Lack of human growth hormone could prevent diabetes

Thu, 17 Feb 2011
A new study has claimed that the lack of growth hormone activity could protect very short people from diseases such as cancer and diabetes . The research, published in Science Translational Medicine, examined people from remote villages in the Andes mountains in Ecuador over a period of 22 years.

The team focused on community members who suffer from Laron syndrome, a gene mutation that prevents the body from using growth hormone, which is especially prevalent in these villages. Those with Laron's were found to have very low insulin levels and low insulin resistance, which could be why there was an absence of diabetes .

Valter Longo, of the University of Southern California, commented "The growth hormone receptor-deficient people don't get two of the major diseases of aging. They also have a very low incidence of stroke, but the number of deaths from stroke is too small to determine whether it's significant."

It was claimed that if high growth factor levels do become a risk factor for cancer in the same way that cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, then treatments that reduce the growth factor could become the new statins .

It was also shown that serum from the villagers with Laron syndrome helped protect DNA against oxidative damage and mutations and also promoted the suicide of cells that became highly damaged.
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