Growth hormone, DHEA, and metformin reversed aging

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

A small clinical study suggests that it might be possible to reverse the body’s epigenetic clock, which measures a person’s biological age:

For one year, nine healthy volunteers took a cocktail of three common drugs — growth hormone and two diabetes medications — and on average shed 2.5 years of their biological ages, measured by analysing marks on a person’s genomes. The participants’ immune systems also showed signs of rejuvenation.


The latest trial was designed mainly to test whether growth hormone could be used safely in humans to restore tissue in the thymus gland. The gland, which is in the chest between the lungs and the breastbone, is crucial for efficient immune function. White blood cells are produced in bone marrow and then mature inside the thymus, where they become specialized T cells that help the body to fight infections and cancers. But the gland starts to shrink after puberty and increasingly becomes clogged with fat.

Evidence from animal and some human studies shows that growth hormone stimulates regeneration of the thymus. But this hormone can also promote diabetes, so the trial included two widely used anti-diabetic drugs, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and metformin, in the treatment cocktail.


  1. This is good news! I hope it can be demonstrated in larger studies.

  2. Grasspunk says:

    As a related aside, in cattle the sweetbreads are the thymus and pancreas. In France you slaughter a cow under about 20 months and you get back the sweetbreads (ris de veau) with the rest of the offal. As the cattle get closer to maturity the sweetbreads shrink and they do not bother giving them to you to sell. The abattoir looks at them and judges whether they are worth keeping.

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