Strange Assault Against
Human Growth Hormone
By James Donahue
The U.S. Senate recently
wasted a lot of time in hearings over the behavior of baseball players Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee, both accused of using
human growth hormone to enhance their game.
One news report noted
that Clemens’ wife, Debbie, also admitted taking the hormone. The story strangely implied that Mrs. Clemens suffered
ill effects after receiving an injection before posing with her husband for a 2003 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition photo
The story said she suffered
“circulation difficulties the same night and the day afterward, but did not seek medical attention.”
We find it difficult
to believe human growth hormone would cause a reaction like that in anyone, and especially a healthy individual like Debbie
Clemens. This product has been a growing fad, if not an important new health link for people who can afford it, all over the
That is because the hormone,
known as HGH, has been discovered to be a natural substance produced in the pituitary gland that stimulates growth and cell
production. It is believed to help in calcium retention thus keeping bones healthy, controls sugar and insulin levels, assists
the body’s natural immune system, and some believe it reverses the effects of aging.
The issue before our
legislators and the Baseball Commission is that HGH, like steroids, is thought to also help build muscle mass. Thus the use
of the hormone is considered some kind of crime among high-paid athletes because it may give them an unfair advantage in competition
with other people who do not have access to HGH.
That Clemens’ powerful
pitching arm has propelled him among the super stars in baseball, having earned 354 major league wins and seven Cy Young Awards,
may make him subject to suspicion. And perhaps injections of HGH helped him be a better pitcher than he already was. These
are issues that are best dealt with by the people who pay Clemens his yearly salary of $160 million.
We don’t think
it is a matter that should be taking up the time of our legislators, especially now in the midst of dealing with the real
corruption going on in our nation’s capital.
We especially wonder
why anyone would consider an injection of HGH as a crime, especially by people not involved in athletic competition. This
is but one of the many new and exciting discoveries helping humans fight off the effects of aging and some believe, giving
hope for longer and healthy life styles.
Anti-aging hormone supplements,
indeed, sound wonderful. Promoters say they firm up flabby muscles, reduce wrinkles and even ignite the sex drive. You might
have noticed that many actors and famous television personalities, including news anchors, have been looking much younger
than their years. We believe they have all been receiving regular injections of HGH, said to cost up to $1,000 a month. But
then, they can afford such things.
While there is no proof
HGH can turn back the clock, it seems to make us look and feel better as we enter our twilight years. So why knock it?
Some critics warn that
there have been no long-term studies and that no one knows what happens when HGH is used for years. Does it increase a risk
of cancer or other late-life illnesses? Since many of us are already in those twilight years when we start taking HGH, why
should we really care about its impact 20 years down the road. If we are still around to find out, it means HGH was more effective
than we ever dreamed it could be.