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“60 Minutes” Airing of “Use of Human Growth Hormone in Adults” April 23, 2006
Aging in the 21st Century
This was actually a report on human growth hormone, not anti-aging.
If 60 Minutes really wanted to talk to specialists in the use of human growth hormone they could have called on the REAL experts like Dr. Jackie Springer, Dr. Thierry Hertoghe, Dr. Suzie Schuder or Dr. Ronald Rothman; doctors who treat patients with real pathology due to growth hormone deficiency rather than for “cosmetic” purposes or so they can “FEEL YOUNGER.”
Dr. Mintz’s patients reported that they feel “younger” but they talked to no one whose lives were saved because of human growth hormone.
One patient of Dr. Mintz’s said it was like “cheating” as though he was an athlete and was cheating with steroids.
HGH is NOT a steroid. Chemically, steroids are compounds of drugs that are synthesized in the body from cholesterol; testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol are a few examples. Growth hormone is not synthesized from cholesterol so it is not a steroid; it is a growth factor that is vital for life.
There are multiple studies done on the use of HGH in adults. Dr. Shlomo Melmed is wrong. One study that was done in adult men who were growth hormone deficient and suffered from ostoporosis showed that HGH treated patients had improved bone mass whereas the men not treated with HGH had worsened osteoporosis.
60 Minutes said: “Dr. Shlomo Melmed, one of the top endocrinologists in the world, is an expert on the pituitary gland, which produces growth hormone. He is skeptical of Mintz' claims. He says the effects of HGH and testosterone are often temporary and mostly cosmetic and there can be side effects that include high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, among others.
‘It bothers me that people are prepared to spend so much money on a molecule which may be unsafe for them,’ says Melmed. Even more dangerous, says Melmed, is a cancer risk. A latent cancer might be encouraged by such hormones, he says.”
‘I would be very reluctant to pour fuel onto the fire of a cancer by adding a very powerful growth factor,’ Melmed tells Kroft. ‘It may well be that it's beneficial for us to have low growth hormones as we age.’ "
If growth hormone triggers cancers and young people are awash in growth hormone, it follows that youth and cancer should be synonymous. The facts are exactly the opposite. GH inhibits cancers.
It bothers us doctors who, everyday, see people sick with diseases that are clearly caused by a growth hormone deficiency and yet, are not being treated.
It is reports like this 60 Minute report that scares patients out of seeking the help they need and deserve.
There is a great deal of science and art in the use of human growth hormone. This is not a field of cosmetic medicine but a field of health and well being.
It is crucial that the stigma attached to HGH be removed so patients that have this serious deficiency can return to health and become productive members of any society around the world.
The International Hormone Society, while in its infancy is trying to educate doctors, patients and even journalists about hormone therapy. We are dedicated to setting the standard for hormone therapy around the world, starting with one patient at a time.
While this is a rough draft of the official comment to the airing of the 60 Minutes program; there will be more to come.