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WHAT IS IGF-1?

The Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-1) is one of the endocrine hormones that is produced in the liver. The release of this hormone increases in the presence of Human Growth Hormone. Numerous cells throughout the muscles of the human body are equipped with cell receptors that have a high affinity for Insulin-like Growth Factor. This makes this hormone one of the best growth hormones and a facilitator of general cell growth which it does by targeting different specific tissues and in more autocrine cell communication processes, it facilitates cell division.

Optimal IGF-1 and growth hormone levels are crucial to bone development during childhood and throughout adult life.

Read on to learn about the additional benefits of IGF-1, proper dosage, and potential side effects. 

Benefits of IGF-1

Benefits of Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 include:

  • Protein synthesis in the body
  • Fat storage is channeled for energy production, which results in a noticeable fat loss.
  • Positive effects on metabolism, increasing lean body mass and decreasing fat
  • Increase in regenerative properties of the body’s nerve tissues
  • Upregulates antioxidant benefit and ligament strength
  • Boosts hyperplasia in muscle cells, which leads to fuller muscle tissues.
  • Improved cognitive function

Weight Gain and IGF-1 Therapy

The weight gain that you will experience from the use of IGF-1 is not due to water weight. All your weight gain will be caused by actual muscle growth, which is a long-term effect.

Compared to steroids which are overly known for putting on water weight and often leading to adverse side effects, you will acquire solid muscle gain after every one or two weeks which will be composed of actual heavy muscle.

The most important feature of IGF-1 is its ability to cause hyperplasia in the human body. The body of a person who is on steroids goes through hypertrophy, this means that they will only be increasing the size of the existing cells in their muscles. Instead, IGF-1 leads to hyperplasia, which promotes the growth and development of new cells in the muscles. 

Variants of IGF-1

There are two groups of IGF variants. These are IGF-1 LR3 and DES IGF-1 (which can also be presented as IGF-1 DES).

The half-life of IGF-1 is very short, and because of this, it is quickly destroyed by the body. This is the main reason why IGF-1 was modified to produce an amino acid analog IGF-1 LR3 which has a longer half-life.

The other variant of IGF-1, DES IGF-1 is a truncated version of IGF-1 which is up to ten times more potent than IGF-1. Both of these IGF-1 variants are similar to IGF-1 but they have different modes of action. This feature allows them to function together in different and specific ways.

IGF-1 LR3

The half-life of IGF-1 LR3 is about 20 – 30 hours. It is more potent than the regular base IGF-1. Because it can be sustained in the body for more than a day, it efficiently binds to cell receptors in the muscle cells and activates cell communication which subsequently improves the growth rate of muscles all day long.

IGF-1 LR3 inhibits the movement of glucose into the body cells which facilitates fat burning and the use of fat in the body for the production of energy. Its long life of close to a day has made it a preferred variant by a majority of patients and physicians because site injections are never necessary. IGF-1 LR3 cycles the whole body and binds to the receptors on muscle cells then acts for about a day, so a daily administration of this dosage is strongly supported.

IGF-1 DES

DES IGF-1 is a shorter version of the base IGF-1 chain. This variant of IGF-1 is five times more potent than the regular base IGF-1. It has a half-life of about twenty to thirty minutes which indicates that it is a very delicate chain. The administration of DES IGF-1 should only be done exactly where you want to experience muscle growth. DES IGF-1 has a higher ability to stimulate hyperplasia in the muscles than IGF-1 LR3. In conclusion, this variant works best when used for site injections and not overall muscle growth.

In addition to these functions, DES IGF-1 is known to bind to receptors, in cells, that have been deformed by lactic acid. Lactic acid is produced in elevated amounts during training and vigorous activities. This characteristic of DES IGF-1 allows it to attach to mutated receptors which signal tissue growth even during training activities. DES can be used more frequently and for a longer time than IGF-1 LR3.

IGF-1 Vs HGH

When we check on facts, the growth hormone is actually a precursor to the IGF-1, but why choose IGF-1 over the Growth Hormones? Growth Hormones do not cause direct muscle growth but instead, they facilitate the growth of muscles by signaling the release of the IGF-1.

Human Growth Hormone can be very difficult to obtain. In order to have it be prescribed to you by a physician, you have to be diagnosed with Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency Syndrome. You must take and fail a Growth Hormone Stimulation Test which then indicates that your body is not producing growth hormone in response to a stimulus. This makes IGF-1 and its variants a much more viable solution for an athlete, someone losing to drop body fat or even those looking to get back into shape.

