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Lack of HGH in children-supplement or not?
Posted by: Ian
Date: May 16, 2001 11:01 AM

My reason for writing is about my son, who is now 16 and a half. He is, and has always been very small for his age. He has had tests when he was younger at Stanford and at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London. These tests, observations and evaluations ascertained that he did not have any syndromes such as dwarfism, and that his growth hormone levels were at the low end of normal. The recommendation was daily synthetic growth hormone injections until he was 18. My wife and I considered this very carefully. We read up on the past problems with human growth hormone taken from cadavers, and the problems with CJD that resulted. We read of the lack of long-term studies (i.e. >10 years) of the use of synthetic HGH. We decided that emotionally and spiritually, that this course of action would not be a good one for him - being small never killed anyone, although it could be difficult. It was a hard decision, not taken lightly. He has continued to grow slowly and steadily, and is now smaller than all his peers. He is less than 5 feet. We have pursued homeopathic treatment for him over the years. With the so called growth window closing rapidly, I ask you some questions pertaining to my son:
· 1) I feel I need to look again at the possibility of HGH for him, and was wondering if you knew of any good information that might be more up to date.
· 2) Is HGH now given orally or intravenously?
· 3) What about the other substances you mentioned: creatine, or Orthinine and L-Arginine. (He took this for 2 years starting when he was 9) How appropriate would they be for him?
· 4) You recommend soy protein powder, but soy products have been strongly associated with cancer - where do you stand on that?
· Taking on board your comments on exercise, I should say that he does not exercise much and is not interested in sports. He is also very dyslexic, withgreat difficulty in reading, which manifests as poor 'whole word' memory, (but is good at phonics). Any other information, contacts, sources of substances, (especially the UK), would be great to know.

RE: Lack of HGH in children-supplement or not?
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: May 16, 2001 11:30 AM

I strongly support the use of HGH for people who are deficient. This includes rare cases in young people, like your son, and also most people over 45 who become growth hormone deficient as a function of aging. Growth hormone regulates two things: cell division and protein synthesis, in other words the two most important issues going on in human metabolism. In young people, in my opinion, only those who are deficient should receive supplementation. It has been used to try to make children into athletes and this is a misuse of a good thing from my point of view. In a deficiency state however, slowed growth results in short stature and this can be devastating for a person's self-esteem. Real HGH can only be given by subcutaneous injection (like insulin). There is a tremendous amount of profit driven hype out there about "oral HGH." There is no such thing. Of course you could put it in a mouth, but a 191 amino acid polypeptide is not going to absorb intact through a mucous membrane. If it makes it so the stomach, there it would be destroyed by the acid environment. The so-called "oral HGH" is not HGH at all, but various formulas said to induce the pituitary to release HGH. They have minimal effect. Creatine, ornithine and L-arginine are wonderful supplements, but they are not HGH and they do not significantly increase HGH in HGH deficiency states, although they do have a minimal effect. I would not rely on them to correct a true deficiency state. What your son needs is llengthening of long bones and only HGH is going to achieve this in a deficiency state. As to protein powder, unless one is engaged in heavy athletic activity, there is ordinarily no need for this. (If you know of any proof that soy causes cancer, I would like to see it. That idea makes little sense to me.) Your son needs to digest his food well, especially at this critical time in his growth using HGH. I strongly suggest oral enzymes. Finally, I would guess that your son should be on HGH for the rest of his life. HGH has many important functions in the body. Lengthening long bones, although dramatic, is only one of its functions. There are HGH receptors in every cell of the body. To spend a lifetime deficient would be to be unhealthy in many ways. There are only two HGH preparations worth considering, in my opinion. The best one is Humatropin made by Eli Lilly and close behind is Genotropin by Upjohn.

RE: Lack of HGH in children-supplement or not?
Posted by: Ian Warder
Date: May 16, 2001 7:58 PM

Thanks for your reply, and the good information. My wife and I will talk with our son, and look at getting a measure of his HGH levels done as soon as possible. He was right on the border of being deficient, though not actually deficient. Is that important, well perhaps if the problem is with utilization of HGH, rather than a shortage. The doctors did not know when we asked them

Also you mentioned he would have to take HGH all his life, which is a daunting prospect... all the more reason I think to get the levels measured. Some people do grow slowly, so it is difficult to see if he will be short or really short.

I would be inteested to hear if others have had experiences in similat situations.

RE: Lack of HGH in children-supplement or not?
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: May 16, 2001 8:09 PM

One further comment. The method we have used until recently to measure HGH is called the IGF-1 (or "Somatomedin-C") test. It is not at all accurate; but now we have a new test to measure the 24 hour urine output of HGH, a highly accurate test. This test is available through AAL Labs here in the Colonies. I don't know about England.

RE: Lack of HGH in children-supplement or not?
Posted by: Ian Warder
Date: May 17, 2001 7:16 PM

Thanks for the information about the new test method, I will check if it is available in England and see if my son wants to pursue it. I must say that when we talked with the top consultants at Great Ormond Street, 7 years ago about my sons situation, we definitely felt that there was a lot of uncertainty about the actual effects we would see if we ave him HGH injections- in other words they could not say unambiguously that HGH injections would make a difference, because the levels in my son were not clearly in the deficient range. With the possible inaccuracy in the test, I think we should reexamine it.
You said "There are HGH receptors in every cell of the body. To spend a lifetime deficient would be to be unhealthy in many ways." Could you briefly elucidate the ways in which poor health might occur, or direct me to somewhere I can read more about this.
Once again, thanks for your help

RE: Lack of HGH in children-supplement or not?
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: May 18, 2001 2:57 AM

In a nutshell deficiency of HGH results in uneven cell division and sluggish protein synthesis. This presents as many of the effect of aging, or if one is young as premature aging: fatigue, slowed mentation, difficulty focusing, dry thinning skin, loss of muscle mass. There is a plethora of information on the Internet. Use your search engine. Some of it is just hype for "oral" HGH. You can ignore that, but some of it is in the league with my article (which you can find on this website).

This Thread has been closed


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