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A new study finds a link between Ghrelin, Sarcopenia, and Growth Hormone

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A new study finds a link between Ghrelin, Sarcopenia, and Growth Hormone

A recent study conducted by the European Society of Endocrinology has concluded that Ghrelin, the so-called “hunger hormone” may prove to be an effective weapon in the battle against the dreaded disease called sarcopenia.

Sarcopenia is defined as the loss of muscle mass in elderly people who do not suffer any underlying disease that may cause muscle-wasting.

For the older, aging population, this is not an insignificant matter. Loss of muscle mass results in a loss of strength, which can result in challenges when performing many common tasks, such as lifting small objects, trouble maintaining balance which may result in severely debilitating falls, climbing stairs, and even getting out of a chair or bed.

The damage this does to performing the routine activities of daily living is immeasurable, and for many senior citizens results in an early change of residence to an assisted living facility.

Obviously, for older people, preventing sarcopenia should be high on the list of preventative measures to take to maintain their independence. And the hormone ghrelin may play a critical role in warding off the disease.

The European study discovered that delivering a specific type of ghrelin to older mice helped them to regain lost muscle and strength.

What is Ghrelin?

Ghrelin is a hormone that is involved in metabolism and energy balance. These functions are directly related to digestion and appetite, and therefore play a crucial role in preventing sarcopenia.

The are two types of ghrelin hormones: acylated (AG) and unacylated (UnAG). The study determined that UnAG delivered the protective benefit from muscle wasting.

Dr. Emanuela Agosti, and her fellow researches at the University of Piemonte Orientale in Italy, investigated how unAG influenced the age-related drop of muscle and usefulness, by either deleting the ghrelin gene in mice or overexpressing unAG. Muscle function as they aged was measured by a wire hanging test, during which "falling" and "reaching" scores were recorded, to determine whole-body strength and endurance.

Both the removal of the ghrelin gene and the overexpression of UnAG lowered age-associated diminution in muscle and performance. Despite both groups of animals displaying similar aging tendencies in body weight and muscle mass, the mice overexpressing UnAG maintained better muscle strength, performance, and higher metabolism similar to younger mice.

"Understanding the causes and effects of sarcopenia will improve our ability to prevent, detect, and hopefully manage this disease. These findings provide novel understanding and point to UnAG, or analogs, as a possible therapeutic target for future treatment," Dr. Agosti comments.

She continued: "Due to the worldwide increase in the elderly population, sarcopenia has an important social impact greatly affecting both aged people's quality of life and government health care costs. Therefore, therapeutic strategies aimed at preventing and/or reducing sarcopenia are of pivotal importance."

The study concluded that UnAG or perhaps drugs that act in a similar manner, can ward off sarcopenia and not result in weight gain.

And one of those drugs may be Human Growth Hormone (HGH)

That’s right. Here’s why. As mentioned earlier, Ghrelin is known as the “hunger hormone” since it is responsible for the pangs of hunger that appear when we don’t eat for longer than usual.

For countless thousands of years, humans lived as hunter-gathers. This nomadic lifestyle was characterized by feast-or-famine cycles. Consequently, our distant ancestors experienced hunger on a continual basis and were reminded of that by the pulsing stabs of hunger brought on by bursts of Ghrelin.

Their bodies responded by producing human growth hormone (HGH). HGH is released by the pituitary gland and is required for growth, developing a powerful immune system, healing wounds, increasing strength, burning fat, and regenerating organs and tissues.

There is nothing unnatural about this process. Researchers have concluded that growth hormone increases as the body requires a response to adverse conditions. And our ancestors were certainly no strangers to adversity.

The metabolic activities of growth hormone occur due to HGH acting directly on fat and muscle tissues by boosting levels of IGF-1, which is another hormone circulating in the blood.

IGF-1 and HGH work as a team and play a vital role in developing and maintaining muscle, increasing protein synthesis, and scorching body fat.

To summarize, hunger results in the release of Ghrelin, which stimulates both growth hormone and appetite. This allows the body to digest more food and store more fat. When combined with the increased energy boost due to enhanced metabolism, many people begin a strength training regimen that will slow down or prevent sarcopenia from advancing.

And Growth Hormone Therapy can take sarcopenia prevention to the next level

At our clinic, we take a holistic approach to maximizing all aspects of your health. We have decades of experience in growth hormone replacement therapy, testosterone replacement therapy, sermorelin therapy, and other treatments that you may need.

But we don’t stop there. We will work with you to design a fitness routine that will allow you to take advantage of the boost in your metabolism due to growth hormone replacement therapy. Also, we will give precise nutritional guidance, tips on stress reduction, and a broad range of approaches to battle “old-man-aging” and sarcopenia!

Contact us for a free, no-obligation discussion on what growth hormone can do for you.

References

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-09-ghrelin-effective-treatment-age-related-muscle.html

 

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