All about IGF-1

July 29, 2013      IGF-1 Long R3 Information

What is IGF-1?
Insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is also sometimes referred to as somatomedin C and sulfation factor. It is a peptide hormone produced in the liver under the influence of growth hormone (Balhara et al, 2012) and is structurally similar to the insulin hormone. IGF-1 is best known for its anabolic effects during the growth of a child, but its actions are active well into adulthood.

Why use IGF-1
IGF-1 and synthetic IGF-1 analogues have therapeutic medical applications in the medical field. Because of the role of IGF1 in the regulation of growth, it has been investigated by the scientific community for treating growth disorders. However, its efficacy has been intensively debated (Balhara et al, 2012). Since IGF-1 has anabolic properties, it is no surprise that some bodybuilders and athletes are interested in the IGF-1 hormone as a means to increase lean mass and performance.

IGF-1 Negatives & Side Effects
Unlike growth hormone, the benefits of IGF-1 in the medical field are far less clear cut. The first downside of IGF-1 is that the anabolic effects are not only for lean mass, but also for fat mass (Balhara et al, 2012). In cases where IGF-1 therapy has been administered to those that need it, several side effects have been reported. One clinical trial reported that 60% of the test subjects experienced temporary adverse effects. The most frequently reported were headache, vomiting, and hypoglycaemia, that is, low blood sugar (Midyett et al, 2010). Trials involving long periods of IGF-1 treatment have also reported individuals developing anti IGF-1 antibodies, and hence developing a tolerance to the hormone (Chernausek et al, 2007). This may result in in requiring higher doses of this drug in the future, after extended use.

One major concern for IGF-1 therapy is that high doses of IGF-1 increases cell proliferation and survival. This may increase the risk of cancer among certain individuals, and experts warrant caution in cases where IGF-1 therapy is being considered (Balhara et al, 2012).

IGF1 Legal Status
Being a hormone with potential for severe side effects, IGF-1 is not available over the counter. It can only be prescribed by medical doctors and even then, it rarely is done so. Use of IGF-1 without medical supervision is not legal in Australia and many other countries.

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