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New research: 'Un-growth hormone' increases longevity

By dsorbello at Nov. 15, 2011, 2:29 a.m., 14212 hits

Contact: Nancy Solomon
Saint Louis University

New research: ‘Un-growth hormone’ increases longevity
SLU scientist says findings could reframe how to fight aging

ST. LOUIS – A compound which acts in the opposite way as growth hormone can reverse some of the signs of aging, a research team that includes a Saint Louis University physician has shown. The finding may be counter-intuitive to some older adults who take growth hormone, thinking it will help revitalize them.

Their research was published in the Dec. 6 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The findings are significant, says John E. Morley, M.D., study co-investigator and director of the divisions of geriatric medicine and endocrinology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, because people sometimes take growth hormone, believing it will be the fountain of youth.

“Many older people have been taking growth hormone to rejuvenate themselves,” Morley said. “These results strongly suggest that growth hormone, when given to middle aged and older people, may be hazardous.”

The scientists studied the compound MZ-5-156, a “growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) antagonist.” They conducted their research in the SAMP8 mouse model, a strain engineered for studies of the aging process. Overall, the researchers found that MZ-5-156 had positive effects on oxidative stress in the brain, improving cognition, telomerase activity (the actions of an enzyme which protects DNA material) and life span, while decreasing tumor activity.

MZ-5-156, like many GHRH antagonists, inhibited several human cancers, including prostate, breast, brain and lung cancers. It also had positive effects on learning, and is linked to improvements in short-term memory. The antioxidant actions led to less oxidative stress, reversing cognitive impairment in the aging mouse.

William A. Banks, M.D., lead study author and professor of internal medicine and geriatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, said the results lead the team “to determine that antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone have beneficial effects on aging.”


The study team included as its corresponding author Andrew V. Schally, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the department of pathology and division of hematology/oncology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level. Research at the school seeks new cures and treatments in five key areas: cancer, infectious disease, liver disease, aging and brain disease and heart/lung disease.

— Last Edited by Greentea at 2011-08-22 20:21:35 —

Posts [ 2 ] | Last post Nov. 15, 2011, 2:29 a.m.
#1 - Nov. 8, 2011, 11:37 p.m.
Hans J. Kugler, PhD

In order to understand what is going on here - - research published in PNAS, 22272 - 22277 - - we must look at the full paper (and not the newspaper-type, highly twisted, versions that present - - done on purpose? - - scientifically incorrect and confusing, results).
Such strange newspaper releases have become quite common; I have commented on them in my new e-book “LIFE-LONG HEALTH: learn how to Control your Genes to stay Young with Age”, now, as IAAM health education project, available at the non-profit price of $ 1.99, at , and at .
A few facts:
1) Compound tested: The Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH) antagonist MZ-5-156. This compound, or GHRH antagonists in general, have antioxidant effects.
2) Strain of mice used: SAMP8 nice which develop (with aging) cognitive losses and have a shorter life span; bred to be this way. The brains of these mice have - demonstrated - elevated oxidative stress.
3) SO, the life span increases and reduction in cancer are due to THE GHRH ANTAGONIST RELIEVING OXIDANT DISTRESS IN SAMP8 MICE.
4) The SAMP8 mouse was bred to model ALS, and NOT general aging.
A few years ago - at an A4M meeting - I had a disagreement with another presenter; I expressed that HGH use should be based on the - - facts suggested - - possibility that HGH, like other hormones (e.g. testosterone) has active feedback mechanisms, and that it should be taking in a cycling - on-off - manner.
Remember: high testosterone levels (caused by supplemented testosterone or steroids ) causes feedback that shuts down the body's own testosterone production and, in the long run, causes testicular atrophy. All this can be prevented (AND YOU GET FAR BETTER RESULTS) if testosterone (or other steroids) are administered on an on-off (cycling) basis, possibly even with some occasional HCG.
In the light of an HGH feedback mechanism, the data can be interpreted correctly.
The good results observed in aging athletes who take HGH on a cycling - on-off - basis support the need for on-off cycling.
Yet, one always wonders when animals are bred with a deficiency, and then relieving the deficiency is quoted as proof that aging can be interfered with. Anybody remember the “aging-breakthrough” study I am referring to?

— Last Edited by Hans J. Kugler, PhD at 2011-11-08 23:43:35 —

— Last Edited by Hans J. Kugler, PhD at 2011-11-11 14:57:09 —

— Last Edited by Hans J. Kugler, PhD at 2011-11-11 14:59:50 —

— Last Edited by Hans J. Kugler, PhD at 2011-11-11 15:01:11 —

— Last Edited by Hans J. Kugler, PhD at 2014-07-20 21:10:24 —

#2 - Nov. 15, 2011, 2:29 a.m.
Hans J. Kugler, PhD

In yet another newspaper report about Laron’s Sundrome (stunted growth, high infant mortality) in an obscure population living in Ecuador, researchers observed less diabetes and cancer and, almost hysterically trying to find a connection to HGH (and again misinterpreting research findings), again warned that HGH may not be good for you.
What is going on here? Who is jealous of all the seniors taking HGH, performing well on every level, and taking far fewer prescription drugs? - - - - - Gosh, I think I hit on a clear connection!
Ref.: LATimes, Suppressing HGH may counter disease. A15, 2.17.2011

Please also check out - - under “Senior Health” - - BACK TO BASICS, re. more effective, less boring, and less time consuming circuit training for strength and muscle mass increases for age 80 and older (a key chapter in “Dr. Kugler's Ultimate Anti-Aging Factor” (published as e-book), and check out

— Last Edited by Hans J. Kugler, PhD at 2011-11-15 02:31:49 —