Hormone derivative reverses age-related metabolic decline

Advancing age causes a significantly decreased resting metabolic rate.This can lead to age-related increases in body fat along with increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. Ageing individuals often find themselves overweight or obese which means a reduced life expectancy.
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Dieting can trigger a further meta- bolic slowdown. In several studies, scientists have found that replenishing the levels of a DHEA metabolite known as 7-Keto reverses the age-related decrease in metabolic rate in just 7 days.This translates into reductions in weight and body mass index in just 8 weeks!
How 7-Keto Works
Scientists are beginning to uncover the mechanisms of action behind the remarkable ability of 7-Keto to reverse the age-related decrease in resting metabolic rate and to produce various anti- ageing benefits.
Liver Enzymes
Scientific studies indicate that 7-Keto power- fully boosts levels of three liver enzymes that result in stimulation of fatty acid oxidation:
  • Glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase
  • Malic enzyme
  • Fatty acyl CoA oxidase
These enzymes accelerate a heat-generating process called thermogenesis, which promotes the burning of fat reserves. Because this thermo-genic effect reverses the age-related decrease in resting metabolic rate, this may explain 7-Keto’s ability to decrease weight and body fat.
Thyroid Hormone
Supplementing with 7-Keto results in elevated levels of the T-3 thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolic activity, which declines with age.This explains another potential mechanism by which 7-Keto triggers reductions in body weight and body fat.
Interleukin-2
7-Keto has been shown to enhance the production of interleukin-2 in human lymphocytes.When interleukin-2 reacts with its corresponding receptor sites on cell surfaces, it stimulates production and differentiation of various T-lymphocytes, which in turn trigger production of other immune agents.
The result is a broad enhancement of the immune system, which is normally weakened by advancing age.
Study participants experienced decreased immune suppressor cells and increased immune helper cells.Supplementation with 7-Keto may fortify defenses against numerous conditions, including killers such as cancer and AIDS.
DHEA versus 7-Keto
 
DHEA is the body’s most abundant hormone, but its production peaks in the 20s and steadily declines, leading to age-related hormonal imbalances.
DHEA is converted by the body into androstenedione, which is then converted into the male and female sex steroid hormones, estrogen and testosterone. This conversion is highly individualised and some people could end up with excess levels of these sex hormones–which could pose a risk if any of those individuals have a hormone-dependent disease, such as prostate or breast cancer.
Unlike DHEA however, 7-Keto does not trigger higher sex hormone levels.That means that supple- menting with 7-Keto may be a safer way for some peo- ple to benefit from these anti-aging effects including enhancing the immune system, reducing age-related memory loss, and improving cholesterol profiles.
 
Report Reference
 
Colker CM, Torina GC, Swain MA, Kalman DS. Double-Blind Study Evaluating the Effects of Exercise Plus 3-Acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone on Body Composition and the Endocrine System in Overweight Adults. Abstract presented at 2nd ASEP Annual Meeting, October 14-16, 1999, and published in Journal of Exercise Physiology online, Volume 2 Number 4 October 1999.
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DHEA – the hormone

