Almost 70 years ago, Dr. Ana Aslan, a cardiologist from Rumania, pioneered a treatment to fight aging. It was an injected local anesthetic called procaine (Novocaine), combined with antioxidants and stabilizing agents. You probably know Novocaine as an anesthetic dentists use to numb the teeth and jaw.
The remedy was said to boost health and vitality, and was touted as an elixir of youth. This encouraged rich and famous people like Charlie Chaplin, Kirk Douglas, John F. Kennedy and Winston Churchill to fly to Dr. Aslan’s clinic in a small city called Otopeni.
Her remedy was called Gerovital H3 (GH3), and today you can take it by mouth (it won’t make you numb). And since GH3 is classed as a dietary supplement, not a drug, it is available to every adult.
What it Does in Your Body
After you swallow it, GH3 is broken down to release para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) – part of the B complex family of vitamins – and diethylaminoethanol (DEAE), a precursor to choline.
PABA stimulates the production of folic acid, vitamin K and B1 in the intestines and boosts ATP in the mitochondria — increasing energy production.
DEAE has a particular affinity for the brain, and its breakdown products help to produce acetlycholine. Levels of this powerful neurotransmitter need to be kept high to ward off memory loss and neurodegenerative disease. (One of the first supplements from our sister company, Green Valley Natural Solutions, was a choline-booster called Brain Vitality Plus.)
Taken separately, the ingredients in GH3 have many benefits, but their combination is even more powerful because it’s able to enter cells more easily.
The Claims are out of This World
Speaking at a medical conference in 1956, Dr. Aslan astounded the audience with claims that GH3 could alleviate or slow down virtually all problems associated with aging, such as arthritis, inflamed arteries, hardening of brain arteries, hearing loss, tinnitus, poor eyesight, hair loss, greying hair and much else.
She believed GH3 caused cell regeneration, and this, she theorized, was responsible for making older folks youthful once more.
Many of her findings were backed up by clinical studies and physicians in a number of other countries, including the U.S.
But the media attention, sensationalism, and other controversies that surrounded it caused the therapy to lose favor with the medical community. Interest faded outside Rumania.
Now it’s Worth a Second Look
After decades of laboratory work and clinical findings, a more somber assessment of GH3 suggests it does offer benefits.
It acts as an adaptogen – a substance that adjusts a substance or function in the body up or down, depending on what’s needed, thereby helping to maintain a stable internal environment. Studies suggest it can normalize both high and low blood pressure, heart rate, hormone levels, and the functional balance to the central nervous system. It is also a powerful antioxidant.
In addition, GH3 acts on the circulation to gently dilate blood vessels, increase circulation, improve oxygen supply and facilitate toxin excretion.
Its other major function is to reduce monoamine oxidase (MAO).
Elevated levels of this enzyme are a dangerous mechanism of aging. Too much MAO can damage brain cells, reducing production of the important neurotransmitters, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
When MAO rises – as it does in most people after age 40 – youth and vitality go down. High MAO is linked with pessimism, depression and fatigue. GH3 can help reduce these conditions and restore joy to life.
There haven’t been a large number of recent studies on GH3, but a recent randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial of 100 men and women aged 50 to 89 was completed in China.
After 12 weeks the scientists concluded that “GH3 shows positive effects in supporting mental health and improving general health and well-being while promoting the recovery of cognitive function.”
More advanced forms of GH3 are now available that combine procaine with biologically-active vitamins, minerals and herbs. These are sold under the names Ultra H-3 and Achilles Ultimate 9.
- The Encyclopedia of Anti-Aging Breakthroughs, Medical Research Associates 2011
- Nutrients to Age Without Senility, by Hoffer and Walker, Keats Publishing 1980
- Mind Food & Smart Pills, by Ross Pelton, Doubleday 1989