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Growth hormone drug to be pushed as anti-aging medicine

Thursday, June 22, 2006 by: NewsTarget
Tags: health news, Natural News, nutrition

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(NewsTarget) Drug-maker Pfizer is testing an experimental drug called capromorelin as a new anti-aging treatment. The new drug is a growth-hormone stimulator that is meant to force the body to secrete human growth hormone like it did during adolescence. During a person's teen and young-adult years, the body increases production of growth hormones, which are associated with a buildup of lean muscle mass and strength. As a person ages, growth hormone levels gradually decrease.

Dr. George Merriam of the University of Washington/VA Puget Sound Health Care System led the capromorelin research. Patients are reported to have gained an average of three pounds in lean muscle mass after six months on the drug, and they showed improvement in strength, balance and coordination. A little under 400 men and women aged 65 to 84 participated in the study.

While low levels of growth hormones are associated with less lean muscle mass, it is well known that people can maintain strength and health through physical activity and weight-bearing exercise. Dr. Agnieszka Baranowska-Bik and colleagues at the University of Poland recently studied 133 women ranging in age from 20 to 102. Surprisingly, the researchers found that the women aged over 100 were healthier than many of their younger counterparts. The centenarians had lower cholesterol and better control of blood sugar, an indicator of diabetes risk.

Both Dr. George Merriam's drug test and Dr. Agnieszka Baranowska-Bik's research were presented at the International Congress of Neuroendocrinology, held this week in Pittsburgh.


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