Ageless Forever Anti-Aging News Blog

Combined Testosterone and GH therapy for best results on body composition and safety profiles

Prevention of age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia)

Many studies have highlighted the importance of investigating all major hormones, and correcting deficiencies and imbalances if present.[1-8] Given the known mechanisms of testosterone and GH/IGF-1 in building muscle (and possibly also DHEA in elderly) it is reasonable that age-related low levels of anabolic hormones contribute over time to sarcopenia and frailty.[1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 10]

Thus, multiple small effects in aggregate can lead to adverse loss of muscle and disability. In this scenario, if replacement was to occur, it would require lower doses of multiple anabolic hormones. An added benefit to this approach would be fewer side effects from the use of lower hormone doses [11]. In addition, multiple anabolic hormone replacement might also have beneficial additive or even synergistic effects.[11-13]

A notable study investigated whether supplementation with testosterone and GH together, in physiological doses, results in greater improvements in body composition and muscle performance in older men, compared to testosterone supplementation alone...

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Relationship between Low Levels of Anabolic Hormones and Mortality in Older Men

The anabolic hormones testosterone, IGF-1 and DHEA (a pre-hormone) are receiving more and more attention by health professionals because the anabolic-catabolic imbalance that favors catabolism is a key factor in accelerated physical deterioration aging.[1, 2] Anabolic impairment can speed up the age-related decline in muscle mass and physical performance, increase in fat mass, development of insulin resistance, cardiovascular risk factors, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, conditions that in turn affect mortality.[3-18]

Interestingly, low levels of multiple anabolic hormones, rather than a single one, has a stronger association with age related muscle loss and the frailty syndrome. [19, 20] In men with chronic heart failure, deficiency of more than one anabolic hormone identifies patients with higher mortality rates.[21]

An interesting study sought to investigate the relationship between parallel deficiency of several anabolic hormones and mortality in a general population of older men, regardless of coexisting disease:[22]

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Multiple Hormonal Deficiencies in Anabolic Hormones in Frail Older Women

Reduced levels of anabolic hormones can contribute to aging and frailty. Most studies that have investigated this focused on the relationship between individual hormones and specific age-associated diseases. An interesting study in older women aged 70-79 years sought to examine the associations of individual anabolic hormonal deficiencies of free testosterone, IGF-1 and DHEA, and to assess their combined effects as well.[1]

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Association of IGF-1 (Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1) with Mortality, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer

IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1) is a peptide hormone, produced predominantly by the liver in response to pituitary GH (growth hormone).[1] IGF-1 is involved in a wide variety of physiological processes. In adults, IGF-1 has metabolic and anabolic effects, and it mediates many of the effects of GH.[2-4]
 
GH and IGF-1 levels are reduced with normal aging, a phenomenon called somatopause.[5-7] It has been suggested that somatopause is an age-related GH deficiency state.[5] Somatopause has been considered to contribute to physiological deterioration seen with aging, like reduced muscle mass, reduced exercise tolerance, decreased strength, osteoporosis, increased fat mass, elevated cardiovascular risk, impaired quality of life, cognitive/memory decline and reduced immunity.[7-12] These changes are similar to those seen in classic (non-aging related) GH deficiency (GHD).[13, 14]
 
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What's the relation between IGF-1 and Cancer?

In a previous post I outlined the U-shaped relationship between IGF-1 and all-cause mortality.

"Association of IGF-1 (Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1) with Mortality, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer"

A growing body of research shows that IGF-1 has a U-shaped relationship with other health outcomes as well, including cancer. This may come as a surprise, as IGF-1 is well-known to increase cancer risk...
 
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Testosterone Thresholds and Muscle Mass Gains Needed to Enhance Muscle Strength and Function

In a previous article "Combined Testosterone and GH therapy for best results on body composition and safety profiles" I covered a study showing that testosterone replacement therapy alone produced significant gains in total lean body mass, leg/arm muscle mass, strength and aerobic endurance, together with significant reductions in whole-body and trunk fat. [1] 
 
In the same study, addition of GH (growth hormone) further enhanced these beneficial results. 
 
In a follow-up to that that study, the researchers looked deeper into the data with the following analyses: [20] 
 
- Pathway analysis to test the hypothesis that testosterone and GH affected muscle mass directly and that a threshold change in lean tissue (muscle) mass was needed to generate significant improvements in muscle performance and physical function. 
 
- Bootstrap analysis to determine threshold hormone levels associated with threshold changes in whole-body and appendicular lean mass that would be necessary for improving muscle performance and functional outcomes.
 
Here I report on the results of this insighful analysis...
 
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Dr. Pierce's Medical Organization Affiliations

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