IGF-1 and Bodybuilding
What is IGF-1
IGF stands for Insulin-like growth factor and the 1 means that it is a hormone that has a resemblance to insulin. IGF-1 comes about as a result of a reaction which occurs in the liver as well as the muscles. There are two different variants of IGF-1 in muscle, each of these variants is a very potent stimulator of the important stem cells required for all muscle repair or growth.
Most scientists tell us that IGF-1 is created by the anabolic effect of growth hormone (GH), i.e. GH stimulates IGF-1 synthesis in muscles and liver. Scientists now believe IGF-1 therapy can reverse aging effects. As we get older our GH and IGF-1 concentration drops, many older people have up to 50% less GH and IGF than a younger person.
There are many studies that clearly show the lack of sufficient IGF-1 results in heart failure, found in over half the population over age 60. IGF-1 is required to maintain your brain cells and neurons. As we get older the body and brain cells start committing cellular suicide in a process called apoptosis.
The problem is that insufficient IGF-1 will also make your muscles and your connective tissue start to break down, this results in a general weakness and stiffness experienced by most elder adults. The commercial forms of injectable IGF-1 are a protein based hormone with 79 amino acids in a specific order.
Because IGF-1 speeds up cellular growth, a link has now been clearly shown between taking IGF-1 and prostate cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer. The question doctors then had to ask, was it the tumors increasing IFG-1 or was it the IGF producing the tumors?
What they do know is that teenagers produce the highest amount of IGF-1 and they have the lowest cancer rate. This explains elderly adults with low IGF-1 having the highest probability of cancer. Studies nevertheless show that the higher the IGF-1 level in elderly adults the longer they will live.
What are the side effects of IGF-1?
IGF-1 sounds good because it works, but taking synthetic IGF-F is dangerous because the side effects are as bad as taking steroids. The artificial IGF-1 commonly used by bodybuilders is mecasermin. Mecasermin can only be found illegally because the product is intended for patients with severe growth stunting.
If you are thinking of taking artificial IGF-1 despite the severe warning above, then you need to consider the side effects before you decide it is worth it.
Exaggerated organ growth
Secondary sexual characteristics
Shrinkage of testes and decreased T production
Mood disorders / Manic depressive
Addiction and/or dependency
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