If you want to hit old age out of the ball park, many people recommend taking human growth hormone, or HGH. HGH is made in the body's pituitary gland, and while it is important for normal growth in children, many books and articles have touted the hormone as a Fountain of Youth that reverses the effects of aging. That's because HGH levels decrease naturally the older you get. There's only one problem: There's no scientific evidence to back up the claim that HGH will help stave off the effects of aging. Those who use HGH might even be putting their health at risk [source: Childs].
Synthetic human growth hormone was developed in 1985 and approved for use in children who had growing problems. Since then, the FDA has approved the drug's use for adults who have various maladies, including a muscle-wasting disease associated with HIV/AIDS [source: WebMD]. In 2007, the Annals of Internal Medicine reviewed the published studies about HGH's effect on aging. The journal concluded that while there are minimal benefits associated with the hormone, there are potential side effects, such as diabetes, and the formation of breasts in men, so HGH is regulated by the government [source: WebMD].
Still, thousands of healthy Americans have received illegal HGH injections each year as an anti-aging drug. Athletes also use HGH as a performance-enhancing drug [sources: WebMD, Childs]. How do they get the drug if it is regulated by the government? Nefarious doctors give their patients illegal HGH injections. People can also buy the synthetic hormone over the Internet and through anti-aging clinics [source: WebMD].