- Human growth hormone and the temptations of biomedical enhancement
It is likely that humans have sought enhancements for themselves or their children for as long as they have recognised that improvements in individuals are a possibility. One genre of self-improvement in modern society can be called 'biomedical enhancements'. These include drugs, surgery and other medical interventions aimed at improving the mind, body or performance. This paper uses the case of human growth hormone (hGH) to examine the social nature of enhancements. Synthetic hGH was developed in 1985 by the pharmaceutical industry and was approved by the FDA for very specific uses, particularly treatment of growth hormone deficiency. However, it has also been promoted for a number of 'off label' uses, most of which can be deemed enhancements. Drugs approved for one treatment pave the way for use as enhancements for other problems. Claims have been made for hGH as a treatment for idiopathic shortness, as an anti-ageing agent and to improve athletic performance. Using the hGH case, we are able to distinguish three faces of biomedical enhancement: normalisation, repair and performance edge. Given deeply ingrained social and individual goals in American society, the temptations of biomedical enhancements provide inducement for individuals and groups to modify their situation. We examine the temptations of enhancement in terms of issues such as unnaturalness, fairness, risk and permanence, and shifting social meanings. In our conclusions, we outline the potentials and pitfalls of biomedical enhancement.
- Ghrelin: much more than a natural growth hormone secretagogue
Ghrelin, a 28 amino acid acylated peptide predominantly produced by the stomach, displays strong growth hormone-releasing activity mediated by the hypothalamus-pituitary GH secretagogue receptors that were found to be specific for a family of synthetic, orally active GH secretagogues. The discovery of ghrelin brings us to a new understanding of the regulation of GH secretion. However, ghrelin is much more than simply a natural GH secretagogue. It also acts on other central and peripheral receptors and exhibits other actions, including stimulation of lactotroph and corticotroph secretion, orexigenic, influences gastroenteropancreatic functions, and has metabolic, cardiovascular and antiproliferative effects. Knowledge of the whole spectrum of biologic activities of this new hormone will provide new understanding of some critical aspects of neuroscience, metabolism and internal medicine. In fact, GHS were born more than 20 years ago as synthetic molecules, eliciting the hope that orally active GHS could be used to treat GH deficiency as an alternative to recombinant human GH. However, the dream did not become reality and the usefulness of GHS as an anabolic anti-aging intervention restoring the GH/IGF-I axis in somatopause is still unclear. Instead, we now face the theoretic possibility that GHS analogues acting as agonists or antagonists could become candidate drugs for the treatment of pathophysiologic conditions in internal medicine totally unrelated to disorders of GH secretion.
- Insulin-like growth factors and cancer
Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) regulate important cellular activities involving cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Emerging evidence suggests that members of the IGF family, including IGF-1, IGF-2, the IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R), and the IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs), play important roles in the development and progression of cancer. Both in vitro and in vivo studies show that IGFs are strong mitogens for a variety of cancer cells. Growth hormone (GH) stimulates the production of IGF-1. Use of GH replacement therapy to improve physiological and psychological well-being and to prevent aging-related diseases has been recommended. Given the close relationship between GH and IGF-1, the long-term safety of GH treatment warrants a serious concern.
Maagdarmstoornissen: Candida infectie - Prikkelbaredarmsyndroom - Crohn - Colitus Ulcerosa - CVS/ME: Chronische vermoeidheid Syndroom - Diabetische complicaties: Bloeduiker stabilisatie - Neuropathie - Retinopathie - Nefropathie - Hart- en vaatziekten: Cardiomyopathie en Hartfalen - Hoge bloeddruk - Cholesterol verlaging - Aderverkalking (atherosclerose) - Spataderen - Levensverlenging: 100 jaren jong - DHEA - Melatonine - 65+ - Kanker: - Ondersteuningstherapie bij kanker - Bot en gewrichtsaandoeningen: - Artrose - Artritis - Osteoporose - Fibromyalgie: - Fibromyalgie - Urinewegaandoeningen: - Prostaatklachten - Blaasontsteking - Vrouwenklachten: Menopauze - Premenstrueelsyndroom - Overgewicht: - Overgewicht - SLIM - Oogaandoeningen: Staar - Slecht zien Andere artikelen: - HPU - Astma - Multiple Sclerose - Psoriasis - Depressie