|LE Magazine March 1998 |
"Not A Bad Place to Be"
By Twig Mowatt
Paul Kiesow was enthralled by what he read about the possibilities of growth hormone releasers. Today, his well-stocked 'nutritional pantry' keeps age very much at bay.
Almost 10 years ago, Paul Kiesow, a native of Elk Grove, Calif., near Sacramento, became interested in thwarting the aging process. He'd heard about studies in which genetically engineered human growth hormone increased body mass and bone thickness among a group of 70- to 80-year-old men. Later, he came across a book on endocrinology that outlined different ways the pituitary gland could be stimulated to release growth hormones.
Since one of the substances that can stimulate the pituitary gland to release human growth hormone (HGH) is arginine, in 1992 at age 39 Kiesow began taking 4.5 grams of arginine in powder form four or five nights a week. Two years later he heard about ornithine, arginine's sister amino acid, which was reported to work a bit more efficaciously, and now he takes 12 grams of powdered ornithine three to four times a week at bedtime. He also takes choline to help stimulate the pituitary's release of growth hormone into his system, and a full range of antioxidants and high-potency vitamin and mineral supplements in what he refers to as his "nutritional pantry." "My aim is to try to hold onto youth a significant time longer than other people, to show there is really something to this-that's it's not just a placebo," he says.
So, is it working?
"I won't pass for someone in my 20s," says Kiesow, now 45. "But I do look like I'm in my mid-30s, and that's not a bad place to be."
Specifically, Kiesow enjoys 20/20 vision, total flexibility of movement, excellent strength, stamina and muscle tone, never complains of body aches or pains, and doesn't suffer from allergies or digestive problems. These days he notices changes in his body even when he's doing the most mundane household chores. Not long ago he would become winded mowing the lawn with the family's push mower. Today he has energy to spare.
Then there's the matter of height. No matter how straight he stood, Kiesow was no more than 5 feet, 8 inches and change. But last April when his wife measured him, he had grown 1.125 inches to 5-97/8. Kiesow believes the growth spurt could have come from a thickening of cartilage or of his disks, or from increased back muscularity.
What Kiesow is sure of is that his energy reserves, vitality and general good health are directly attributable to his nutriceutical intake.
In addition to the HGH releasers, which Kiesow takes for their restorative and rejuvenative properties, he takes a high potency vitamin and mineral supplement once, and sometimes twice, a day. His daily arsenal includes 800 micrograms of folic acid to stimulate red blood cell production, and a high potency B-complex that works to reduce risk factors in heart disease. His antioxidant regimen includes 1 to 2 grams of vitamin C per day, 2,000 IU of vitamin E, 200 micrograms of selenium each morning and 3 mg of melatonin at night, plus grape seed extract.
He takes 50 mg of zinc, three times a week, to build resistance to colds and improve general stamina and tissue integrity. Then there's 25 mg of DHEA in the morning and 50 mg of pregnenolone twice a day as cognitive/memory enhancers (Kiesow uses saw palmetto to block the undesirable effects of DHEA supplementation).
He also takes ginkgo biloba as a way to increase blood flow to the brain, and 200 micrograms of chromium picolinate for more efficient sugar metabolizing. Thirty mg of coenzyme Q10 twice daily work to keep the heart healthy and facilitate mitochondrial energy, and deprenyl keeps his dopamine-producing neurons active and protected from neurotoxicity. And he recently added Biosil to prevent the breakdown of collagen, elastin and bone.
Kiesow may rely on supplements, but he isn't exactly a couch potato. Every morning he does 40 push-ups, 35 sit-ups and then stretches. He also tries to keep active in his daily life, taking the stairs, for example, instead of the elevator. As for his eating habits, he avoids sweets and dairy products because he just doesn't like them. His two favorite foods are salad-with garlic, virgin olive oil and lime juice-and meat, minus the fat.
Kiesow's newfound vitality has enabled him to go back and tackle some unrealized goals. Last June, for example, he received his bachelor's degree from the Brooks Institute of Photography. Recently he started a master's program at California State University where his thesis will likely be on art. Kiesow also spends lots of time raising his two young sons, 3 and 5.
"I feel like I'm reliving my 20s," he enthuses. "I'm out there doing things and not being scared at all. People start to mellow with age, but if anything I've gone the other way. I have a young person's outlook."
Back to the Magazine Forum