Ergogenics

  [Definitie:] "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance." (Wilmore and Costill)

  Nieuwsbrief over doping, supplementen, voeding en training

  Groeihormoon       Kadavergroeihormoon       Creutzfeldt-Jakob       Bovine growth hormone    

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Self-administration of cadaveric growth hormone in power athletes

Letters to the Editor

The Lancet Vol 341(8847) Mar 20, 1993 pp768-769
Deyssig, Roman; Frisch, Herwig
Department of Endocrinology, University Children's Clinic, 1090 Wien, Austria

Sir,

With the association between use of pituitary-derived growth hormone and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, keeping patients informed without causing unnecessary alarm can be difficult. Knowing about the potential hazard by the use of cadaveric growth hormone, we report risky use of this type of growth hormone for non-medical purposes and without a specialist's prescription by some power athletes, often in combination with androgenic-anabolic steroids, to increase muscle strength and reduce fat mass.

The cadaveric growth hormone is available on the black market and is about half the price of recombinant growth hormone. The source of the cadaveric growth hormone is the former Soviet Union where pituitary-derived growth hormone is still produced. We presume that this group of growth hormone recipients is not adequately informed about the potential risk for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and the possible risk of transmission by tissue or organ donation.

We had the opportunity to analyse a growth hormone ampoule from the former Soviet Union. The specific activity was low (about 2 U/mg protein) and on sodium dodecylsulphate gel-electrophoresis was not pure monomeric, which jeopardises the quality of this hormone. It appears unlikely that suitable precautions were taken to eliminate contamination.

Because this type of growth hormone is used in other countries, (anecdotally we know of use by weight lifters and body builders in Germany, Poland, Italy, and Austria), more information should be given to potential users.

[PMID: 8095679]

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