The Development, Uses and Future of Gerovital H3

Introduction  |   From the Past to the Present  |   The Nature of Gerovital H3
Research and Speculation on Possible Benefits  |   Some Additional Clinical Considerations
An Intangible Field of Resistance  |   The Future of Gerovital H3  |   Footnotes  |   Bibliography


     As with many health products, the pharmacologic action of Gerovital H3 is not entirely understood. However, 32 years of laboratory research and clinical investigation have been compiled. Therein we can identify three main areas of health maintenance in which GH3 is reported to have empiric or practical benefits:

     Balance among the complex and interactive systems of the human body is a key to health. Imbalances can lead to breakdown or disease. There are three major bodily systems in which Gerovital appears to have an unusual ability to facilitate balance.
     The first area of balance is the circulatory system. Dr. Aslan coordinated a two- year control study of 15,000 subjects. She observed that more than 80% in the GH3 treated groups experienced improvement toward blood pressure normalization. Both hypertension and hypotension showed desirable adjustments. More than 90% of the GH3 treated subjects in this same study also recorded a normalization of heart rate. Both tachycardia and bradycardia responded favorably.17
     The second major area of balance with regards to GH3 is the endocrine system. Dr. Sidney Cohen of the University of California at Los Angeles18 and Dr. Aslan and associates19 conducted lengthy scientific studies on this subject. They concluded that the product can facilitate a functional balance in the endocrine system and can normalize hormone levels. Dr. Cohen was struck by the elevated emotional tone in most of his GH3 treated subjects. He theorized that this uplift reverberated on the neuroendocrine system, thus prolonging vigor and health.
     The third major area of balance is the nervous system. Dr. Aslan and her associates decided that Gerovital tends to restore a functional balance in the central nervous system.20 A 1965 study by Gordon, Fudema and Abrams concluded that GH3 increased the nervous conduction speed.21 The conduction rate tends to decrease with age. It can account for some of the “slowing” of aging people. Functional adjustments on the vegetative nervous system also have been reported with subjects on GH3. Lung capacity often increases, or at least maintains with advancing age.22

     Circulation is the second major area of health maintenance believed to be improved by GH3. Studies show that Gerovital tends gently to dilate and cleanse blood vessels.23 Obviously, many conditions of decaying health accompany a reduction in circulation. In some cases, cardiac patients may improve from the vasodilating action of GH3.
     Gerovital also can increase the oxygen supply through coronary vasodilation.24 Improved circulation may lead to a cleansing of toxins from the body, partly because of increased organ function.25 Importantly, the vasodilating properties of the product are mild.
     Blood of course acts as a messenger in the body by communicating nutrients, oxygen, hormones and other healing factors throughout the system. It also facilitates the excretion of toxins which otherwise could damage the cells. GH3 may speed these functions by increasing circulation to all parts of the body.
     Other conditions such as senility also may improve from Gerovital. It generally is believed that a majority of senility symptoms arise from arteriosclerosis or atherosclerosis in the brain capillaries. If these tiny passages become hard or clogged, blood flow may decrease. Activity in those parts of the brain then may decline. GH3 experiments suggest that it is effective in alleviating senility symptoms by reversing this trend in many instances.26

     The third major area of health maintenance involves the vital enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO). It plays important roles in blood pressure equilibrium, liver function and nervous system activity. Though MAO is necessary, it also can become a problem. Age 45 often marks the beginning of a rise in MAO levels in the blood and brain, although this may occur sooner. MAO is a dominant substance and tends to displace factors related to youth and vitality.
     Many gerontologists theorize that a rise in MAO level can be seen as a biological law of aging. As MAO goes up, youth and vitality go down.27 Individuals with high MAO level thus may experience pessimism, depression, fatigue, irritability, fluctuating moods and reduced interest in life. These changes define aging with respect to emotion and mental status.
     More than any other area of balance, GH3 shows itself to have beneficial effects on MAO level. It is believed to inhibit excess MAO and push the level toward normal.28,29,30,31 This one property may have much to do with its reduction of aging symptoms.

