Overall IGF-1 (insulin like growth hormone) function, also known as somatomedin is dependent on the production and presence of HGH (human growth hormone). HGH is produced in the anterior pituitary gland, and is released into the blood stream in pulses.
While in the bloodstream HGH signals the liver to produce IGF-1. IGF-1 is ten times more potent than HGH, and is directly responsible for almost all of the ultimate benefits of HGH you read about.
IGF-1 is a growth factor similar to insulin in molecular structure; IGF-1 consists of 70 amino acids in a single chain. The production of IGF-1 stimulates systemic body growth, and promotes growth in almost every cell of the body. IGF-1 impacts cellular growth and maintenance in skeletal muscle, skin, bone, cartilage, kidney, nerves, and the lungs.
IGF-1 is essential for maintaining the communication and cooperation between nerve and muscular cells, and further, for muscular strength and recovery from both nerve and muscular cell injury, by assisting in cell maintenance, and enhancing cell specialization.
IGF-1 is produced throughout life, with the lowest levels occurring in infancy and older age and the highest production during the pubertal growth period. It is now known that effective signaling through the insulin/IGF-1 receptor pathway is one of the most significant factors in the biological aging process.
When a human is 30 years old, the body produces approximately 10 milligrams of IGF-1 per day. After 30 years of age, the levels of HGH and IGF-1 produced daily reduced significantly.
Research clearly establishes the impacts of IGF-1 deficiency in humans in the form of general aging. The factors that are known to reduce levels of HGH and IGF-1 includes age, under-nutrition, high body mass index, reduced estrogen status, lower exercise levels, higher stress levels, genetics, time of day, sex, race and the presence of disease.
IGF-1 is critical for enabling the body to continue to move cells from the “resting” phase to the “growth” and “repair” phase. During the aging process as cellular growth is reduced, normalizing IGF-1 levels assists in bringing the aging, slower cells back into a performance state, where cell activity is again optimized.
Physical activity has an impact on IGF-1 levels in the body. Studies have shown that a one week period of strenuous exercise raises IGF-1 blood levels significantly. With reduced ability to exercise strenuously, IGF-1 levels continue to decline.
IGF-1 produced during exercise causes the heart to swell in order to meet increased bodily demand for oxygen. When heart tissue growth occurs in this way, there is no unhealthy scarring. Otherwise an enlarged heart caused by lack of oxygen, high blood pressure and defects in heart valves puts the body at risk. The enlarged heart has decreased nutrient absorption in heart cells and causes scars in the heart tissue.
Strange but true, a study involving a Burmese python provided interesting results. After eating, the snake’s blood contained an increase of fatty acids that prompted the snake’s heart size to increase to aid in digestion.
When those fatty acids were injected into healthy mice, their hearts increased in size without signs of scaring within a week. The study concluded such information could lead to treatments to strengthen hearts damaged by an attack.
Studies show the importance of IGF-1 in gaining control over the aging process and since HGH is directly responsible for the signaling and production of the IGF-1 hormone it is recommended we use a high quality HGH supplement to insure the proper IGF-1 biofeedback mechanisms are in place.