ST. LOUIS, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- A U.S. physician says research indicates a compound acting in the opposite way as growth hormone may reverse some signs of aging.
Dr. John Morley of Saint Louis University in Missouri says the finding is significant since many older people currently believe it is growth hormone that works as a fountain of youth.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds it was the growth hormone-releasing hormone antagonist MZ-5-156 that had positive affects on several signs of aging in the SAMP8 mouse model -- a strain engineered for studies of the aging process.
The researchers say MZ-5-156 had positive effects on oxidative stress in the brain, improved cognition, and helped telomerase activity -- the actions of an enzyme which protects DNA material -- that helps increase life span. The compound may also help inhibit several human cancers, including that of the prostate, breast, brain and lung.
"Many older people have been taking growth hormone to rejuvenate themselves," Morley says in a statement. "These results strongly suggest that growth hormone, when given to middle aged and older people, may be hazardous."