I have followed with fascination your articles on
testosterone therapy. I'm 63, and 6 months ago, my doctor placed
me on human growth hormone therapy. (It appears all the doctors
are getting into testosterone and growth hormone replacement
therapy--it's an idea whose time has come!) However, I haven't
gotten anything like the results the literature and my doctor
claim I should have in 6 months. Why not? He doesn't know.
The answer is clear. First, so many physicians and
medical centers are getting into this and cursorily reading the material and expect the body to take care of itself. Next, they
are reading only the abstracts of the research without taking the time to read the actual research and the biochemistry involved; or, join the medical associations that deal in anti-aging, of which hormone replacement therapy is part of the regimen. Your problem probably results from one of several things:
- The damage in your body is so extensive, nothing can
overcome it. However, this is unlikely. Even with extensive
damage and aging in a body, some results should be seen.
- The same problem occurs with testosterone therapy that
most doctors are unaware of: it's Free Testosterone that you
want, not Total Testosterone, that's going to do the good. If
sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is too high, then you have
little Free Testosterone. And if your estradiol (E2) is too high,
then you are aromatizing your Free Testosterone that you may be
getting enough of, into the female hormone, estradiol, which is
dangerous to your health. (See Update # 40, December 1, 2003.)
- The same occurs with human Growth Hormone (hGH). You
take an injection. It travels throughout the body until it
reaches the liver, and the lion's share is converted into IGF-1
(insulin-like growth factor 1). From there, it circulates
throughout the body to bind with cells throughout the human
organism, which also includes the central nervous system, the
brain mainly, to exert its growth effects.
However, whereas testosterone has a binding protein, SHBG,
IGF-1 likewise has a binding protein known as insulin-like growth
factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP3). Higher levels of IGFBP3 are
associated with a 9 times higher risk of plaque formation in the
carotid arteries, when compared to low levels of IGF-1 and high
levels of LDL cholesterol.
Therefore, the implication is that you are creating a low
level of IGF-1 because the binding protein levels are so high,
which implies disease formation. This needs to be confirmed laboratory-wise.
Researchers have now found in the last 4 years that when
IGF-1 is low,
- We see beta amyloid increases (as found in
Alzheimer's disease and Lou Grehig's disease--amyotrophic lateral
- Carotid atherosclerosis in older men, and
It is hypothesized from patients infected with HIV-1 that 3 grams per day of acetyl-L-carnitine can free up the IGF-1 levels from its binding protein (IGFBP3). We suggest Life Extension Products Acetyl-L-Carnitine, 6 capsules per day. Your doctor should have run a baseline IGF-1 blood test and a liver panel blood test when you began taking the hGH. He should run another IGF-1 test and another liver panel within 6 months. If your IGF-1 levels have risen only marginally, you may have high levels of IGFBP3. These tests will tell you how your liver is working.
Testosterone and hGH replacement therapy is now becoming the latest "thing" with many medical practitioners jumping on the bandwagon without knowing the facts. They are experimenting, with a minimal amount of abstract study, whereas they should be doing a meta analysis of the research data and join the medical societies that have been dealing with this for years now.
With this in mind, we are going to see an outbreak within
the next few years of iatrogenic (physician-induced) degenerative
diseases and others because they are tinkering without a thorough
background in hormonal chemistry in terms of anti-aging.
Yet, who is going to get the blame for it? Testosterone and
hGH. The blame will be laid at somebody's door: "The hormones are
dangerous, don't let anyone take them except under FDA
regulations and under certain physicians."
Good, honest, hardworking physicians will assume that this
type of hormonal therapy is dangerous, doesn't work, and is to be
shunned. Consequently, the end result is that you and I suffer,
Incidently, those who have had the best results were those
who were on anti-aging cellular nutrients or supplements and did
resistant type exercise, such as weight lifters, body builders,
and athletes in general.