     Since it is a nutrient, the exact improvements are not predictable for any one person. It works at a cellular level and therefore the action is general rather than specific. The changes arising from GH3 are usually subtle. Individuals used to the dramatic effects of synthetic drugs may not notice any difference day to day. In assessing the benefits, experience shows that it is preferable to look back over several months. Changes in physical and mental status then can be evaluated.
     Some users of the product report no benefits of any kind. This may be due to a lack of physical problems to begin with. In this case, the nutrient qualities can be regarded as a prophylactic measure at best. Some users simply do not absorb or utilize the ingredients to the extent that health benefits are realized.

     Some researchers believe that decreased levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin lead to impotence.32 Serotonin is a substrate of MAO. Ideally, MAO metabolizes the serotonin so it will not become too prominent. Rising levels of MAO which may appear after age 45 thus accompany falling levels of serotonin. Gerovital has a demonstrated ability to inhibit excess MAO. Thus it may tend to normalize serotonin levels and restore sexual potency.
     Estrogen and androgen production can be a factor in sexual characteristics and performance as well. Parhon, Aslan and Danila33 and Untea34 conducted studies in this area. They concluded that GH3 tends to increase deficient estrogen and androgen levels. It appears that this stimulative effect only occurs where these factors are subnormal.

     To date, there is nothing which will eliminate herpes. However, a relevant research study was conducted by J. Earle Officer of the University of Southern California. He showed that herpes I and herpes II viruses did not become active in the presence of Gerovital H3.35

     There is no definitive answer to this question yet. Studies by J. Earl Officer also showed that the C-type (cancer producing) viruses did not become active during GH3 experiments.36 Dr. Aslan reported a statistical decrease in the appearance of neoplasms in patient populations using Gerovital long-term.37

     The evidence remains inconclusive. Studies by Cohen and Ditman38 and by Aslan39 indicated a lowering of cholesterol levels in patients using Gerovital. The tendency for the product to normalize arterial pressure and heart rate also may play a role in preventing damage to the circulatory system. At the National Congress of Professors in Italy, 1974, the assembled scientists praised GH3’s effectiveness against the accumulation of blood clots and cholesterol. They also agreed that it does not pose any health risks.40
     Soon after beginning to take GH3, some patients show an increase in cholesterol. Importantly, this level is measured in the blood. A temporary rise may indicate a mobilization of the arterial deposits.41

     Psychosis is defined as delusions, hallucinations or bizarre behavior. Current psychiatric research is focusing on chemical imbalances related to the reticular activating system (RAS). The RAS usually functions adequately in its role as the neural “switchboard,” routing messages to different parts of the brain and nervous system. However, the routing process may become confused due to chemical imbalances or other factors. It may become impossible for the affected individual to determine whether sensory or memory impressions originate inside of him or outside. This possibly could account for hearing voices from imaginary people. It may result in believing ideas which others know obviously could not be true. It may lead the victim to behave in a bizarre manner to deal with a world which others cannot perceive.
     Chemists have not proven how anti-psychotic medications work. The same is true for Gerovital. However, studies by John Saunders and Luigi Bucci at Rockland State Hospital in New York42 and later again by Bucci43 indicate that GH3 helps to reduce psychotic symptoms. It may do so without the side effects known to anti-psychotic drugs currently in use.

     The body’s immune system responds defensively to the presence of various substances from the environment. However, it may become sensitized to one of these antigens and over-react. The normal protective response can get out of hand. The chemical consequences of this natural function gone awry may become an even larger problem. Histamine output increases and this may create many of the classic symptoms of an allergic reaction. Additionally, stress may leave the body open to an allergic crisis when the adrenal glands must respond more often. This can lead to a depletion of vital chemical defenses.
     Gerovital may moderate these problems in several ways: (1) Researchers Ghali, Cohen and Aslan assert that GH3 is an anti-histaminic.44 (2) Bucci has demonstrated that it moderates the adrenal response.45 (3) Acetylcholine is a counterpart of adrenaline. Since DEAE is a precursor to acetylcholine, it may promote a parasympathetic response during times of stress.46

     There is certainly ample scientific evidence that Gerovital may help recolor and regrow hair.47, 48,49 Once again, the pharmacologic action is not clearly understood. It is known that endocrine imbalances and reduced circulation can lead to the weakening and thinning of hair. Poor nutrition or nutrition inadequately communicated to the scalp may result in poor hair quality.
     As already documented, GH3 reportedly helps restore endocrine balance. It improves circulation to all parts of the body through vasodilation. PABA also is believed effective in improving hair quality.50 The ionized and stabilized nature of GH3 may allow the PABA to perform even more effectively.
     The regrowing or recoloring of hair does not occur at all in some patients. Even when it does, several years may pass before appreciable results are obtained. Nutrient or endocrine deficiencies may not be the cause in some instances of poor hair quality or hair loss. In these cases the product may not help.