REDUCES INFLAMMATION, ENHANCES IMMUNITY, PROTECTS ARTERIES AND THE BRAIN – by Ivy Greenwell – extract from Life Extension magazine
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) hormones are the most abundant steroids in the human body. Low levels of DHEA are associated with aging and disease states. Specifically, a deficiency of DHEA has been found to correlate with immune dysfunction, inflammation, greater risk of certain cancers, heart disease in men, and osteoporosis. The special interest in DHEA replacement, however, stems from its function as a prohormone, meaning a precursor to a great variety of beneficial steroids, both in the estrogenic and androgenic family, on an “as-needed” basis.
Perhaps the most exciting new finding relates to the antiatherogenic benefits of DHEA. The dramatic aging-related drop in DHEA levels is accompanied by an equally dramatic rise in cardiovascular disease. We have now come closer to elucidating the cardioprotective mechanism of DHEA. It appears that DHEA is incorporated into both high and low-density cholesterol, protecting it from oxidation. In the aged, however, cholesterol-bound DHEA becomes virtually undetectable, and the cholesterol molecules are much more susceptible to oxidation than in young individuals. But this is not the end of the story. It turns out that DHEA also increases the activity of platelet superoxide dismutase (SOD), one of our most important antioxidant enzymes. Thus, DHEA seems to play an essential role as part of the body’s antioxidant defenses.
Another recent finding involves the anti-inflammatory properties of DHEA. It has been known for a long time that DHEA can lower the levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), a pro-inflammatory cytokine (meaning a chemical messenger used by the immune system) that seriously escalates the inflammatory process, recruiting immune cells that often end up destroying healthy tissue as well. Now it has been established that DHEA can lower the production of another inflammatory cytokine as well, one called tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). The levels of both IL-6 and TNF-alpha rise with aging, showing an increased inflammatory state and possible immune dysfunction. The role of DHEA in regulating the immune response has been shown to include also the enhanced secretion of interferon-gamma. The decline in DHEA levels is closely tied to immunosenescence.
This is excellent news for those who suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases. However, it could be argued that aging itself is, in a sense, a chronic inflammatory state. The levels of various chemical mediators of inflammation, such as IL-6 and TNF, increase as we age. At the same time, our production of DHEA plummets with aging. Maintaining youthful levels of DHEA means less chronic inflammation. It should be pointed out that chronic inflammation is known to play a critical role in the development of the killer diseases of aging: heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of cancer.
One surprising finding showed that DHEA can help some infertile patients ovulate and become pregnant, making previously ineffective ovarian stimulation succeed at last.
More good news includes also the finding that DHEA protects brain tissue under conditions simulating stroke and trauma damage, and is likely to be involved in protecting the brain against the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The neuroprotective mechanism of DHEA appears to go beyond its anti-glucocorticoid effect, that is, its ability to antagonize the harmful effects of cortisol; anti-inflammatory action is likely to be involved as well. DHEA has also been shown to lower hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar) in diabetic rats, and protect their kidneys from the damage caused by high blood sugar. In addition, DHEA enhances the immune response and helps us fight infection; several studies have confirmed its usefulness in combating bacterial, parasitic and viral infections, including HIV. DHEA also helps protect the thymus against cortisol-induced atrophy.
Speaking of cortisol, we are beginning to understand that it is the ratio of DHEA to cortisol that is of critical importance in aging and certain diseases such as AIDS. A recent French study done at the Pasteur Institute in Paris found that the minority of patients who do not succumb to the severe side effects of highly aggressive antiretroviral therapy show a normalized DHEA/cortisol ratio. The majority of AIDS patients, however, have an abnormally low DHEA/cortisol ratio and thus suffer from symptoms usually associated with excess cortisol, even though their cortisol levels are within normal. Cardiac patients and the victims of Alzheimer’s disease also show low DHEA/cortisol ratio. The manipulation of this crucial ratio, including DHEA therapy, could prove highly significant both in the treatment of AIDS and in anti-aging medicine in general. In fact, a small pilot study has already indicated that DHEA combined with an anti-inflammatory drug such as indomethacin can moderate or even normalize the various pathological changes of AIDS-related lipodystrophy.
One surprising finding showed that an 80 mg/day dose of DHEA can help some infertile patients ovulate and become pregnant, making previously ineffective ovarian stimulation succeed at last (in one case, the result was twins!). An animal study confirmed that DHEA is important as a steroidogenic substrate (precursor of other hormones) in ovarian production of various sex steroids. Interestingly, immunomodulatory 7-hydroxy metabolites of DHEA have also been discovered in human semen, with possible further implications for fertility. In postmenopausal women, research on DHEA replacement continues to indicate improved well-being and libido, among many other benefits. We are also closer to understanding the mechanism through which DHEA enhances the sense of well-being: it significantly increases the levels of beta-endorphins.
Those readers who are considering following a ketogenic (low-carbohydrate) diet may be interested in a small study done on rheumatoid arthritis patients: the low-calorie ketogenic diet using less than 40 g of carbohydrates per day resulted in a 34% rise in DHEA within a week; the ketogenic diet was as effective as sub-total fast in raising DHEA levels. This study needs to be replicated, however, using a larger number of healthy subjects. In primates, calorie restriction has indeed been found to preserve higher DHEA levels, indicating a slower rate of aging. In humans, fasting is known to raise DHEA levels in both sexes. Anorexic and bulimic women likewise show higher serum DHEA. Exercise can also raise DHEA in some individuals, possibly due to the inverse relationship between DHEA and insulin. Finally, while meditation has long been known to increase DHEA, participation in drum circles has also been shown to increase DHEA and DHEA/cortisol ratio, confirming the hypothesis that stress reduction in general boosts DHEA production, probably through a shift of adrenal steroidogenesis from cortisol to DHEA. High insulin, high cortisol and low DHEA constitute a large part of the pathological endocrine profile of aging. Restoring the correct hormonal ratios should be one of the primary goals of any anti-aging program.
