Peptide Therapy – What Is IGF-1?
What is IGF-1?
Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF 1) is a protein, produced primarily by the liver, responsible for a wide range of cellular functions including normal growth and health maintenance. Similar in molecular structure to insulin (hence the name), this hormone helps to transfer glucose through the cell membranes and helps to supply the raw materials that cells need for growth and repair including muscle, heart and nerve cells.
While insulin is made in the pancreas, IGF 1 is produced in the liver. The two hormones work together, back and forth to determine what the body will use as fuel. When you eat, insulin kicks in and the body is fueled by glucose. During fasting periods, fat is primarily utilized for fuel. Over time, if the liver becomes fatty, the body can lose the capacity to produce IGF 1, thus causing the body to create more insulin, resulting in diabetes.
IGF-1 plays an important role in childhood growth and continues to have anabolic effects in adults. While IGF-1 is produced throughout life, the highest levels of IGF-1 occur during puberty, and the lowest levels during infancy and old age.
Production of IGF-1 is stimulated by growth hormone (GH) and can be diminished by many factors including malnutrition, GH insensitivity and lack of GH receptors.
Variation in levels of GH and IGF-1 in the body include: insulin levels, genetics, disease, age, sex, ethnicity, nutrition, stress and fitness level.
Benefits of Increased Growth Hormone Levels
Increasing levels of GH and IGF-1 enhances muscle and cognitive performance. Therefore, optimizing the production and secretion of GH can be a great addition to any fitness regimen, wellness, or anti-aging program.
When the volume of human growth hormone (HGH) produced by the pituitary gland increases, it causes an increase in the production of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) by the liver and results in several health benefits such as:
- Decreased body fat
- Increased muscle mass
- Increased strength
- Improved energy & strength
- Improved quality of sleep
- Helps combat insomnia
- Increases physical and mental performance
- Enhances calcium retention
- Bone density Improves
- Improves immune function
- Improves fat burning
- Improves skin elasticity
- Aids in connective tissue repair post injury
Both GH and IGF-1 are known to enhance performance, and increasing GH leads to increased IGF-1.
IGF-1 maintains muscle, connective tissues, brain and heart cells so it is widely used in anti-aging and athletic training protocols. Because IGF-1 is a protein, it cannot be absorbed orally as it is rapidly broken down in the gastrointestinal tract. Thus injection therapy is the preferred method.
The peptide therapy protocols (Amino Acid Analogs) prescribed by our providers are also known as secretagogues (pronounced se-creta-gog), a substance that promotes secretion. These amino acid chains communicate with the body to produce or release growth hormone. Hence a secretagogue causes the body’s own natural processes to produce growth hormone. Secretagogues do not act as growth hormones but rather stimulate the pituitary gland to secrete your stored growth hormone. The subcutaneous injection route of growth hormone stimulation is a preferred route to help slow down age and environmental reductions in growth hormone levels.
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