     Studies by Aslan and associates51 and by Bucci and Saunders52 reveal that Gerovital does not cross the placental barrier. Notably, pregnant women are not recommended to take standard anti-depressant drugs. Under physician supervision, the nutrient qualities of GH3 may alleviate some of the symptoms.

     Dr. Aslan and her associates noted that 38% of subjects using Gerovital H3 showed a reduction in absenteeism from work.53 A two-year study by Untea and Bercu revealed that 76% of laborers doing piece work increased their incomes during the study if they were on GH3. These same workers experienced better concentration on the job and an absence of fatigue.54
     A serious influenza epidemic swept Europe during one of the Romanian studies. Dr. Aslan reported a mortality rate of 3.2% in patients on Gerovital. In the untreated group, the mortality rate was 13.9%.55 An American report noted similar results. 3.3% mortality was found among GH3 treated patients, while the untreated group showed a 12.0% rate.56


     The neurotransmitters serotonin and noreprinepherine apparently are needed for proper neural responses. Most researchers believe that deficient levels result in depressive syndromes. This soon leads to fatigue, pessimism, withdrawal and inadequate functioning.
     MAO is believed to metabolize these neurotransmitters so they will not become too prominent. If they were, it might result in excess neural firing and “manic” behavior. Conversely, if MAO builds up to a higher level, there may be a deficit of neurotransmitters as the MAO does its job too well. Gerovital’s reported capacity to balance MAO action may reduce the problem.
     Marplan, Nardil and Parnate are MAO inhibitor drugs used in psychiatry. They are believed to disable the MAO by forming strong covalent bonds with it. This reduces the metabolism of the serotonin and noreprinepherine, thus hypothetically alleviating the depression. At the same time, this may prevent the MAO from performing other functions.
     Specifically, the MAO substrate tyramine can pose dangers. If unchecked by the MAO, it can lead to fatal hypertension when the liver is forced to absorb it. MAO inhibitors stop the metabolization of neurotransmitters. However, they also prevent the MAO from safely metabolizing the tyramine. Many patients on these anti-depressants died before the tyramine effect was understood. A tyramine restricted diet is indicated.
     In contrast, GH3 acts as a reversible inhibitor of MAO. It isolates the MAO from the neurotransmitters and thus prevents their over-metabolization. Under stress or in the presence of tyramine, the procaine reverses this action so the MAO can again perform its function. Apparently, this addresses the problem without adding further hazards to the patient’s life.57

     MAO inhibitors compose only one class of anti-depressant drugs. Another type even more commonly prescribed is known as the tricyclics. They address a different set of circumstances related to depression. Normally, neurotransmitters return to the presynaptic sites for temporary storage. This re-uptake process may occur too rapidly or too completely in some instances. Similarly in such a case, it is hypothesized that there can be a deficit of neurotransmitters.
     The tricyclics (Elavil, Tofranil, etc.) coat the presynaptic nerve endings and selectively block re-uptake. Ideally, this permits a sufficient level of neurotransmitters to become available at the synapses. Some tricyclics primarily block the re-uptake of serotonin, while others primarily block the re-uptake of noreprinepherine.
     The complicated set of circumstances often requires several changes of medication to achieve desired results. Even then, the physician ideally phases out the anti-depressant once the nervous system has stabilized. While each such drug is different, up to 50% of patients taking tricyclics can experience undesired side-effects.58
     William W. K. Zung, MD, one of the foremost psychiatric authorities on depression, studied Gerovital in a double-blind investigation. He compared it to Imipramine, an anti-depressant of choice. He concluded that GH3 reduces depression better than Imipramine.59
     Vladimir Jancar, MD, conducted similar clinical trials. He decided that Gerovital H3 acts as efficaciously as Elavil (a tricyclic), and Nardil and Parnate (both MAO inhibitors) when used in depressed patients.60 It is noteworthy that these two types of drugs hypothetically work in entirely different ways. GH3 seemed to improve the problems addressed by both. It did so without negative side effects.
     It would be inaccurate to say that GH3 always reduces depression. Indeed, some depressed patients show no positive response to the product at all. Once again, its cellular action makes the benefits unpredictable. The most attractive advantage seems to be its total lack of problematic side-effects.

