~SuziQ~ Posted July 1, 2003 Report Share Posted July 1, 2003 This is interesting~ (June 30) -- Daily injections of low-dose growth hormone may help overweight people lose body fat while maintaining muscle mass, according to early research from St. Louis University. Obese patients who got the injections lost modest amounts of weight, but researchers caution that it is too soon to know if the findings are significant. The research was presented at the 85th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Philadelphia. In the study, 59 people who averaged 40% above their ideal body weight were told to follow a calorie-restricted diet and exercise program. They also got either daily self-administered shots of low-dose growth hormone or placebo injections. One-third of the original participants dropped out during the six-month treatment phase, but only one patient left the study because of side effects. The rest did not want to follow the lifestyle guidelines or give themselves the daily injections. In earlier studies using higher doses of growth hormone, potentially serious side effects were commonly seen. These side effects included arthritis and insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes. Modest Weight Loss At the end of the study, the people who got the growth hormone had lost an average of five pounds of body fat, while those who did not receive the hormone lost nothing. The growth hormone group saw a 19% improvement in HDL, or good, cholesterol levels with no change in LDL, or bad, cholesterol levels. Lead researcher Stewart Albert, MD, says he does not believe growth hormone was directly responsible for the weight loss but it might have made it easier for people to maintain a healthier lifestyle. "If the growth hormone had any benefit, it was to allow people to continue with the diet and exercise," Albert tells WebMD. "It may be that growth hormone has a beneficial effect on appetite control or that because people didn't lose muscle mass they were able to exercise more. It will take much larger studies to answer these questions." Clinical endocrinologist Lawrence Frohman, MD, tells WebMD that the high dropout rate in the study and the moderate weight reductions in the growth hormone group make him skeptical about the clinical potential of this treatment. There are numerous over-the-counter products marketed as growth hormone for weight loss, sold over the Internet or in health stores. Frohman says the products are not growth hormone and they have not been subjected to clinical scrutiny to determine if they are safe. "Anything that is sold over the counter cannot be growth hormone, because growth hormone is regulated by the FDA," he says. "It is hard to get the actual content of what is in these products, but they are of limited to no value." SOURCES: The Endocrine Society 85th Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, June 19-22, 2003. Stewart G. Albert, MD, professor of internal medicine, Division of Endocrinology, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis. Lawrence A. Frohman, MD, clinical endocrinologist; professor of medicine, University of Illinois, Chicago. ? 2003 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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