A number of hormones, including growth hormone, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone, have been shown in clinical trials to improve some of the physiological changes associated with human aging.61,62 Under the careful supervision of physicians, some hormone supplements can be beneficial to the health of some people. No hormone, however, has been proved to slow, stop or reverse aging. Instances of negative side effects associated with some of these products have already been observed, and recent animal studies suggest that the use of growth hormone could have a life-shortening effect.63,64,65 Hormone supplements now being sold under the guise of antiaging medicine should not be used by anyone unless they are prescribed for approved medical uses.

61Rudman D, Feller AG, Nagraj HS, et al. Effects of growth hormone in men over 60 years old. N Eng J Med. 1990;323:1-6.

62Gallagher JC. Role of estrogens in the management of postmenopausal bone loss. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2001;1:143-62.

63Wolf E, Kahnt E, Ehrlein J, et al. Effects of long-term elevated serum levels of growth hormone on life expectancy of mice: Lessons from transgenic animals. Mech Ageing Dev. 1993;68:71-87.

64Bartke A, Brown-Borg H, Mattison J, et al. Prolonged longevity of hypopituitary dwarf mice. Exp Gerontol. 2001;36:21-28.

65Coschigano KT, Clemmons D, Bellush LL, and Kopchick JJ. Assessment of growth parameters and life span of GHR/BP gene disrupted mice. Endocrinology. 2000;141:2608-2613.

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