IGF-1 means insulin-like growth factor-1 and is a type of hormone that is manufactured by the liver following the secretion of growth hormone by the pituitary gland.
Understanding what IGF-1 is, its functions in the body, and the benefits it provides is necessary prior to the use of the compound.
IGF is an essential component of development and natural injury recovery since it is used by the body to signal cell growth which leads to muscle and bone growth.
In addition, it is always important to be in the known, for possible adverse reactions or side effects accompanying a product.
In regards to IGF-1, side effects can be relatively mild for most, since it is already produced by the body, as the natural by-product of Human Growth Hormone synthesis in the liver.
However, side effects can also be moderate to severe for others.
IGF-1 Side Effects
Insulin-like growth factor-1, IGF-1 is a human protein that is most noted for its ability to enhance lean muscle mass, while reducing body fat.
It can be ingested through a number of foods that can be incorporated into a daily diet as well as through a variety of supplements.
Naturally, growth hormone is manufactured in the pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain, and IGF-1 is manufactured in the liver following impulses sent by the pituitary gland’s growth hormone to synthesize more compounds or increase production.
IGF-1 is quite known in regard to its use as a treatment for children and adolescents that exhibits or show a deficiency in growth hormones, and its use in various forms by athletes or as a bodybuilding and weightlifting supplement has long been a controversial topic.
While some claim it provides enormous benefits, others claim it doesn’t work.
A number of side effects are attributed to misuse and abuse of growth hormones such as IGF-1, and a person who takes more than a recommended dosage can experience a number of negative effects that may become permanent side effects sometimes.
Also, the use of cautiousness in regard to hormone replacement or supplementation is highly recommended, since hormones have a huge impact on other hormonal glands of the endocrine system that can affect one or more hormones, body organs, and body systems functions.
Some of the most common IGF-1 spray side effects include short-term as well as long-term effects. For example, a short-term side effect includes hypoglycemia or a fall in blood sugar levels of the body.
This is because, IGF-1, as a hormone, may interfere with and interrupt the production and function of insulin. Insulin on its own is a hormone responsible for maintaining levels of glucose (blood sugar) in the body.
A longer-term side effect can be similar in nature to those of any growth hormone, and anabolic effects of growth hormone can result in different tissues of the body, with different impacts.
In athletes, side effects associated with abuse of IGF-I have been reported to result in changes in physical appearance.
In bodybuilding, IGF-I is meant to suppress the breakdown of proteins and preserve skeletal muscle, but abuse can also cause accelerated bone growth, and in extreme cases of long-term abuse, may contribute to abnormal growth of feet, the hands, and facial features (acromegaly).
Use of IGF-1 in Sport
Insulin-like growth factor-1 is a growth hormone that has an influence on muscle growth and development.
This is the main reason why sports organizations around the world have reviewed it and banned their use by sportspersons.
It is seen as a form of cheating. More importantly is the fact that organizations like WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, are more concerned with the health and wellness of athletes than the outcome of competitions.
It is these athletes who often tend to abuse performance-enhancing drugs.
IGF-1 and Cancer
An article published in Endocrine Care examined the relationship between cancer mortality and IGF-1, utilizing a population-based study that involved 633 men aged 50 years and older, who had IGF-1 measured in their blood after attending a clinic from 1988-1991.
The subjects were tracked through July 2006, and the study concludes that higher serum IGF-I in older men is associated with increased risk of cancer death, which is independent of age, adiposity, cancer history, and lifestyle.
IGF-1 Side Effects, against Steroids Use
Steroids are synthetic forms of testosterone or human growth hormones that are injected directly into muscle in order to ready release of male hormones such as testosterone.
The desired effect is to boost muscle and bone strength quickly while aiding in injury prevention, and recovery.
Too bad that steroids come with many known side effects, which include:
- Inflated growth of organs
- The appearance of secondary sexual characteristics
- The drop of testes and suppression of testosterone production
- Reproductive problems and Erectile dysfunction
- Hysterical depressive mood disorders, and Eating disorders
- Body dysmorphia, and
Similarly, IGF-1 can exhibit many of the same side effects as steroids, when it is taken in a synthetic or artificial form.
This product is actually intended for patients who exhibit severely stunted growth, and when taken as a weightlifting aid, it can be harmful, as it creates a severe imbalance in existing healthy levels of hormones and IGF-1 already present in the body.
IGF-1 side effects can be as severe as those of artificial steroids, provided the supplement is synthetic and injected at high levels over a long duration of time.
IGF-1 side effects can be lessened by sticking to natural forms of the compound, and being extremely careful not to overdose.
However, most people who wish to try IGF-1 and people desiring muscle support for age-related conditions are discouraged by having to acquire a prescription in order to use the compound, with years of warnings about steroids side effects also putting many off from trying IGF-1.
Today, more effective and less risky methods for taking the supplement, such as antler extract sprays, make IGF supplementation more practical, as this type of mild daily supplementation allows users to explore the benefits of IGF supplements safely and effectively.