DHEA protects the cardiovascular system
Epidemiological studies continue to confirm the correlation between the levels of DHEA in men with their risk of cardiovascular disease. Most recently, the Massachusetts Male Aging Study followed over 1700 men between the ages of 40 and 70 for nine years. The authors found that men in the lowest quartile of serum DHEA at baseline were 60% more likely to develop ischemic heart disease. Low serum DHEA was also a significant predictor. Likewise, studies continue to confirm lower DHEA values in cardiac patients combined with higher insulin levels, wi
th a “close inverse correlation” between insulin and DHEA. This raises the question as to whether DHEA is the “missing link” in hyperinsulinemia and atherosclerosis.
A very important Canadian study has partly elucidated the way DHEA works to protect blood vessels against atherosclerosis. The authors found that in elderly patients vitamin E is unable to restore the resistance of LDL to oxidation back to the levels found in youth. DHEA, on the other hand, did increase the resistance of LDL to oxidation in a dose-dependent manner. This study found evidence indicating that DHEA is actually incorporated into the molecules of both LDL and HDL cholesterol, and acts as an antioxidant. During aging, however, cholesterol-bound DHEA practically disappears. In the elderly, the levels of cholesterol-bound DHEA are virtually nondetectable, and their LDL cholesterol becomes very susceptible to oxidative damage. (Estrogen esters apparently function in a similar way, protecting LDL against oxidation.)
DHEA has also been shown to reduce the amount of atherosclerotic plaque in rabbits fed a high-cholesterol diet. One clue about the cardioprotective mechanism of DHEA comes from a recent Japanese study, which compared animals given DHEA with animals given DHEA together with an aromatase inhibitor, a compound that prevents the conversion of DHEA to estrogens. The amount of the plaque was diminished by 60% in animals receiving DHEA alone, but only by 30% in animals receiving DHEA and an aromatase inhibitor. The authors conclude that approximately half of the antiatherosclerotic effect of DHEA is due to its conversion to estrogens and an increased release of nitric oxide.
Another study using male castrated cholesterol-fed rabbits as an animal model of atherosclerosis compared the effects of oral DHEA against those of testosterone enanthate given by injection, oral synthetic testosterone and placebo. Sham-operated non-castrated rabbits also served as a control group. Aortic atherosclerosis was highest in the placebo group and lowest in the group receiving testosterone injections. The degree of atherosclerosis was intermediate in the DHEA group, which did better than the oral testosterone group, and slightly better than the noncastrated rabbits that had the benefit of their own testosterone. The study showed that both testosterone and DHEA help prevent atherosclerosis. The benefit could be only partly explained in terms of the impact on the serum lipids.
Finally, a study done at the University of Wroclaw, Poland, found that DHEA decreased the levels of serum lipid peroxides in rabbits fed a normal diet, but not in rabbits with induced severe hypercholesterolemia. However, both healthy rabbits and rabbits with extremely high cholesterol showed an increase in the activity of platelet superoxide dismutase (SOD), a crucial antioxidant enzyme. Again, it should be stressed that this increase in SOD activity was observed both in rabbits fed a normal diet and in rabbits fed an atherogenic diet, which usually show decreased SOD activity. Increase in SOD activity may partly explain DHEA’s antioxidant effects.
Overall, there seems to be a consensus that while DHEA may not be cardioprotective in women, men with low levels of DHEA are at a greater risk of a heart attack. For older men, cardiovascular health appears to be yet another excellent reason for taking DHEA supplements.
Brain protection
DHEA is especially abundant in the human brain. Many earlier studies reported a protective effect of DHEA against the deterioration of mental function with aging, and an inverse correlation between DHEA levels and neurodegerative disease such as Alzheimer’s. A recent Canadian study found that rats implanted with a high dose of DHEA showed significantly less hippocampal damage after stroke was induced (60% injured neurons as compared to 88% for placebo).
In another study, DHEA proved to be the most potent of all the steroids tested in its ability to inhibit the formation of excess reactive astroglia in the event of a penetrating wound of the cerebral cortex, thus downregulating the immune response, which otherwise might injure healthy neurons in the vicinity of the wound. It has been demonstrated that DHEA markedly inhibits tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and IL-6 in glial cells. The ability to lower the levels of these inflammatory mediators may be an important part of the neuroprotective mechanism of DHEA.
In addition, DHEA has been shown to protect against the toxicity of the amyloid-beta protein and excess glutamate. Treatment with glutamate produced a copious increase in the neuronal glucocorticoid receptor. Treatment with DHEA reversed this increase, demonstrating again the anti-glucocorticoid action of DHEA.
DHEA is often advertised as a remedy for depression. At this point we know that depression is more than just a shortage of neurotransmitters; it is a whole-body degenerative disease, the most frightening aspect of which is aging-like loss of neural tissue.
DHEA is often advertised as a remedy for depression. At this point we know that depression is more than just a shortage of neurotransmitters; it is a whole-body degenerative disease, the most frightening aspect of which is aging-like loss of neural tissue. There has been a steady interest in DHEA as an antidepressant. First, however, it should be established whether depression is indeed associated with low DHEA. A study done in Cambridge, England, compared DHEA and cortisol levels in clinically depressed patients (categorized as “major depressives”) with a matched group of patients in remission from depression and healthy controls. Both morning and evening levels of DHEA were lowest in depressed patients, with inverse correlation between the morning DHEA levels and the severity of the depression. Evening cortisol levels were highest in the depressed group. The low DHEA/cortisol ratio (similar to the shift seen in aging) also characterized the depressed group. The authors point out that DHEA not only antagonizes harmful effects of excess cortisol, but also may have mood improving properties. This may have “significant implications” for the treatment of depression.
