What Is IGF-1 Insulin Growth Factor and Does It Work?

Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), also called somatomedin C, is a protein that in humans. The insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) are proteins with high sequence similarity to insulin. IGFs are part of a complex system that cells use to communicate with their physiologic environment. I’m mean it is complicated, I wish I understood everything that goes on with the system but sadly I do not so I have to rely on information posted below. This complex system consists of two cell-surface receptors (IGF1R and IGF2R), two ligands (Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) and Insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF-2),a family of six high-affinity IGF-binding proteins (IGFBP-1 to IGFBP-6), as well as associated IGFBP degrading enzymes, referred to collectively as proteases. IGF-1 is similar to insulin and It plays an important role in childhood growth and continues to have anabolic effects in adults. IGF-1 consists of 70 amino acids in a single chain.

OK as I mentioned, I understand the majority of that informaiton but do not test me on it. IGF-1 is produced primarily by the liver as an endocrine hormone as well as in target tissues in a paracrine/autocrine fashion. Production is stimulated by growth hormone (GH) and can be retarded by under-nutrition, growth hormone insensitivity, lack of growth hormone receptors, or failures of the downstream signalling pathway post GH receptor.

Recently, an efficient expression system was developed to produce biologically active recombinant human in Deer Antler Velvet. Its primary action is mediated by binding to its specific receptor, the Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor, present on many cell types in many tissues. Binding to the IGF1R, a receptor tyrosine kinase, initiates intracellular signaling; IGF-1 is one of the most potent natural activators to stimulate cell growth, and a potent inhibitor of programmed cell death.

It can heal tendon injuries and build muscles. Available at a few select websites, IGF-1, or insulin like growth factor-1, has also found favor among athletes for the same reasons that its better-known relative human growth hormone has makes an athlete bigger, faster and stronger. It may boost muscle, reduce fat and improve endurance.

IGF-1 came to foreground when it was mentioned among the performance-enhancing drugs that a South Florida clinic provided to six baseball players and other professional athletes. Sports Illustrated also reported that some football players used a substance taken from deer-antler velvet that contains IGF-1.

Although IGF-1 is unknown to most sports fans, for years the drug has been a mainstay in the constellation of banned performance-enhancing drugs. It has long been on the World Anti-Doping Agency banned substances list, alongside human growth hormone but recently has been removed from the list.

There is no widely available urine test for IGF-1, but like human growth hormone, IGF-1 can be detected in blood tests. At this time Major League Baseball and its players union had not reached an agreement to conduct in-season blood testing for human grown hormone. IGF-1 is made in response to growth hormone and is needed for growth hormone to have its effects on muscles and other tissues. Growth hormone, synthesized in the pituitary gland, travels to the liver, which then responds by producing IGF-1.

IGF-1 and deer-antler sprays have drawn attention among elite athletes in recent years. IGF-1 is “just like giving someone human growth hormone,” said Don Catlin, the former head of U.C.L.A.’s Olympic Analytical Lab, best known for breaking the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative doping ring. “It goes to the same kinds of receptors and turns them on.”

While IGF-1 helps athletes when taken into the body. Both growth hormone and IGF-1 are expensive. Athletes may use 5 or 10 times as much IGF-1 or growth hormone because they are bigger  and use higher doses. For professional athletes making millions of dollars a year, it is worth every penny.

IGF-1 is a primary mediator of the effects of growth hormone (GH). Growth hormone is made in the anterior pituitary gland, is released into the blood stream, and then stimulates the liver to produce IGF-1. IGF-1 then stimulates systemic body growth, and has growth-promoting effects on almost every cell in the body, especially skeletal muscle, cartilage, and bone. IGF-1 can also regulate cell growth and development, especially in nerve cells, as well as cellular DNA synthesis.

Deficiency of either growth hormone or IGF-1 therefore results in diminished stature. GH-deficient children are given recombinant GH to increase their size. IGF-1 deficient humans, who are categorized as having Laron syndrome, or Laron’s dwarfism, are treated with recombinant IGF-1.

IGF-1 is produced throughout life. The highest rates of IGF-1 production occur during the pubertal growth spurt. The lowest levels occur in infancy and old age. IGF-1 is closely related to a second protein called “IGF-2″. IGF-2 also binds the IGF-1 receptor. However, IGF-2 alone binds a receptor called the “IGF-2 receptor” (also called the mannose-6 phosphate receptor). The insulin-like growth factor-II receptor (IGF2R) lacks signal transduction capacity, and its main role is to act as a sink for IGF-2 and make less IGF-2 available for binding with IGF-1R. As the name “insulin-like growth factor 1″ implies, IGF-1 is structurally related to insulin, and is even capable of binding the insulin receptor, albeit at lower affinity than insulin.

Factors that are known to cause variation in the levels of growth hormone (GH) and IGF-1 in the circulation include: genetic make-up, the time of day, age, sex, exercise status, stress levels, nutrition level and body mass index (BMI), disease state, race, estrogen status and xenobiotic intake. The later inclusion of xenobiotic intake as a factor influencing GH-IGF status highlights the fact that the GH-IGF axis is a potential target for certain endocrine disrupting chemicals – see also endocrine disruptor.

Fasting, including intermittent fasting, can reduce IGF-1 levels rapidly and dramatically. It is now widely accepted that signaling through the insulin/IGF-1-like  receptor pathway is a significant contributor to the biological aging process in many organisms. This avenue of research first achieved prominence with the work of Cynthia Kenyon, who showed that mutations in the daf-2 gene double the lifespan of the roundworm.

IGF-1-like signalings have been shown to decelerate the aging process and extend lifespan.Therapeutic administration with (IGF I) is associated with potential reversal of degeneration of spinal cord motor neuron axons. Rare diseases characterized by inability to make IGF-1 produce a distinctive type of growth failure. One such disorder, termed Laron dwarfism does not respond at all to growth hormone treatment due to a lack of GH receptors.

Several companies have evaluated IGF-1 in clinical trials for a variety of additional indications, including type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS aka “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”), severe burn injury and myotonic muscular dystrophy (MMD). Results of clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of IGF-1 in type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes showed great promise in reducing hemoglobin A1C levels, as well as daily insulin consumption.

Numerous sources have reported that Deer Antler Spray, extracted from deer antler velvet, contains IGF-1. Credence to this claim comes from the fact that deer’s antlers grow extremely rapidly and that the associated cellular factors can similarly aid in skeletal healing in humans. IGF-1 is currently no longer banned by various sporting bodies. IGF-1 spray with’deer antler velvet extracts’ is available on the market. IGF-1 is a protein, it can be absorbed orally as all proteins are.

So the benefits seem high, the side effects seem to be 0. Go get bigger, faster, stronger, younger, healthier, better skin, heal diseases, get taller….. This seems like the fountain of youth to me. If you find information that IGF-1 has side effects for harmful properties, I invite your comments with information to back it up. Please do not respond with the ignorance that most “So-called” experments spout, “We do not know the long term side effect”. So what they are saying is, “We know of NO long term side effects.” I love the hearing idiots say that on tv.