Legions of baby boomers are approaching old age and their basic philosophy on aging is that it's better to burn out than to rust out. They're more active and affluent than any generation in history and are looking for ways to turn back the clock. Many see growth hormone therapy as
a true Fountain of Youth. Lifestyle magazines are peppered with tales of the rich and famous who use growth hormone (GH) to cut fat, increase muscle mass and improve appearance. Dr. Susan Kaweski, from the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation in San Diego, CA, urged caution about
growth hormone therapy.
In studies of older adults, about 35 percent of subjects dropped out because of side effects such as joint pain, carpal and tarsal tunnel syndromes (fingers and foot numbness), insulin resistance (blood sugar regulation problems) and water retention. Most studies show highly favorable effects from OH therapy, such as increased muscle mass, decreased fat (particularly in the abdomen), tighter skin, reduced blood cholesterol and enhanced sex drive. Growth hormone supplementation is particularly effective in older adults who also exercise and eat healthy diets. GH is very expensive, so it's available to only more affluent people.