'Miracle' HGH's Awful Truth: It May Not Work

Testimonials aside, study shows hormone benefits few patients
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2008 12:31 PM CST
Debbie Clemens, wife of former New York Yankees baseball pitcher Roger Clemens, left, looks toward her husband on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008, as he testified before the House...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Here’s the list of people human growth hormone is proven to help: the elderly, AIDS and tuberculosis patients, and people with hormone deficiencies. Baseball players aren’t on that list, Newsweek reports, and neither are thousands of ordinary people who believe HGH slows the aging process. “There’s a great deal of hype,” said one endocrinologist, “but there isn’t a great deal of evidence.”

For the elderly, who have stopped producing HGH naturally, the hormone is very beneficial, but younger people—like, say, pitcher Roger Clemens—are already producing plenty. Of course, clubhouse wisdom contradicts that. Team doctors swear it cuts recovery time in half. “Our observations tell us it works,” said a former NFL physician, “and it works well.” (Read more Roger Clemens stories.)