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The Role of the Pituitary

Discussion in 'The Epi-Paleo Diet' started by QiGuy1997, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. QiGuy1997

    QiGuy1997 New Member

    Something that I've seen often is the argument that growth hormone is the youth hormone and the pituitary is the "master gland". However, some things seem to challenge this thought. First of all, reduced igf-1 (hence, lowered growth hormone) is repeatedly associated with longer life-spans. In fact, the way that calorie restriction is postulated to lengthen life-span is by lowering igf-1 pathway signalling. This effect is well documented and supported. This makes me wonder, why do we designate growth hormone as the "youth hormone" and attempt to actuallly boost it? This seems slightly backwards.
    Even more shocking are the effects shown from hypophysectomy, the complete removal of the pituitary gland (I'm not actually suggesting this). A scientist named Deneckla found that the pituitary "may be responsible for a considerable part of the total 75% decline in the MOC (Minimum 02 consumption AKA metabolic rate) with age".
    "Response curves to injected thyroxine indicated that immature rats were three times more responsive to thyroxine than adult rats. All the major endocrine ablations were performed in this and earlier work, and only pituitary ablation (a) restored in adults part of the responsiveness to thyroxine found in immature rats and (b) arrested the normal age-associated decrease in responsiveness to thyroxine in immature rats." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC301501/

    So, there appears to be a substance in the pituitary which characterizes aging by reducing the body's sensitivity to thyroid hormone and reducing the metabolic rate. This was clarified when the ablated pituitary resulted in a partial reversal of the thyroxine insensitivity and prevented the otherwise expected further reduction in thyroxine sensitivity. Deneckla went so far as to call this the DECO hormone (reducing consumption of oxygen hormone) and that "a newly described pituitary factor is used as an example of a possible endocrine mechanism by which the body might control it's own demise".

    Furthering on this research, a scientist named Everitt performed a series of full pituitary removals on rats. He found that pituitary removal reduced age and obesity related diseases such as proteinuria and renal histopathology. It also prevented the atrophication of the hind legs of old male Wistar rats.

    My point here is not to make any particular claims. I simply want to open up a discussion on the broader role of the pituitary and perhaps growth hormone/igf-1 with relation to aging. Perhaps classifying growth hormone, and the pituitary gland, as simple youth promoters is a mistake. Is it necessarily the DECO, death orchestrating hormone? Maybe, I'm not sure. I'm certainly not going to pursue increasing my pituitary function in light of some of this unresolved and contradictory information. I'm just interested in opening up this discussion.

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