Another study on the role of DHEA deficiency in depression focused on recovering alcoholics, a group especially susceptible to depression, and hence to relapse into drinking. The authors found that abstinent alcoholics showed a deficiency of noradrenaline and a low DHEA to cortisol ratio, indicating lower ability to deal with stress. Hypothetically, DHEA might prove a useful adjunct therapy for recovering alcoholics.
There is still some controversy over whether or not DHEA produces cognitive enhancement in humans. Diamond (1999) has suggested that such enhancement may depend on the degree of psychological stress. In his study on rats, DHEA was found to increase hippocampal activity, but only under non-stressful conditions. Stress appears to block the DHEA-induced enhancement.
The ability of DHEA to protect the hippocampus and enhance its activity is important in regard to Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have generally found increased cortisol and lower DHEA in Alzheimer’s disease patients, together with a low DHEA/cortisol ratio. We know that excess cortisol damages the hippocampus and potentiates beta-amyloid toxicity. DHEA is believed to be able to antagonize the destructive effects of excess cortisol. The authors of a recent study have concluded that dementia is correlated with low DHEA more so than with high cortisol. Another study also showed that while the aging process decreases the DHEA/cortisol ratio, victims of dementia have a significantly lower ratio rather the healthy elderly. Based on the opposite effects of cortisol and DHEA on the brain, especially on the
hippocampal region, the authors suggest that it is possible that this pathological imbalance between stress hormones and DHEA accounts for much of the damage.
There has also been some research on the effects of androstenedione, the main metabolite of DHEA, on cognitive enhancement. Androstenedione sulfate has been shown to increase neural activity in certain sections of the rat brain, with implications for memory enhancement and antidepressant action similar to those already found for DHEA.
DHEA’s role in chronic inflammatory diseases
An important overview of the role of DHEA in reducing the damage produced by chronic inflammation was recently published by a team of researchers at the University of Regensburg, Germany. The authors point out that patients with chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis show adrenal dysfunction that manifests itself both in insufficient levels of cortisol in response to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and low levels of DHEA. With both cortisol and DHEA being too low, the inflammation progresses and leads to harmful consequences.
The current practice is to use synthetic corticosteroids such as prednisolone in an effort to fight chronic inflammation. DHEA remains neglected, in spite of repeated findings of low DHEA levels in patients suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases. But DHEA also plays an important role in preventing inflammation. It is a potent inhibitor of pro-inflammatory cytokines (hormone-like immune chemicals), which in turn signal the immune system and provoke further cellular destruction.
Of special interest is DHEA’s ability to inhibit interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). These pro-inflammatory cytokines rise with age, and are especially high in patients with inflammatory diseases. IL-6 is known to play a role in promoting bone loss and possibly also joint destruction. In addition, IL-6 promotes the production of certain immune cells which attack the body’s own tissue in autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. High serum IL-6, as seen in rheumatoid arthritis, for instance, is regarded as a reliable biomarker of inflammation. The finding that DHEA supplementation can lower IL-6 makes it a very promising anti-inflammatory agent, especially for chronic disorders which are characterized by significantly elevated IL-6. Besides rheumatoid arthritis, the conditions associated with abnormally high IL-6 include atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers.
The inverse relationship between DHEA and IL-6 has been confirmed through the study of the menstrual cycle. Serum IL-6 showed a marked rise during the luteal (post-ovulation) phase. This pro-inflammatory cytokine was highest when DHEA levels were lowest, and vice versa.
The primary metabolite of DHEA, androstenedione, has also been found to inhibit the production of IL-6. Likewise, pregnenolone and progesterone also inhibit TNF production.
The deficiency of DHEA in inflammatory diseases also implies a deficiency in peripheral tissue of various sex steroids for which DHEA serves as a precursor. These steroids, both estrogenic and androgenic, are known to have beneficial effects on muscle, bone, blood vessels and so forth. The mainstream therapy with corticosteroids is itself known to lower androgen levels. Consequently, the authors argue that hormone replacement for patients with chronic inflammatory diseases should include not only corticosteroids, but also DHEA.
Other studies also found that adrenal hormones, including DHEA, are of special importance in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. There is some evidence pointing to adrenal hypofunction before the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, especially in female patients, who constitute the overwhelming majority of rheumatoid arthritis victims, and whose serum DHEA levels are low (male rheumatoid arthritis patients show low plasma and synovial fluid testosterone). Androgens in general appear to be protective against the development of autoimmune diseases, and DHEA is an important precursor of various androgens. DHEA replacement appears to be especially important for female rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Lupus is another autoimmune inflammatory disease where DHEA (usually in high doses of up to 200 mg) has proven to be a useful adjunct therapy. One author has reviewed the results of all the studies done to date, and concluded that DHEA appears to decrease the requirement for glucocorticoid steroid therapy and somewhat improves symptoms. More important, perhaps, is its protection against bone loss (osteopenia and osteoporosis), as well as improved mental function. Side effects include acne and the lowering of HDL cholesterol (the ratio of HDL to total cholesterol tends to remain the same, however, since LDL cholesterol is also lowered due to DHEA replacement).
Ordinary aches and pains may also be related to low DHEA. When men and women complaining of either lower back pain or neck and shoulder pain were tested, the consistent finding for women was low DHEA and low beta endorphins.
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Steroid

