We often go to great lengths to look and feel our best. Yet many never realize that one of the keys to a healthy body and a productive life rests just below the neck. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland below the larynx that produces thyroid hormones; chemicals that affect the function of many of the body's organs including the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, bones and skin. It's a good rule that if your thyroid is not working properly, neither are you. The American College of Endocrinology (ACE) is proud to announce that January is "Thyroid Awareness Month, " the only national campaign targeted towards helping the millions of Americans living with a thyroid condition.
People profoundly deficient in human growth hormone (HGH) due to a genetic mutation appear to live just as long as people who make normal amounts of the hormone, a new study shows. The findings suggest that HGH may not be the "fountain of youth" that some researchers have suggested. "Without HGH, these people still live long, healthy lives, and our results don't seem to support the notion that lack of HGH slows or accelerates the aging process, " says Roberto Salvatori, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Endocrinology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The researchers, working with an unusual population of dwarves residing in Itabaianinha county, a rural area in the northeastern Brazilian state of Sergipe, and led by Salvatori, sought to sort out conflicting results of previous studies on the effects of HGH on human aging.
SNM applauds a move by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to help fund the development of a domestic supply of radioisotopes, which are used to help millions of patients each year through the diagnosis and staging of cancer, thyroid and heart disease. Earlier this week, GE-Hitachi announced their selection by the NNSA to help develop a U.S. supply of Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) Technical Services Group also announced this week that it has been awarded approximately $9 million from the NNSA for the company's medical isotope production program. The company previously announced a partnership with Covidien to develop medical isotope production.
According to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), fat mass is important in increasing bone size and thickness, but this effect appears to be stronger in girls than boys. Lean mass is one of the strongest determinants of bone mass throughout life. Until now, it has been unclear whether fat mass and lean mass differ in how they influence bone development in boys and girls. Findings from previous studies have been inconsistent regarding whether fat mass has a positive or negative impact on bone development. This new study shows that fat mass is a strong stimulus for the accrual of cortical bone mass (hard outer layer of bone) in girls.
A molecular receptor pivotal to the action of male hormones such as testosterone also plays a crucial role in the body's ability to heal, report scientists in the December issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. In studies in mice, scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that this receptor - the androgen receptor - delays wound healing. When scientists used an experimental compound to block the receptor, wounds healed much more quickly. Scientists say that while the results in mice offer new insights into a potential new way to help the body heal faster, they stress that more research must be done before considering whether to explore the treatment in people whose wounds are slow to heal.
A man's male hormones may ward off heart damage by helping vessels around the heart regenerate, suggest Australian researchers in a report posted January 13 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. While studies have shown that estrogen helps blood vessels regenerate, both in the uterus after menstruation and around the heart after wear and tear, little is known about whether or not men make up for a lack of the female hormone. Some researchers have theorized that this disparity accounts for why men tend to suffer worse heart attacks more often and earlier in life than women. However, Sieveking and colleagues find that this trend may be due to a drop in androgens, a collective term for male hormones, as men age.