     Osteoporosis is primarily caused by a breakdown of bone structure and a loss of calcified tissue. It generally advances with age and therefore usually is identified with geriatric patients. However, NASA physicians report that space travelers in the weightless condition show an alarming advance of osteoporosis. The reasons for this are unclear.
     Gerovital-treated patients have shown a significant reduction in osteoporosis. Results have been reported both in preventing and reversing it.61 GH3 apparently encourages the body to retain calcium.62 Further, researchers report that over a period of several years remineralization of the whole skeleton can occur. A general thickening of the bones has been noted in patients treated with GH3 as well.63 Gerovital H3 may improve osteoporosis by its stimulation of the estrogens and androgens as previously documented. These two hormones currently are used as treatments for the condition.

     The tremors and muscular rigidity of Parkinson’s Disease occur to some degree in nearly all aging people. The traditional treatment levadopa (L-Dopa) affects the deficient dopamine level, which in turn affects nerve function. Many users of L-Dopa suffer side effects. Still, L-Dopa or similar compounds such as Sinemet must be used. Dopamine administered directly would not reach the cerebral-spinal fluid. GH3 may be advantageous because it penetrates the blood/brain barrier. By going from the blood supply through to the cerebral- spinal fluid, it works directly.64
     J. Earle Officer, mentioned earlier in reference to GH3 research, himself suffered from a severe case of Parkinson’s Disease. He was unable to take L-Dopa at all because of the side-effect. He reached a state of complete remission using GH3 alone.65 Dr. Aslan reported favorable results in combating the condition in her patients as well. She added Gerovital to the current treatment plan or used it solely.66
     Some cases of parkinsonism show minimal response to the standard drug treatments. The same is true for Gerovital H3. The only major advantage appears to be that GH3 produces no unpleasant side- effects.

     Researchers in one laboratory study showed that, when exposed to procaine, sickled cells would re-oxygenate. They concluded that procaine competes with calcium for membrane binding sites. Calcium is believed largely responsible for the brittle form of the hemoglobin. This was a laboratory study only. However, the investigators took the position that procaine holds promise for controlling the sickle-cell deformity.67

     There is no extensive data on the subject. One study showed easier management of blood sugar level in diabetics using GH3 as an adjunct to insulin. It also suggested that blood sugar levels tended to become normal in cases where the values were aberrated slightly.68

     Gerovital exhibits anti-adrenergic properties and functions as a muscle relaxant.69, 70 Both these factors may provide greater resistance to stress. As already explained, DEAE participates in the production of acetylcholine, the counterpart of adrenaline. GH3 facilitates both the elimination of toxins and the inhibition of excess MAO. Researchers consider these factors aspects of stress reduction as well.71

     Dr. Gohbrandt, a West German surgeon, conducted a clinical trial with 87 multiple sclerosis patients. The GH3 treated subjects showed “remarkable improvement.” No extensive clinical investigation has been undertaken in this area.72

     Once again, Gerovital may act as balancing factor. Clearly, patients in a state of degeneration may fail to maintain a minimum safe body weight. Some geriatric patients, for example, gradually “waste away” as they lose lean tissue. Studies demonstrate that the anabolic properties of GH3 can promote weight gain.73 At the same time, a slow metabolic rate can result in the failure to catabolize undesired body fat. Clinical inquiry suggests that GH3 increases a deficient basal metabolism rate.74

     Medical research indicates that Gerovital H3 may contribute to the disappearance of age spots and wrinkles. It may improve skin elasticity and promote faster healing. These changes may result largely from improved circulation to the skin surface.75
     Many users of GH3 are reported to have that “youthful” appearance which belies their chronological age.76 These observations are not necessarily far-fetched. We can assume that first impressions of aging arise primarily from the appearance of the hair and skin. Both these surface measures of age seem positively affected by GH3. Scientific reports as a whole suggest that the product may prolong and to some extent restore the skin quality.

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