Shaun Assael is an award-winning journalist and author. As a senior writer with ESPN: The Magazine, he has covered everything from NASCAR to the NFL, and now works as an investigative reporter. In Steroid Nation: Juiced Home Run Totals, Anti-Aging Miracles, And a Hercules in Every High School - The Secret History of America’s True Drug Addiction, Assael pens the authoritative history of America’s—and perhaps the world’s—most insidious drug addiction. Part detective story, part medical investigation, and part sociological examination, Steroid Nation is a groundbreaking work on the most compelling story in the sports world today.
Question: What are the health risks of HGH?
Shaun Assael: Well you know if you believe the proponents of HGH, I mean I was in China not long ago talking with somebody affiliated with Gensai which is the biggest producer in the world, it has no side effects all it creates if you believe its proponents lean muscle mass makes you feel younger, gives you more energy there are those who feel an un persuaded by those who feel that is the biggest medical frauds since crystals that while it does in some respects create lean muscle mass and it does anecdotally the evidence is that it helps some what in post operative recovery, that it doesn’t help in a league performance and you need to take an conjuncture with testosterone to have any real build up where you do see it actually use for testosterone to some effect as in the elderly and in aids patients to reverse the effects of the wasting disease so it has some modest uses but it is funny when Andy Pat admitted to taking HGH and he said he took two doses and Endocrinologist told me that it is just nobody has any benefit with two doses. You have to take two a day over the course of years so whatever it is side effects; besides the fact that this is all probably exaggerated; we don’t know; we have had 40 years of experience with anabolic steroids and only ten with this synthetic form of HGH.
I worry and I am not a doctor but I worry that if they can stimulate your Endocrine system then it might be able to stimulate the nine tumors. And there is some evidence of activity in the colon in that respect but again, I just think that were at beginning and it is proponents will suggest to you that it is the reason that we are all going to live a 120 years, there is a lot of hoax tourism out there.
Recorded on: March 18, 2008.
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