12 February 2009

Hormones of youth

Today, more than a hundred hormones are known. However, only five of them help us to fight with age. How to restore the decreasing supply of hormones over the years? And is it safe to do this?

Orchestra of YouthThe essence of anti–aging endocrinology is quite simple - to achieve the hormonal background characteristic of a person in his youth.

Sex hormones are the absolute masters of our well–being. Remember: menopause plays with many ladies, just like the ninth wave with fragile boats! Female hormones estrogens (there are three types of them) make the skin smooth and shiny, fill with energy. And recent statistical studies have shown that later menopause means longer life. Male hormones (androgens) stimulate metabolism, make a person active, and a slim figure. The most important among them is testosterone, it is responsible for our passion, aggressive and self–confident behavior in sex, and in general in life, which distinguishes many men so favorably. Alas, over the years it also becomes less.

Growth hormone has long been used in medicine to treat congenital or acquired growth arrest. However, in the 90s, American scientists discovered its rejuvenating properties. It turned out that people who retained mental clarity and youthfulness to a very old age naturally have an increased level of it. After six months of using the hormone, the elasticity of the skin improved in sixty-year-olds and the replacement of adipose tissue with muscle tissue took place!

DHEA. This abbreviation hides a hormone with the unpronounceable name dehydroepiandrosterone. It is produced by the adrenal glands and is a semi-product of the synthesis of male and female sex hormones. At the age of 25, people have its maximum level, but by 40 its number is halved. The first experiments showed that DHEA injections prolonged the life of laboratory animals by 50%, gave them energy. Subsequently, scientists found that a low level of this hormone in the blood is associated with an increased risk of cancer, osteoporosis, myocardial infarction, Alzheimer's disease. While a sufficient amount of it improves the immune system, puts sleep in order, protects against stress.

And the DHEA also determines whether the calories "eaten" will be stored as fat or processed into energy.

Melatonin helps to maintain a youthful appearance due to a fairly simple mechanism. He is a natural sleeping pill. And it is responsible for the fact that in the evening you feel tired and want to sleep. And since cell renewal occurs in a dream, it is impossible to think of a better course of rejuvenation. Melatonin helps to cope with the stresses that are responsible for premature aging. Studies conducted in St. Petersburg by Academician Vladimir Anisimov, President of the Gerontological Society of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Professor Vladimir Havinson showed powerful antioxidant properties of melatonin, which are not comparable with the action of vitamins C and E and many other well-known drugs. The only "but" – dosages are selected strictly individually. Buying melatonin at a pharmacy at your discretion is not quite right. Alas, like DHEA, its number decreases significantly after forty years.

Natural or syntheticThe first hormonal drugs owe their origin to the unfortunate animals and were extracted – horror, horror!

– from their pituitary gland, thyroid gland, adrenal glands, prostate gland, ovaries. And growth hormone was originally extracted from the pituitary gland of deceased people. In addition to ethical issues, the use of these 100% natural products was fraught with the risk of infection and allergies. And such drugs are expensive.

The revolution occurred when scientists learned how to get hormones artificially. An exact copy of the natural ones, they were deprived of their side effects.

Today, bioidentical hormones (normally present in the human body) are used in anti-aging endocrinology. They can be natural and genetically engineered. The natural ones, first of all, include phytoestrogens extracted from plants. And DHEA is isolated from the American yam plant. However, it is still possible to find estrogens obtained from... the urine of pregnant mares. Growth hormone is obtained only by synthesis, it does not differ in composition from natural human.

Swallow? Stabbing? Sculpt?Growth hormone is used today only in injections.

And drugs that stimulate the production of their own growth hormone are in tablets. Yes, there are such, too, but they can only be recommended by a doctor, and only for medicinal purposes.

