New study – more evidence to suggest lowering GH and IGF-1 levels may help you live longer
Below you will see the highlights within a paper that was recently released that showed once again, the correlation between GH reduction and increased lifespan. For the layman reading, that means the lower your Growth Hormone levels, the longer you may live. The argument for lowering GH and IGF-1 further strengthens as we now have mechanistic, animal and human data to draw such a hypothesis. Once again, I need to stress the importance of drawing absolute conclusions from a study like this. The subjects studied in this paper, although humans, are a specific population group with a rare gene mutation. Although concerns of elevated GH and IGF-1 in the ageing community seem to be a potential cause for concern, we cannot say for sure just yet. We are still yet to see compelling evidence for either side of the argument.
I know everyone wants to ask what I think about this? I will tell you. For now, evolution has us stuck still. What you will notice in most cases of medical intervention is that when you manipulate one thing outside of homeostasis for a proposed benefit, there are often consequences elsewhere in the physiology. The Ying and Yang of Mother Nature is still the way of living for me. Not too much of something and not too little. What this usually means is little, to no medications and supplements at all. The questions I try to investigate is exactly where those middle grounds are. In another text, I will outline exactly what I am taking on a daily/weekly basis and why I take them.
By the way, this is for the life extension community. Bodybuilders in search of that extra extra, you still require large doses of rHGH far outside of this discussion. There is still no free lunch, for now. The goal with bodybuilding is not optimal health, but rather harm reduction. With that said, aside from the most extreme, I have seen for most bodybuilders to be overall healthy people because they are lean, stay active and stay away from other lifestyle temptations that may have a negative impact on health such as alcohol, sleep deprivation and excess fat gain.
Please see below for a link to the full study paper. I have simplified the highlights for those who have better things to do.
Aguiar-Oliveira MH, Bartke A. Growth hormone deficiency: health and longevity. Endocrine reviews 2018:er.2018-00216-er.2018-. http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/er.2018-00216
The important role of GH in the control of mammalian longevity was first deduced from extended longevity of mice with genetic GH-deficiency (GHD) or GH-resistance. Mice with isolated GHD (IGHD) due to GHRH or GHRH-R mutations, combined deficiency of GH, PRL, and TSH, or global deletion of GH receptors live longer than their normal siblings. They also exhibit multiple features of delayed and/or slower aging, accompanied by extension of healthspan.
The unexpected, remarkable longevity benefit of severe endocrine defects in these animals presumably represents evolutionarily conserved trade-offs among aging, growth, maturation, fecundity, and the underlying anabolic processes. Importantly, the negative association of GH signaling with longevity extends to other mammalian species, apparently including humans.
Data obtained in humans with IGHD type 1B, due to a mutation of the GHRHR gene, in the Itabaianinha County, Brazil, provide unique opportunity to study the impact of severe reduction in GH signaling on age-related characteristics, health, and functionality. Individuals with IGHD are characterized by proportional short stature, doll facies, high-pitched voices, and central obesity. They have delayed puberty, but are fertile and generally healthy. Moreover, these IGHD individuals are partially protected from cancer and some of the common effects of aging and can attain extreme longevity, 103 years in one case.
We believe that low, but detectable, residual GH secretion combined with life-long reduction of circulating IGF-1 and with some tissue levels of IGF-1 and/or IGF-2 preserved, may account for the normal longevity and apparent extension of healthspan in these individuals.