Friday, March 26, 2010

How is This Different Than HGH?

The advance in sports medicine churns so rapidly that it seems impossible to determine any kind of moral compass. HGH is bad. At least that's what they tell us. Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and others have been in some sort of trouble or other because of HGH. Now we hear that there is a new test that can detect HGH. This became a major story and many wondered if MLB would try to get the union to allow baseball to use the test on players.

Many, like this Fan, have wondered what the heck HGH was. Well, here is one internet definition so who knows how accurate it is. Apparently the web site sells the stuff?

What is HGH (Human Growth Hormone)?By definitions: A peptide hormone seecreted by the anterior pituitary gland in the brain. HGH enhances tissue growth by stimulating protein formation. A recombinant (genetically engineered) HGH, called Serostim, has been approved by FDA as a treatment for AIDS wasting syndrome.

HGH is Human Growth Hormone, a natural hormone produced in the pituitary gland of the brain. HGH is considered "the key" hormone because it controls so many functions. It's responsible for youth, vitality, energy and all of the health benefits we associate with youth. Dr. Daniel Rudman's study in the New England Journal Of Medicine demonstrated the remarkable ability to reverse the effects of aging upon the human body with the employment of HGH - Human Growth Hormone! Due in part to his efforts, Dr. Rudmans's study saw the effects of HGH upon overweight men between the ages of 61 and 80 years of age.

Okay, that sounds like a natural kind of derivitive or it can be synthetically made. Now compare that with a recent article about how they are treating Cliff Lee of the Mariners:
The Mariners are treating Lee with platelet-rich plasma injection therapy. The first session came last week. In the relatively new procedure, a tube of a patient's blood is taken and put in a centrifuge and spun, producing concentrated platelets. Those contain growth factors that accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. The platelets are then injected into the injury site. The treatment gained notice in 2008 after Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward used it on his sprained right knee to help him play in the Steelers' Super Bowl win over Arizona. Pitcher Takashi Saito avoided surgery on a partially torn ligament in his throwing elbow by using platelet-rich plasma injection therapy during the 2008 season. He was able to come back in time to pitch late in the Los Angeles Dodgers' playoff race.

Is the Fan wrong to think Lee's procedures are remarkably similar to HGH? Isn't the problem that most people have with HGH is that it gives users an unfair and unnatural method of getting well? Isn't what Lee is getting the same thing? Isn't it the same thing that this doctor in Canada did for A-Rod and Jose Reyes and others? But the Canadian doctor is in trouble for transporting HGH over the line. Makes no sense.

It seems funny that big time writers haven't picked up on this paradox. If HGH is bad, then this platelet spinny thingy is bad. Or conversely, if this platelet spinniy thingy is okay, then HGH must be okay.

The only truth the Fan knows is that this is just a start of what medicine is going to do in the next 20 years or so. And that truth means that there will be a whole spectrum of methods that MLB is going to have to sift through to determine where they fly on the good and evil scale. Since it seems they can't even figure that out now, then good luck to players, teams and trainers.

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