"GROWTH HORMONE SECRETAGOGUE THERAPY PROVIDES EFFECTIVE RELIEF OF MOST SYMPTOMS RELATED TO CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME IN A PROSPECTIVE PATIENT CENTERED OUTCOME STUDY." ~ Paul R. Cheney, Holly Keever
Recent studies have linked low growth hormone levels as evidenced by low IGF-1 levels to a subset of patients who meet criteria for Chronic Fatigue Syndrom (CFS)(1). Therapy with growth hormone given daily for nine months showed significant improvement in over all symtomatology. Given the potential concerns for growth hormone use as well as cost, we undertook a study using plant derived, bioactive polypeptides with demonstrated ability to raise IGF-1 levels as a treatment modality in a prospective, patient centered outcome study on CFS.
Fourteen patients who met the criteria for CFS were treated once a day for five days out of seven using a specially configured secretagogue with seven bioactive polypeptides known to increase IGF-1 levels in human subjects. Patient outcomes were assessed using a physician assigned score of global response as well as patient defined outcomes using a clinical questionnaire validated against the MOS SF-36 short form. The patients were treated for ninety days and IGF-1 levels were drawn at baseline and at sixty days.
A majority of patients (8 of 14) or 57% reported a beneficial response which ranged from fair to excellent as judged by both physician and patient scoring systems with an average drop of 35% (range 21% to 59%) in patient symptoms scored as measured by a self-report multiple symptom questionnaire. The symptoms which were the most responsive to this therapy were fatigued and muscle pain, but the symptom improvement was notably broad based. Three out of eight responders termed their response excellent. Examination of the excellent responders demonstrated that they had significant deviation in their IGF-1 levels compared to the group as a whole, both higher than and lower than the other eleven patients. Most interesting was evidence that the bioactive polypeptide caused a "normalization" of IGF-1, lowering it in cases in which it was elevated and raising it in cases in which it was low especially in those who responded best to it. In this regard, secretagogue therapy appears to be "adaptogenic" and therefore may be a superior therapy from a safety stand point compared with exogenous growth hormone.
Patients treated with bioactive polypeptides which act as growth hormone secretagogues was shown to significantly improve a majority of CFS patients as assessed by both physician and patient derived outcomes studies. The direction and degree of IGF-1 response appears to be independent of clinical response and there is evidence to suggest that the response is adaptogenic and capable of raising or lowering IGF-1 levels with clinical improvement in either case.
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