A steriod is a hormone, such as cortisone used to reduce inflammation and swelling.

New generation diet pill which mimics hormone ready for human trials

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London: A new generation of hormone diet drugs which could be as effective as weight-loss surgery could soon be on the market after the announcement that it was ready for human trials.

Scientists believe the drug, which creates a false feeling that a person is full, could offer a breakthrough in the treatment of obesity, which is predicted to reach epidemic levels in the coming decades.

One in four Britons is now classed as obese, one in three 10-year-olds is either overweight or obese and more than one million obesity drugs are prescribed every year.Experts estimate that by 2050 half of all adults will be classed as clinically obese.

The drug, which has been developed by Imperial College London, offers an alternative to gastroplasty, or stomach stapling, which uses surgery to reduce the size of the stomach.

It has been developed by Steve Bloom, a medical professor at the university, who has produced a synthetic version of a hormone called oxyntomodulin, which is known to help obese patients reduce their food intake.

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Common nut’s success in appetite control

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London: Pinolenic Acid, a natural plant extract, from the Korean pine nut (Pinus Koraiensis), has been shown to suppress appetite dramatically without causing harmful stimulatory side effects.

A form of polyunsaturated fatty acid it attacks the underlying mechanisms involved in hunger so effectively that the 18 participants in a recent study reduced their food intake by 36% and experienced a reduction in the desire to eat of 29%. The experiment also produced a significant increase in two hormonal appetite suppressors that send signals of “satiety” or fullness to the brain – cholecystokinin (CCK) which increased by 60% and glucagons-like peptide 1 (GLP1) of 25% that remained for up to four hoursafter eating.

[The experiment which was presented in a paper, “Korean pine nut fattyacids affect appetite sensations, plasma CCK and GLPI in overweight subjects” to the American Physiological Society in April 2006, by Alexandra Einerhand, director, nutrition and toxicology-Europe at Lipid Nutrition, a division of Loders Croklaan, Wormerveer, the Netherlands.] In another recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (5 April 2006), the effects of calorie restriction on health biomarkers were measured in a group of overweight adults over a six month period.

In response to reduced food intake, fasting insulin levels plummeted –
excess insulin acts as a death hormone that devastates virtually every cell and organ system in the body. Insulin overload increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, blindness, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and other age-related diseases. The amount of weight lost in the groups that restricted their calorie intake – the moderate calorie restriction experienced a 24% reduction in body fat mass, while the very low-calorie group achieved a 32% reduction in fat mass.

This process of calorie restriction, at the same time as maintaining optimal nutrition, has been shown to radically extend life span in lower animals and primates. It is thought that this may also apply to humans. Unfortunately, the greatest obstacle faced by anyone undertaking calorie restriction and trying to achieve sustained weight reduction in the nagging sensation of feeling hungry. Most people give into this craving and thus forgo the opportunity to reduce their risks for life-threatening diseases.

In the UK one in four adults is obese and the treatment of obesity-related illnesses, including type 2 diabetes, knee and hip operations cost the HNS ÂŁ1bn last year. Satiety is the sense of food satisfaction and fullness experienced after eating. Hunger and satiety both depend on a complex feed back loop involving many hormones and other substances secreted by the gut that interact with control centres in the brain.

The gut participates in the hunger satiety circuit by secreting two important hormones, cholescystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), among others. Cholecystokinin is recognised to suppress appetite in humans. When a partially digested meal rich in fats or proteins leaves the stomach to enter the duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine), the duodenal mucosa cells secrete CCK. In turn CCK stimulates the pancreas to secrete numerous enzymes to help digest food. CCK also acts on the gallbladder to stimulate the release of bile into the small intestine, which helps emulsify and break down fats.

Most important to appetite control, CCK acts to slow gastric emptying and to promote a feeling of fullness, thus suppressing further food intake. Glucagon-like peptide-1 is another hormone that is intimately connected with fullness and satiety. Produced in the small intestine in response to fat and carbohydrates, GLP-1 works in part by activating what is known as the “ileal break” mechanism.

This slows down the absorption of food in the gut, promoting feelings of fullness and satiety, and therefore limits the further desire for food intake. GLP-1 also helps to control the health of pancreatic beta cells, which serve the crucial function of manufacturing insulin in the body. Abnormal beta cell function plays a key role in insulin resistance and scientists believe that therapies that boost GLP-1 levels could help alter the course of diabetes.

Pinolenic acid has been developed into a new supplement, Natural Appetite Control, available for the first time in the UK for adults seeking to lower their calorie intake and maintain a successful long-term weight management programme. Each softgel of new Natural Appetite Control provides 1000mg of a standardised extract of Korean pine nuts containing the highest concentration of pinolenic acid found in any pine nut species.

Pine nuts are used extensively in Mediterranean cookery, such as in Italian pesto, but the nuts of the Korean pine have a far greater concentration of pinolenic acid than those of European pine nuts. The recommended daily dose of this all-natural vegetable-based (suitablefor vegetarians) formula is three softgels taken 30-60 minutes before a meal with the highest calorie content.

