lik a stunning 27 year old construction worker. Anybody seen my lunch bucket, I got a girder to tend to.

March 22, 2006 3:44 PM  
Blogger MargeinMI said...

One pill makes you larger,
And one pill makes you small.
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all.

Go ask Alice......


Me, I'll stick with Miss Clairal.

And who's the nutjob that said wrinkles don't look good? They're the map of your life!

March 22, 2006 6:06 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Hawkeye®:
This is BIG news!
(Heh, heh)

I commented on your latest.
(First!)

boberin:
My plan to live forever doesn't involve this "mortal coil".

JR:
Cute link; turns (you) blue to show it's working?

'da Bunny:
Yeah, I like me OK just as I am, too.

JannyMae:
That whole concept of being infused with botulism always struck me as insanity, also.

Ms. RightWing, Ink:
Do you look like the construction worker from the "Village People", now?

MargeinMI:
I guess it must be the pill that makes you larger, being human growth hormone, an' all...

March 22, 2006 9:43 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

JR

The best formula for staying young is is not found in sheep urine,but is found in changing your grandbby's wet urine soaked diaper.

March 23, 2006 10:34 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

er...that is grandbaby's

March 23, 2006 10:35 AM  
Blogger JR said...

Camo,
The truth is stranger than fiction... Why blue??? So you know why the sky is blue… If a equals b and c equals a, then somewhere between Blue and Purple is the ability to reflect all forms of celestial radiation, that strike the body causing damage to cells…

Remember that before Noah the average life span was something like 500 plus years… For it to rain for forty days and nights everywhere, the atmosphere would have lost about two thirds of its cloud cover… And the life span was decreased big time…
JR

Maggie, Grand Kids and Puppies do prolong life… Puppies are my fav... Easier to potty train…

March 23, 2006 2:07 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Maggie:
Is it grandbaby's urine, or grandbaby that makes you feel younger? I'm thinking the latter.

JR:
Truth may be stranger than fiction, but if a equals b and c equals a, then b also equals c; basic Al-Gebra, not to be confused with Al Qaeda. Anyway, between blue and purple is indigo, spectroscopically speaking...

March 23, 2006 7:43 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Camo,
It is the grandbaby.No one can put anything over on you.....LOL.

March 25, 2006 10:41 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

Maggie:
Well, some people have fooled me in this life, although it's usually only by betraying my trust.

But thanks for the vote of confidence...

March 25, 2006 11:41 AM  
Blogger Kajun said...

One of the side effects for adults taking HGH is diaper rash.

March 26, 2006 2:38 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Kajun:
Is that only for the adults who actually wear diapers, or does it also afflict those who act like babies?

March 27, 2006 12:13 AM  
Blogger Barb said...

I told my doctor I would start eating the Mediterranean Diet ,when he can show me just one 200 year old Italian or Greek.

March 29, 2006 2:27 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Barb:
I'm basically on a "see food" diet, myself.
(Y'know - see food, eat it)

March 29, 2006 8:41 PM  

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