What if I told you could live to be age one hundred in as healthy and vigorous condition as you re now? Or if you are already suffering the ill effects of aging, you could turn back the clock twenty years and stay that way until the century mark? Would you be interested? And what if that extra thirty years added to the average life span allowed you to live long enough to take advantage of new scientific breakthroughs so that you healthy functional life span could be extended to 120 or 130 years and beyond? And what if the launching pad to that wonderful prospect involved taking a substance that caused you body to lose unwanted fat and build muscle, re grew your organs, improved your heart and lung activity, made studs out of men, increased sexual pleasure in women, and gave you the energy, sleep, and wonderful sense that the world is your oyster? Would you say, ”What is this substance and how can I get some?“
There is such a substance. It is an Alice in Wonderland kind of hormone. Too little of it makes us dwarfs and too much of it turns us into giants. But the right amount of it at the right time promises to bring about the most fundamental revolution in society today- the beginning of the end of aging.
On July 5, 1990, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine published a clinical study on a drug that send shock waves throughout the world. It was instantly hailed as a fountain of youth. In a scene that seemed like something out of the movie Cocoon, injections of synthetic human growth hormone- a substance naturally produced by the pituitary gland-had turned twelve men, ages sixty-one to eighty-one, with flabby, frail, fat bulging bodies, into their sleeker, stronger, younger selves. In language rarely used in conservative medical journals, Daniel Rudman, M.D., and his colleagues at the Medical College of Wisconsin wrote: ”The effects of six months of human growth hormone on lean body mass and adipose-tissue mass were equivalent in magnitude to the changes incurred during 10 to 20 years of aging.“
In interviews with reporters, the men in the study and their wives reported other startling changes. The gray hair of a sixty-five year old man was turning black, The wife of another man had trouble keeping up with her newly energized husband even though she was fifteen years younger. A third man, who saw the wrinkles disappear on his face and hands, was now opening jars with ease, passing younger people on the street, and gardening for hours on end. Some of the users and their spouses made sly references to reinvigorated sex lives. What happened to the control group? In group 2, as they were called in the study, ”there was no significant change in lean body mass, the mass of adipose tissue, skin thickness, or bone density during treatment.“ I other words, they continued aging on schedule.