16 The Brave New World of Anti-Aging Drugs and Diet
- The new anti-aging medicines and diets may be even more effective than cosmetic surgery for people who want to look and feel younger.
- Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and testosterone are lower in people over 40, and some doctors are now replacing these, just as the female hormones are replaced by synthetic estrogen and progesterone after menopause. Remarkable improvement in the patients' sense of well-being and in muscle and organ functioning may occur. The long-term effects are unknown. Some doctors are convinced it will lengthen the life span.
- Consult your physician for advice about these drugs. This information is changing all the time, and the safety of these medications hasn't been completely established. This chapter is just a preview of a complex field and shouldn't be used for medical advice. I'm very optimistic, however, that many of these medications will assume a major role in medicine in the near future.
Drugs and Diets
Cosmetic surgery is all about looking and feeling better, and often about looking and feeling younger. While the surgeons have been working on their new techniques, the medical doctors haven't been asleep. Here's the story about the new life-enhancement and prolongation medicines that may quickly become a routine part of your medical and surgical care. It sounds like science fiction, but a lot of this may soon transform people even more than surgery.
The most exciting news is Human Growth Hormone (HGH). This medication was formerly used to stimulate growth in children who grew too slowly. Until recently, it was not approved by our conservative FDA for other conditions. It was well known to professional bodybuilders, however, for muscle enhancement, but unlike steroids, it's "natural" and currently can't be detected through blood testing.
After a person is about 40 years old, the amount of HGH in the body declines dramatically, and many of the effects of aging may be related to this decline in HGH. Some doctors have been using this drug in "replacement" therapy for their older patients, trying to restore HGH levels to measurements found in younger people. A few cosmetic surgeons are also using it during the few weeks following surgery to speed healing.
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