To reduce snacking, three softgels may be taken between meals. The best time to take this supplement may be in the evening, to reduce food intake before bedtime. Natural Appetite Control should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise programme. Results may vary. Natural Appetite Control costs ÂŁ15.30 for 90 softgels and is available from www.thevitalityshopuk.com Telephone enquiries: 0800 011 2496

Company fined $10.5m over fountain of youth drug

Boston: A company that distributed human growth hormone to “well known athletes and entertainers” has agreed to pay a $10.5 million penalty and cooperate with ongoing law enforcement investigations, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Under the terms of the agreement, Specialty Distribution Services Inc., a subsidiary of Express Scripts Inc., will not face prosecution for three years if it fully complies with terms of the agreement.

Steve Littlejohn, a spokesman for St. Louis-based Express Scripts, said the company fully cooperated in the federal investigation and has already implemented procedures to prevent the illegal distribution of human growth hormone.

“Express Scripts does not condone the use of human growth hormone for anti-aging, cosmetic or performance enhancement purposes,” the company said in a news release.

Specialty Distribution Services “knowingly distributed human growth hormone to certain well known athletes and entertainers, including a well known athlete in Massachusetts, knowing that their intended use was athletic performance enhancement, cosmetic or anti-aging,” in violation of federal law, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release.

Prosecutors did not mention any names of those believed to have bought HGH from the firm.

The drug in question was approved by the Food and Drug Administration only for specific purposes, including treatment of children with growth failure due to inadequate growth hormones, prosecutors said.

“The public should also realize that human growth hormone has not been shown to be safe and effective for athletic, cosmetic or anti-aging uses, and it must not be promoted or distributed for such uses,” U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan said in a statement.

The company illegally shipped the drugs five times between October 2000 and December 2005, according to court documents prosecutors filed with the agreement.

Human growth hormone was sent to a “well known professional athlete in Massachusetts” in January 2002 and again in October 2003 following a doctor’s request, the documents said.

Drugs were sent to an entertainer in March 2002 at the request of a doctor who said he was filling the prescription at the patient’s request and that the drugs were “not medically necessary,” according to the documents. The doctor identified his practice as an “anti-aging clinic.”

The company shipped the drugs to a 6-foot-5, 276-pound “entertainer/athlete” in January 2003 after a doctor said it was “medically necessary,” even though the dosage was typically used for performance enhancement, the documents said.

Specialty Distribution Services had pharmacists and other employees who should have recognized the prescriptions as illegitimate, prosecutors said. Under the agreement, it will better train employees to recognize fake prescriptions.

Human growth hormone is produced naturally by the body throughout life, but can cause complications when taken in excessive amounts, said Dr. Linn Goldberg, professor of medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

“When you are a fully grown adult who takes HGH in excess, it thickens your bones and skin, puts you at risk for diabetes and other conditions, and causes fluid retention, joint pain and nerve damage,” he said.

Goldberg said he is not surprised that entertainers and athletes are using it, because it can cost $100 per day. Prosecutors said HGH treatment can cost up to $20,000 per year.

“Athletes are looking for the fountain of youth, and the fountain of youth is not to be found in a bottle,” he said.

Anti-ageing hormone found in Welsh plant

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London: A natural food supplement called Asphalia, composed of completely plant-derived materials which are grown and produced in South Wales and are naturally rich in melatonin, has been proven to aid the bodyÂ’s ability to achieve REM sleep faster than any other sleeping tablets and with no adverse side effects.

It is a well known that melatonin plays an important role in the regulation of the circadian rhythms of the body. It has also been proven to be a powerful, potent and natural antioxidant – five times as powerful as Vitamin C and twice as strong as Vitamin E, as well as helping to strengthen the immune system and providing cardiovascular protection. Melatonin however, is best known for its role in jet lag and in maintaining healthy sleep.

Available over the counter in the US, synthetic melatonin has become one of the most popular remedies for insomnia and jet lag. However, in the UK, synthetic melatonin supplements were banned several years ago, as they were classed as a hormone and are now only available on prescription.

In a published study reporting that some plants were rich in natural melatonin, the gramineous plant Festuca arundinacea, a meadow grass with unique properties, was shown to contain far more melatonin than any of the other 24 plants that were tested. (Hattori, Migitaka et al., 1995)

An independent Welsh laboratory, Coghill Research Laboratories, established in the early 1980s, has been growing this plant for several years and has now developed Asphalia as a food supplement based on its leaves. This natural plant-derived melatonin is proving more effective than its synthetic equivalent.

Asphalia contains melatonin in physiological doses (in the sub-microgram range), which have been shown to remain efficacious for longer than the pharmacological doses (in the milligram range). The latter usually applies to melatonin supplements made from synthetic chemicals.

Besides helping to regulate sleep, Asphalia also promotes wellbeing in people suffering from exposure to electromagnetic pollution, since it contains such a strong anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants provide protection against extremely low frequency (“ELF”) electromagnetic fields (“EMFs”) found near power lines, domestic wiring and electric appliances and also against higher frequency radiations from radar, radio waves, cell phones and masts. A new DoH-funded committee (SAGE) has recently advised of the publicÂ’s need to mitigate exposure to EMFs.

