The insulin growth factor is an anabolic hormone that has been used alongside PED cycling regimes by bodybuilders and athletes equally.
The IGF-1 is a protein that is a natural product of human growth and muscle repair, however, its use has been tightly controlled and even banned in most major sports, as a result of the efficacy of the IGF-1, which stands for the Insulin-Like Growth factor.
IGF-1 results can be so intense that addiction to it may become common in many pro sportspersons. The muscle gains and fast recovery it offers to athletes is thought to create an unfair advantage.
Furthermore, IGF-1 is so similar to insulin, that it can interact with insulin cell receptors and produce some of the same effects as insulin.
Reports have suggested that the primary side effect of both excess insulin and IGF-1 is hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose, although insulin is 10 times more potent than IGF-1 in causing that effect.
The medical application of the IGF-1 compound continues to be an important field of research and there are side effects that need to be considered.
In light of the rise in popularity of IGF-1 supplements like deer antler velvet, some studies and research reports have emerged, describing the effects that users can expect from the use of these supplements.
How IGF-1 Works
IGF-1 shares several traits that HGH (human growth hormone) produces, owing to the fact that HGH is a precursor to IGF-1.
It signals the receptors as HGH binds to their receptors. Protein anabolism and muscle growth occur because of IGF-1, and muscle hypertrophy (growth) and hyperplasia (formation of cells) are further promoted by IGF-1.
Although growth owing to the IGF-1 effect is not as significant as those effects of anabolic steroids, however, the hyperplastic effects of IGF-1 cannot be overlooked.
Sportspersons have further taken a keen interest in IGF-1 because of positive effects on cartilage repair and connective tissue repair, and during heavy training sessions, it can greatly benefit in the recovery process.
IGF-1 does not appear to be a cause for heightened fat metabolism, which is an issue with HGH, because body fat levels are maintained by IGF-1 users, even during heavy calorie intake periods.
This can be attributed to the fact that IGF-1 maintains lower blood sugar levels in users.
IGF-1 also has a stimulating effect upon contractile muscle called myosin, which is typically used for:
- Acute injury and repairing muscle damage
- General muscle growth when working out
- Sexual health and relief from ED
- Musculoskeletal support for degenerative conditions
- Correcting hormone imbalances in growth-challenged children
IGF-1 Results in New Scientific Studies
IGF-1 and Protein
A paper published in Cell Metabolism journal found that eating low amounts of protein resulted in a decrease in IGF-1 levels and can lead to an increase in age-related diseases and mortality from cancer.
The study re-emphasizes the importance of maintaining good IGF-1 levels.
IGF-1 and Bone Health
A 2014 paper published in the International Journal of Endocrinology found that IGF-1 supplements greatly accelerated the healing of bone fractures, thus, significantly increasing bone resorption and bone formation.
IGF-1 and Cancer Risks
A Harvard University white paper has found that IGF-1 can contribute to an increase in the occurrence of colorectal cancer, as studies performed on both men and women who were given Growth Hormone in order to increase IGF-1 levels, found that subjects were 2.5 % more likely to develop the cancers.
The same studies also found that IGF-1 did increase muscle mass, improve bone density, and accelerate fat loss.
Side Effects of IGF-1
The IGF-1 hormone is a powerful substance and should be respected by all who use it.
Some of its potential side effects include:
- Quicker tumor growth.
- Sharp risk of cancer and enlarged internal organs.
- Other side effects like secondary growth, might occur with certain users.
- Nausea and headaches are also highly noted as side effects. In most cases, this side effect appears to be dose-specific, a reason why overdosing should be avoided. However, these issues might reduce with different users.
It is not recommended for anyone to take illicit substances, and it wouldn’t be ideal to use IGF-1 if you, or family members, have a history of cancer.
IGF-1 works similarly to insulin and may lead to a hypoglycemic state. All users should note these side effects, especially those who use insulin and plan to use IGF-1 as well.