New York, March 30 (IANS): Do you take anti-aging pills or injections in a quest to replenish youthful hormones to immortalise yourself? Get alarmed as these injections of growth hormone may have the opposite effect as intended.
A study reveals that taking growth hormones as an anti-aging strategy may undermine the body's natural defenses against the diseases of old age.
The primary hormones administered are human growth hormone (HGH) which prompts the body to make another hormone called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a precursor of estrogen and testosterone.
The researchers followed 184 men and women in their mid-90s for up to 11 years.
The chance of living through the length of the study depended mostly on the participants' blood levels of IGF-1.
Every 1-nanogram per milliliter decrease in IGF-1 translated into about one more week of life.
The lower IGF-1 levels were particularly beneficial for cancer survivors.
Three years after entering the study, 75 percent of participants who had previously had cancer and also low IGF-1 levels were still living, whereas only about 25 percent of participants with past cancer and higher IGF-1 were alive.
“The risks of using HGH as an anti-aging strategy outweigh the potential benefits,” said Sofiya Milman, an assistant professor of endocrinology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.
The research appeared in the journal Aging Cell.