Male and female hormones are often "enclosed" in creams, gels and patches. Such a variety of forms is designed to resist side effects and... our carelessness. For example, active equine estrogens (which are in tablets from the urine of pregnant mares) have a bad effect on the liver, especially if the drug is not used according to the instructions, so caring pharmacologists have turned the pills into a cream. And since the cream is not always applied according to the instructions, pharmacologists have developed even more convenient patches for use. They are attached to the outside of the forearm and secrete active substances during the day.

Melatonin and DHEA are available in tablets and capsules.

To drink or not to drinkMany patients are convinced that hormone therapy is not safe.

And in fact, there are grounds for concern.

Sergey Shevlyagin, Candidate of medical Sciences, practicing in Russia and America, did not deny the dangers of hormones. However, he assured that with a competent approach, it is minimal. "Any substitution therapy should be carried out after a thorough examination, which will allow you to anticipate possible side effects for each individual and minimize them."

But the professor of the Department of Endocrinology of the I.M. Sechenov MMA, Vladimir Fadeev, treats the rejuvenating properties of hormone therapy with great concern. "With hormone deficiency, the beginning of replacement therapy is always accompanied by an improvement in the condition. This led scientists to the idea of using hormonal drugs for rejuvenation. But they began to be appointed unreasonably widely! The fact that hormonal drugs are now publicly available and produced on an industrial scale also played a role...Another problem is the lack of studies of a long–term prognosis: what will happen to people who are prescribed hormone therapy in 20, 30 years?".   

Moving on to actionThe moral taken out of conversations with specialists is as follows.

If you resort to age-related hormone therapy, then with great caution. And the correct algorithm of actions is as follows.

Before you start therapy, you will definitely be offered to determine your cholesterol level, measure blood pressure, take a stress test, women - do a mammogram, men – check the state of the prostate. After a preliminary examination, a hormonal analysis will be performed.

Moreover, even laboratory tests show how different the anti-age approach is from traditional medicine. There is a range of norms, and the spread can be from 1 to 99. Therefore, if the value is "2", the traditional doctor will say that this is normal. But an anti-age endocrinologist, who is called to look to the future, will take the data more carefully.

You will need one hormone or several in a fight with time, depending on your state of health and the goal you want to achieve. Throughout the treatment, the hormone level should be regularly rechecked, and the dose should be adjusted.

As with any method, anti-aging endocrinology has side effects. For example, when prescribing growth hormone, fluid retention and increased intracranial pressure are sometimes observed. Fortunately, all these complications are reversible and disappear with a change in dose.

Sergey Shevlyagin: "A patient comes and complains: life does not please, fatigue overcame. I don't eat much, I work out in the gym, and my stomach is growing. What to do? You measure the testosterone level, prescribe androgen replacement therapy in combination with growth hormone, and he's fine again. Thanks to modern technology, it is quite possible to find the perfect recipe for well-being. But this is a time-consuming and complex process. But the elasticity of the skin improves, the condition of the hair, part of the adipose tissue is replaced by muscle. In addition, a person has the desire and strength to do something with himself - at least to contact a cosmetologist. Eternal youth is still, of course, a dream, but it makes sense to rest until the last to delay the onset of moral and physical decrepitude."

Look at our anti-age doctors, you won't give one his age!

But is it possible to keep your hormones "in the green range" for as long as possible? The answer is embarrassingly banal advice: less stress, good sleep, feasible physical activity for pleasure and a Mediterranean diet – lots of vegetables, olive oil, seafood. Well, yes, of course, in a natural way, time does not deceive…

Question priceIn the USA, about a thousand people have been continuously receiving substitution therapy with small doses of growth hormone and androgens for about ten years, and they are not going to refuse treatment.

In most cases, the limiting factor for the continuation of hormone therapy is the price. Practically no drug is produced in Russia, they are all very expensive. The price of a full monthly course starts from $1000-1200. The upper limit is unlimited and depends on the state of a person's health. The standard price is about $2000 per month. Maintenance therapy, which can be prescribed 12-15 months after the start of treatment – $ 800-$ 1500.

Published on the URA-Inform websitePortal "Eternal youth" www.vechnayamolodost.ru


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