Kathryn Aegis (
Mon, 23 Feb 1998 17:28:40 +0000

Today's WASHINGTON POST Health section focused on the role of
hormones in longivity, the first time that they have devoted such a
large section of newsprint to a life-extension topic. The articles
focused on DHEA, melatonin and growth hormones and include interviews
with doctors who have begun to prescribe these to patients. The
attempt to move beyond the hyped claims of 'forever young' is
laudable, but some of the criticism is aimed at serious efforts to
utilize these substances to maintain levels of health. The
suggestion that one should have blood levels checked prior to
beginning a regimen is dismissed as an unreasonable expectation that
the patient should be taking some responsibility for obtaining health

Some useful information appears, however, including the news of
studies on fluasterone, similar to DHEA, that is not converted to
testosterone or estrogen in the body. The National Institute on
Aging has given eight grants for the purpose of studying the role in
growth hormones in the prevention of tissue degeneration in the
elderly. If these studies bear out, then the FDA may approve growth
hormone treatment for the healthy elderly (at present, it is
approved for use in AIDS patients). Nevertheless, HGH Corporation
reports that over 200 physicians have signed up for their program to
supply growth hormone through several injections a week to their
patients, at a cost of about %5,000 per year.

Kathryn Aegis