To dope or not to dope, that is the question…
Whether tis less nobler for athletes like Lance Armstrong and A-Rod to engage of the use of performance enhancing drug, testosterone and steroids in pursuit of big bucks and record setting physical feats, or for aging boomers as a means of being buff and staying “young,” as scribe Craig Glazer has often suggested.
A report last night on CNN, “Chasing Youth,” took the opposing view.
“Many are cashing in on a growing customer base outside of professional athletics,” CNN’s Anderson Cooper reports. “And more and more baby Boomers and others are turning toward performance enhancing drugs to regain what age has taken away. Some doctors are now selling the same substances as something of a fountain of youth.”
Seventy-four year-old doctor Jeffry Life and his company Cenergetics took in $100 million last years prescribing testosterone and human growth hormones (HGH) to oldsters trying to fend off Father Time, CNN reports.
“If you think it is too good to be true, you’re not alone,” CNN’s Kyung Lah reports. “Many doctors agree saying, sure, there may be short term gains but there will be long term costs.”
“It’s a fallacy to say that even in low doses that these drugs are not harmful,” says Dr. Tom Perls of Boston University. “I do believe that giving growth hormones for anti aging is quackery.”
There are no reputable studies that show the hormones actually stop aging and the use of HGH in particular can enlarge organs, cause high blood pressure and trigger cancer, Perls contends.
“These things are dangerous,” adds Dr. Ian Smith. “We’re talking liver abnormalities, tumors, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, testicular shrinkage – all kinds of problems using these drugs in a high quantity.
“The problem is, it’s not about aesthetics. Dr. Life looks like a young person but the question is, what’s happening in his biological age? What is happening on the inside? The outside does not necessarily mirror the inside.”
The Food & Drug Administration regulates these drugs and bans their usage outside of specific medical applications, such as young children with hormone deficiencies. However an effective loophole in “growth hormone deficiencies” in adults allows doctors to prescribe them for people looking for a fountain of youth.
“But when you use these anabolic steroids for a long period of time you really are stressing out your organs and your chemical messaging system,” Smith says, “and it can be a problem.”
Au contraire, Glazer says.
“For me it’s been great. I only have good things to say about it and I was as leery as anybody. And I have not had one doctor badmouth it, and most of them say it’s a good thing.”
The reason Glazer pays to play:
“Because it’s definitely a program that I believe is really good for you. In general I use it because there’s no doubt about it that with workouts and diet your muscles will be bigger and you get a more youthful physique.
“And the key hormone is testosterone. It will definitely increase your sex drive dramatically.”
What about the smaller winkie side of the equation?
“I haven’t seen that,” Glazer says. “But there’s a counter pill you can take once a week and it counteracts that possibility.”