It is also especially beneficial for people over 40, as melatonin declines with age – from the age of 70, the body only makes 10% of the normal adult concentration, a principal cause of the ageing process.

Approved by the MHRA as an over-the-counter food supplement, AsphaliaÂ’s Greensward anti-oxidant formula is made purely from Festuca arundinacea .

Asphalia products are now available from independent health food stores across the UK, by mail order and online at www.asphalia.co.uk T. + 44 (0)1495 752122. Costs ÂŁ11.75 for 30 capsules (one monthÂ’s supply) plus ÂŁ2.50 p&p within the UK.

Youth hormone – miracle elixir or dangerous drug?

If you type the term “human growth hormone” into the search engine Google you will find more than 5 million entries including paid adverts from web sites around the world touting it as a miracle cure for all the ills of ageing.

This hormone is credited as an elixir of youth with the ability to turn fat into muscle, rejuvenate sagging skin, restoring libido and reversing memory loss.

The majority of these sites are promising eternal youth by selling bottles of water containing vitamins and amino acids and many are labelled “homeopathic” Hgh. But the truth is the real stuff is made synthetically by just a few pharmaceutical companies and the only way to take it is by injection and it is available only on prescription.

The use of Hgh as a rejuvenation treatment is the subject of much controversy amongst the medical profession since it’s only manufactured for the treatment of growth deficiencies in children and severe adult deficiency – not for ageing. There have been no long-term studies of it as a rejuvenation treatment and the possible side effects which might include carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetes, bone loss and even cancer.

But this hasn’t stopped its popularity as a rejuvenation treatment in the expensive clinics of Beverly Hills and New York and London. Doctors prescribe the treatment which costs about $40,000 (£20,000, €30,000) each year to their rich and celebrity clients in the form of a convenient injector pen.

According to the US magazine, the National Enquirer, devotees of Hgh, include Hollywood celebrities such as Nick Nolte, Pam Anderson, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Demi Moore, Brad Pitt, Marla Maples, Britney Spears and Jennifer Aniston.

The popularity of hgH followed an experiment in the US in 1990 in which a group of 12 men aged over 60 years saw dramatic changes in their bodies as signs of ageing melted away. In the Rudman Study, named after Dr Daniel Rudman, fat turned to lean muscle, bone density increased, skin became thicker and the men looked generally dramatically younger. Their sex drive also increased. They were monitored for adverse effects but there were none.

Produced by the pituitary gland, Hgh is responsible for growth in childhood and helps the metabolism of carbohydrate and fat. It peaks in adolescence but by the time a person hits 60 years the bodyÂ’s production will have fallen by 50% or more. It is produced naturally at night and also stimulated by exercise.

In medical rejuvenation programmes the doctor will usually prescribe it alongside other anti-ageing hormones to restore levels to that of a younger person. These hormones include melatonin, testosterone, oestrogen and the so-called “performancing enhancing” steroid used by athletes, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone).

The Belgian endocrinologist Dr Thierry Hertoghe who promotes the benefits of Hgh at anti-ageing conferences and takes it himself says that without the hormone’s benefit, “we would all be tiny little dwarfs that are shy, anti-social, weak and tired,”

Hertoghe who is the author of “The Hormone Solution – Stay younger longer with natural hormone and nutrition therapies” believes that current hormone replacement therapy which consists of replacing only one or two hormones is outmoded and that the bodyÂ’s 100 hormones must function in complex harmony.

Problems occur as we age because hormones inevitably diminish, disrupting the balance, which may trigger weight gain, fatigue, wrinkles, and hair loss. Fortunately, a regimen of natural hormones can protect us, according to Hertoghe, and his book offers anecdotal evidence of dramatic transformations. Although he includes self-scoring checklists so you can determine your own hormone profile, he wisely urges you to implement your own “hormone solution” by working closely with your doctor. .

“In less than six months, a woman of 60 can have legs of a 35- to 40-year-old,” he says.

Hertoghe has treated hundreds of elderly patients whom he has given human growth hormone injections. By restoring Hgh levels typical of a twenty-or thirty-year-old, Hertoghe claims to have thickened their thinning hair, erased their deep wrinkles, lifted their sagging eyelids, smoothed their puffy eyes, toned their sagging muscles, and tightened the loose skin on their cheeks and under their chins. “It’s like magic,” he says.

In the UK the debate was reignited recently when one doctor admitted that he and his wife had both rejuvenated themselves with Hgh, But in London’s Harley Street you will find very few doctors who will admit to prescribing this drug even though they are allowed to go what is called “off-label” if they feel it is justified in the interests of a patient.

One doctor who has used the treatment on herself is Dr Cecilia Tregear. She says that when she reached the age of 50, she was overweight with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 29 to 30 and looked older than her years and tired. So she embarked on multiple hormone replacement therapy after testing her own blood for deficiencies.

