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Human Growth Hormone Overused for Small Kids

Human growth hormone (HGH) has been available from cadavers for over 50 years but 18 years ago, bioengineering made growth hormone widely and relatively inexpensively available. In July, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave approval to Eli Lilly and Co. to market Humatrope, its brand of human growth hormone, to unusually short but apparently healthy children. This is interesting in light of previous research that showed that using the growth hormone was absolutely useless for improving these kids' self-esteem.

Growth hormone does many things besides promote growth, and many endocrinologists think it has been misnamed. HGH regulates metabolism, converts fat into muscle and affects lipid levels. Many athletes are using HGH to build muscles and strength, and baby boomers who believe it has anti-aging benefits are able to get this potentially dangerous hormone far easier.

The Washington Post September 30, 2003 Page HE01

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