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Anti-Aging Glossary
This web site is presented as a glossary of terms commonly used in the discussion anti-aging science, products, and therapies, posted on behalf of the "Anti-Aging Research" mail list and discussion group. As with any contemporary and evolving science, definitions can vary and will change, depending on the source of the definition and their purposes, motives, and intentions. The definitions given below are not the final word; however, every effort has been made to locate the most commonly accepted explanation of the words, and links are posted to the original source of the information. For additions, corrections, changes, or updates, please post your information on the AntiAging Research mail list.

NOTE: Unless noted, all of the definitions presented below were found at the

On-Line Medical Dictionary

hosted by the Gray Laboratory and the Cancer Research Trust.

amino acids
Organic compounds that generally contain an amino (-nh2) and a carboxyl (-cooh) group. Twenty alpha-amino acids are the subunits which are polymerised to form proteins.

amino group
An -NH2 group. Organic compounds which have this group are called amines.

bovine growth hormone
A hormone secreted by the bovine pituitary gland. It is used to increase milk production by improving the feed efficiency in dairy cattle.

growth factor
A complex family of polypeptide hormones or biological factors that are produced by the body to control growth, division and maturation of blood cells by the bone marrow. They regulate the division and proliferation of cells and influence the growth rate of some cancers. These factors occur naturally but some can be synthesised using molecular biology techniques and are used clinically to stimulate normal white cell production following chemotherapy or bone marrow transplantation.

Examples include epidermal growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor, fibroblast growth factor. Insulin and somatomedin are also growth factors, the status of nerve growth factor is more uncertain. Perturbation of growth factor production or of the response to growth factor is important in neoplastic transformation.

growth hormone
Polypeptide (191 amino acids) produced by anterior pituitary that stimulates liver to produce somatomedins 1 and 2.

growth hormone regulating hormone
Hypothalamic hormones that induce (somatoliberin) or inhibit (somatostatin) the release of growth hormone (somatotropin).

Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone (GHRH)
Hormone produced in the hypothalamus that promotes production of Human Growth Hormone. [See Human Growth Hormone]

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A naturally occuring substance secreted by specialised cells that affects the metabolism or behaviour of other cells possessing functional receptors for the hormone. Hormones may be hydrophilic, like insulin, in which case the receptors are on the cell surface or lipophilic, like the steroids, where the receptor can be intracellular.

human growth hormone
A protein produced in the pituitary gland that stimulates the liver to produce somatomedins, which stimulate growth of bone and muscle.

Also called Somatotropin, HGH is a protein-like hormone that many researchers believe has greater capacity to prevent and reverse aging than any other substance. Under a physician's care, HGH replacement therapy is administered with daily injections. Alternatively or in addition, HGH releasers are widely available without prescription, including arginine, ornithine, and other amino acids taken orally as supplements.

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IGF - Insulin like Growth Factor
Insulin like growth factors I and II are polypeptides with considerable sequence similarity to insulin.

They are capable of eliciting the same biological responses, including mitogenesis in cell culture. On the cell surface, there are two types of insulin like growth factor receptor, one of which closely resembles the insulin receptor (which is also present).

Insulin like growth factor I = somatomedin A = somatomedin C

Insulin like growth factor II = MSA (Multiplication stimulating activity).

Insulin like growth factor 1 is released from the liver in response to growth hormone.

Acronym: IGF

A compound of two or more amino acids where the alpha carboxyl group of one is bound to the alpha amino group of another.

Link between two amino acids; peptide also refers to the resulting chain of two or more amino acids.

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Something that precedes.

1. In biological processes, a substance from which another, usually more active or mature substance is formed.

2. In clinical medicine, a sign or symptom that heralds another.

Origin: L. praecursor = a forerunner

An endocrine gland located at the base of the brain, in the small recess of a bone - certain sections of the pituitary each secretes important hormones including growth hormone (GH) and antidiuretic hormone (ADH).

A peptide which on hydrolysis yields more than two amino acids, called tripeptides, tetrapeptides, etc. According to the number of amino acids contained.

somatotropin-releasing hormone
hypothalamic peptide that regulates the synthesis and secretion of somatotropin in the anterior pituitary gland.

Chemical name: Somatoliberin

Substance that induces secretion from cells, originally applied to peptides inducing gastric and pancreatic secretion.

Insulin-like polypeptides made by the liver and some fibroblasts and released into the blood when stimulated by somatotropin. They cause sulfate incorporation into collagen, RNA, and DNA synthesis, which are prerequisites to cell division and growth of the organism.

Gastrointestinal and hypothalmic peptide hormone (two forms: 14 and 28 residues), found in gastric mucosa, pancreatic islets, nerves of the gastrointestinal tract, in posterior pituitary and in the central nervous system. Inhibits gastric secretion and motility: in hypothalamus/pituitary inhibits somatotropin release.

growth hormone, somatotropin.

Hormone (191 amino acids) released by anterior pituitary that stimulates release of somatomedin, thereby causing growth.

An amino-acid based substance secreted by the pituitary gland that promotes cell growth and maintenance, stimulates the immune system, etc. [See Human Growth Hormone]

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synthetic or naturally occuring growth hormone from the human pituitary gland. It is given to children with open epiphyses for the treatment of pituitary dwarfism. Chemical name: Somatotropin (human)

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