There has been a lot of talk recently about anti-aging. We must first consider exactly what aging is and how can we control it? As a molecular biologist and physician, I guess I must say that aging is actually an accumulation of damage to molecules, cells, tissues and ultimately organs. The maximum known life span in humans is 122 years, while the maximum life span of a mouse is about 3 years. This is explained by many reasons: genetic differences between humans and mice, fertility rate, efficiency of DNA repair and old 'buzzword', different free radical production rates etc. Antioxidants, including vitamins A, B-6, B-12, C and E are thought to neutralize free radicals and somehow prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Many studies show the benefits of beta-carotene, folate and selenium. These antioxidants are found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. I suppose that as a scientist I am cynical about the benefit of these adjuvants in pill form.
With regard to the use of hormones, I will stand out and examine the evidence supporting their use. When we talk about hormones, we usually mean taking DHEA, testosterone, estrogen and probably human growth hormone. Hormones are chemicals necessary for the proper functioning of your vital organs, which naturally decline with age. It's easy to see why people believe that restoring their level leads to the previous levels. Unfortunately, life is never so simple. We all know that HRT can restore skin, vaginal secretions, energy, etc. of a woman, but it also carries risks for older groups. Look at the precursor hormone DHEA, which is converted in the body into estrogen and testosterone. DHEA has long been touted as an anti-aging therapy, used to fight chronic diseases and maintain energy and vigor. Supporters say that it also slows down aging, increases muscle and bone strength, burns fat, improves cognition, and boosts immunity. However, an October 2006 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine by Sreekumaran Nair, MD, an endocrinologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, found no evidence that taking DHEA reverses the effects of aging .
DHEA is the most abundant natural hormone that circulates in the human body. It is secreted by the adrenal glands and reaches its peak in the early twenties before declining with age. The decline with age of DHEA levels is correlated with many age-related changes, including peak muscle mass at games, bone density, and physical and mental endurance. the ability to fight diseases. The study had significant beneficial effects on one or the other of these factors in men and women aged 60 to 70 years. I do not mind getting noticed on some issues, but not this one, because I do not really know. I do not expect its use to be regulated by the FDA in the United States. This hormone is widely promoted and used as an anti-aging nutritional supplement by people who hope that it will restore the pleasure of youth or increase longevity. I suppose science does not approve of its use, although I am convinced that many people would disagree with me about it. The increasing use of testosterone is also to be monitored. Male menopause, does it really exist? We have known for many years that lower testosterone levels are linked to decreased energy and libido, decreased muscle mass, reduced mental capacity and even osteoporosis. We also know that more and more men are taking testosterone, but little is known about the long-term effects of testosterone therapy for this purpose.
In essence, doctors are uncomfortable with the prescription of this hormone because of the lack of scientific evidence to determine if declining levels are unhealthy, particularly because of suspicion about possible risks, including prostate problems. We know that about 20% of men aged 60 and over have lower testosterone levels than normal (testosterone deficiency). The question is, should not these men be treated? In one sentence I would agree. If a patient experiences a loss of energy, reduced strength or cognitive abilities, or less interest or sexual power, I would certainly check his testosterone levels as well as his thyroid levels, mood, and medications. If his testosterone proved weak, I would treat him. In men with testosterone deficiency, testosterone therapy can restore sexual function and protect against heart disease (atherosclerosis). In addition, some men taking testosterone therapy report an increase in their energy, libido and well-being. Indeed, I would not deprive the patient of testosterone if he was aware of the potential benefits and risks of the drug. Although potentially beneficial, high doses of testosterone can cause sleep apnea, infertility, and can also cause prostate and breast cancer problems in humans. Patients with a family history of prostate or breast cancer should be cautioned. It can be taken in tablet form but many doctors say that testosterone taken by this method can create an unfavorable cholesterol profile, thus increasing the risk of blood clots and heart and liver problems. There are several other types of testosterone treatment. Intramuscular injections of testosterone (Delatestryl, Depo-Testosterone) are safe and effective. Injections are given every two weeks or so. A patch containing testosterone (Androderm) is applied each night on the back, abdomen, upper arm or thigh. The application site is rotated to maintain seven-day intervals between applications at the same site to reduce skin reactions. In Ireland, your GP may prescribe a testosterone gel (TestoGel) to apply to the skin of the bottom of the abdomen, upper arm or shoulder. I think it also comes in the form of chewing gum.
Many patients are asking me questions about my attitudes towards the increasing use of growth hormone. I guess my early temperate memories are detrimental because of my time spent working as a young doctor at Our Lady's Hospital & Children's Hospital in Dublin in the late eighties, when the news surfaced The hormone they used was involved in many cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD). This has upset the interest in lengthening procedures in our orthopedic department. The drug has also been used in children with kidney disease, Turner syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome and loss of muscle mass associated with AIDS and HIV. We knew that growth hormone caused growth during childhood and helped maintain the tissues throughout our lives. We also know that the level of growth hormone in our body begins to drop towards the middle of life. in our 40s. Studies of adults with growth hormone deficiency show that growth hormone injections can: increase bone density, increase muscle mass, decrease body fat, improve mood and motivation , and increase the exercise capacity. It is not difficult to understand why people believe that synthetic growth hormone could help healthy older adults, whose growth hormone levels are naturally low, to find a part of their youth and their vitality. We do not have a lot of clinical data, but most studies show that growth hormone injections can increase muscle mass and reduce the amount of body fat in healthy older people. It was not clear whether they had become stronger or if their mood had increased Studies have shown a number of side effects, including: swelling of arms and legs, symptoms similar to those of arthritis, carpal tunnel symptoms, headaches, muscle aches and, unfortunately, diabetes, hardening of the arteries and hypertension.
Many patients also ask me if the hormones will restore the vitality of youth. I really do not like to look like a deadly joy, especially since I am constantly asked to speak at conferences about aging and I am realize that this part of medicine is in its infancy. I am also aware that the new science of nutrigenomics will become more important. In essence, I would love to have a hormonal response to stop the aging process, but none of these supplements have sufficient medical evidence to corroborate the claims of aging enthusiasts about the risks they entail. We all know that post-menopausal hormone replacement therapy also carries significant risks, including breast cancer and an increased risk of blood clots leading to heart disease and heart attack. However, unlike other hormones, it has been the subject of much research and I have prescribed it for all years. She valued her benefits in the treatment of mental alertness, hot flashes, vaginal dryness and fragile skin. The real question at fifty dollars is whether the theory of calorie restriction actually applies to humans. I believe the theory is based on studies in animals, including rats, mice, fish, flies and worms. These studies have shown that the lifespan of each species can be prolonged by reducing the number of calories consumed. Clinical trials in humans tend to show that people in underweight are more susceptible to illness and death. We should make sure that low calorie diets are always rich in fruits and vegetables so that dieters always get the nutrients they need.
Finally, I really think that aging is a more complex process than the one currently perceived. It concerns many aspects of tissue function, especially the genetic makeup, and it is still unlikely that a pharmaceutical product can cure many of the ills caused by age. This does not mean that we should not continue to chase the youth elixir. I think that exercises such as intense exercises in recent years can actually increase oxidized free radicals and shorten life. Any A & E officer will inform you of the number of myocardial infarctions from badminton, tennis or even golf courses. Others say that's exactly what people are doing in retirement. This is not to say that controlled exercise is of course beneficial for heart disease. Your best bet for a long and healthy life is to have good parents, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, maintain a healthy weight, do some exercise every day, to not smoke, to use sunscreen and to laugh a lot … I guess all the things I do not do!