Dosage

Here is a look at the proper dosage for each variant. 

IGF-1

This variant of IGF-1 should be taken daily for 7 days in a week. It’s best to take it after a workout.  Since IGF-1 has a very short half-life, desensitization will rarely be noticed.

IGF-1 LR3

This variant of IGF-1 should be taken daily for 7 days in a week. Desensitization occurs and protocol should not go beyond 90 days. A break is needed before resuming treatment. There are other treatment options during the break. 

DES IGF-1 (not available from the pharmacy)

DES IGF-1 should be dosed multiple times in a day, most preferably, before you embark on your training activities. You should target specific sites and muscles with this version. Since DES IGF-1 has a very short half-life, desensitization can rarely be noticed. You should always ensure that you localize your target sites so that you aim at specific muscle groups. If you want to enhance your biceps, you should administer this injection right into your biceps.

Side Effects of IGF-1

IGF-1 in high doses can cause hypoglycemia, but it is not as severe as that caused by insulin. This is the most common side effect. 

It is highly debated that IGF-1 can increase the size of a tumor in cancer patients. Even though this factor might be true in patients with existing cancer cases, IGF-1 does not cause cancer. In fact, the human body requires IGF-1 to regulate heart functions, brain cell stimulation and to improve the functioning of the nervous system.

IGF-1 Therapy Consultations

If you have additional questions about growth hormone therapy or if you would like to be tested for your levels of IGF-1, call 480-839-4131 to schedule your consultation with one of our licensed physicians and transformyou today.

All patients always work directly with one of our licensed physicians to ensure patient safety and confidentiality.

It is important to remember that any program or treatment we offer at transformyou carrying the phrase 'Anti-Aging’ is not intended to stop or prevent one from aging. Rather, our services and products are designed to help individuals effectively manage and navigate the aging process, yielding the best possible levels of health and wellness.

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Research

Antoine Salzmann, Sarah-Naomi James, Dylan M Williams, Marcus Richards, Dorina Cadar, Jonathan M Schott, William Coath, Carole H Sudre, Nishi Chaturvedi, Victoria Garfield, Investigating the Relationship Between IGF-I, IGF-II, and IGFBP-3 Concentrations and Later-Life Cognition and Brain Volume, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 106, Issue 6, June 2021, Pages 1617–1629.

Mohamed-Ali V, Pinkney J. Therapeutic potential of insulin-like growth factor-1 in patients with diabetes mellitus. Treat Endocrinol 2002;1:399-410.

Scavo LM, Karas M, Murray M, Leroith D. Insulin-like growth factor-I stimulates both cell growth and lipogenesis during differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells into adipocytes. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004;89:3543-3553.

Higashi Y, Quevedo HC, Tiwari S, et al. The interaction between IGF-1, atherosclerosis and vascular aging. Front Horm Res. 2014;43:107-124

Higashi Y, Pandey A, Goodwin B, Delafontaine P. Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 Regulates Glutathione Peroxidase Expression and Activity in Vascular Endothelial Cells: Implications for Atheroprotective Actions of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013;1832:391–399.

Kasemkijwattana C, Menetrey J, Bosch P, Somogyi G, Moreland MS, Fu FH, Buranapanitkit B, Watkins SS, Huard J. Use of growth factors to improve muscle healing after strain injury. Clin Orthop. 2000;370:272–285.

Schiaffino S, Mammucari C. Regulation of skeletal muscle growth by the IGF1-Akt/PKB pathway: insights from genetic models. Skelet Muscle. 2011;1(1):4. Published 2011 Jan 24. doi:10.1186/2044-5040-1-4

Junilla RK, List EO, Berryman DE,et al. The GH/IGF-1 axis in aging and longevity. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2013;9(6):366-76

Cappola AR, Bandeen-Roche K, Wand GS, et al. Association of IGF-1 levels with muscle strength and mobility in older women.

Aguirre GA, Rodriguez J, de la Garza RG, et al. Insulin-like growth factor-1 deficiency and metabolic syndrome. J Transl Med. 2016;14:3.

Kawai M, Rosen CJ. The IGF-I regulatory system and its impact on skeletal and energy homeostasis. J Cell Biochem. 2010;111(1):14-19. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001;86(9):4139-46.