After two years of treatment she says she was transformed by her treatment which included a course of bio-identical hormones.

‘My BMI was down to 23 and I was full of energy,’ she says. ‘The wrinkles had vanished from my skin. My brain worked much better and there was no sign of osteoporosis,Â’ says Dr Tregear

But the Hgh debate rumbles on. A review of 31 studies involving 200 patients, led by researchers at Stanford University in the US, recently concluded that the benefits of human growth hormone therapy are insignificant compared to the increased risk of many conditions including joint swelling and pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetes and prediabetes.

They found that the only benefit associated with its use is slightly increased lean body mass. The therapy increased 2 kilograms of muscle mass and reduced 2kg of fat in the study subjects.

But says Dr Ronald Klatz, president of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) said “Thousand sof published studies on hundreds of thousands of patients have demonstrated the clear benefits of adult growth hormone replacement therapy, when utilized under proper clinical guidelines and at proper physiological dosages.

“To deny the benefit of HGH and other essential hormonal regulators of metabolism in deficient patients based on age may be considered a heinous act of malpractice which will prove to be erroneous and shortsighted in the years to come.”

ELIXIR’s own fitness expert, Jon Trevor, say: “Most people would be better off exercising more often and taking vitamin supplements. Injecting with Hgh is not only expensive but there appears to be no credible results to back it up. In the same way that the supplement creatine was all the range for body builders, the introduction of yet another stimulant should be treated with caution.

“Hollywood for the here and now is so image driven that I feel that the long term health effects are cast aside, no doubt the doctors that are prescribing Hgh have their clients sign some form of a disclaimer and so the era of the quick fix is upon us. But this may not turn out to be a quick fix years down the line.”

HRT blamed for 1,000 ovarian cancer deaths

London: Women taking hormone replacement therapy are 20% more likely to suffer from ovarian cancer, claims a new report. More more than 1,000 women died in the last 15 years after contracting ovarian cancer following hormone replacement therapy it says.

The study published in the latest issue of The Lancet medical journal etimates that 70 deaths a yar are connected to taking the therapy which is dogged with controversy and confusion.

US researchers recently produced evidence to suggest that women int heir 50s on HRT are protected from heart attachs and premature death. This contradicted earlier claims that it put women at risk of heart disease.

This latest study, sponsored by Million Women Study, was started in 1996 suggests that more than 1,300 extra cases of ovarian cancer occured between 1991 and 2005. Of these women, 1,000 died of the disease. It reveals a 20 per cent increase in risk of the disease in women who have taken HRT for at least five years, but says it does not persist if women give up. The study, largely funded by Cancer Research UK, looked at responses from 948,576 postmenopausal women over seven years. It has previously linked HRT with breast cancer.

Overall the statistics mean that over a five-year period there is likely to be one extra case of ovarian cancer among every 2,500 women receiving hormone replacement therapy. For every 3,300 women on HRT, there is estimated to be one additional death from ovarian cancer.

HRT prescribed by the UK’s National Health Service is artificially made hormone replacement usually made from mare’s urine. It is used to combat symptoms of the menopause, including hot flushes, vaginal dryness and night sweats, with a range of drugs including tablets, implants and patches.

Safety concerns led to drug regulatory authorities in the UK and other countries issuing restrictions, including the advice to use it for the shortest time possible, which have continued to deter women from getting treatment. It has been blamed for both womb and breast cancer.GP data shows the number of British women on HRT halved from two to one million between 2002 and 2005.

Scientists experiment with human growth hormone stimulant

Washington: Scientists at the Univesity of Washington are working on an anti-ageing drug using a compound said to stimulate human growth hormone (Hgh) to give people more energy and cut their body fat.

Scientists at the University of Washington said the experimental growth hormone secretagogue forced the body to secrete growth hormone as it did in youth.

Almost 400 men and women aged 65-84 have taken part in a study in which they were given different amounts of the hormone. Their body lean muscle mass and strength were then measured. Lean body mass of about 1.5kg increased and physical function improved over the year.

Head researcher and professor of medicine George Merriam said the hormone was vital in childhood and its production peaked during puberty but declined with age. Hgh is only prescribable for children with a deficiency and adults with an abnormal defiency.

A secretagogue, such as that being reserached by the scientists, stimulates the body
into producing its own Hgh.

Hormone explains why some dieters fail

New York: Doctors at Columbia University Medical Centre believe they have discovered why some dieters find it difficult to maintain weightloss and pile the pounds back on. A hormone called leptin, which regulates the metabolism may be responsible.

Leptin levels fall when people diet making it increasingly harder to burn off calories, said the findings published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Dr Michael Rosenbaum, who led the research believes the findings could lead to a new diet drug containing leptin.

He said that leptin helps the body believe it is happy with a lower weight and help dieters keep off the pounds.

The research examined the reactions of 10 healthy men and women. As they lost weight their leptin levels fell. They were given leptin and maintained their weightloss.

In previous studies it has been found that leptin acts as an appetite suppressant. Levels also fall if we do not get enough sleep making us want to eat more.