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IGF-1 is an endocrine hormone produced in the liver. It does this in response to the stimulation of growth hormone manufactured and secreted by the pituitary gland.
The pituitary gland is commonly nicknamed the master gland of the body because it is responsible for overseeing, maintaining, and directing production and secretion of a number of glands in the body.
IGF-1 is bound to one of six binding proteins. Levels of IGF-1 are manufactured in the body through our entire lives. Growth hormone, manufactured by the pituitary gland declines as we age due to aging process is, as do many other hormones in the body including the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. Ingestion of adequate amounts of protein can help increase IGF-1 levels.
A number of issues can affect IGF-1 hormone (insulin-like growth factor) levels including age, weight, stress, overall nutritional intake, exercise, as well as disease or medical condition status. IGF-1 levels can also increase or decrease throughout the day, as can growth hormone secretions.
Growth hormone (GH) is a manufactured in the interior or frontal lobe of the pituitary gland. When it’s released, it triggers the liver to produce IGF-1, which in turn stimulates systemic cellular growth on nearly every cell in the body. This growth is most noted in skeletal information, muscle development, connective tissues like cartilage, and in skin, nerve, kidney and liver cells, just to name a few.
IGF-1 plays a role in a number of mechanisms of actions regarding body functions.
The hormone can be found in numerous types of cells and tissues in the body.
IGF-1 binds to specific cellular structures, which makes its main mechanism of action that of an insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R). For example, the receptor tyrosine kinase, when bound to IGF-1 receptors, can trigger messaging or signaling between cells.
It also initiates AKT signaling pathways, vital in proliferation and growth of cells. IGF-1 can also play a role in inhibiting cellular death.
Most familiar however, is the action of IGF-1 when it comes to growth hormone effects. While a number of studies involving IGF-1 have been connected to small animals and laboratory environments and some in vivo and in vitro studies, large, controlled, and long-term studies involving mechanisms of action in a number of human processes and disease processes must continue.
Because insulin-like growth factor-1 is triggered by the secretion of growth hormone, it stands to reason that a dysfunction or malfunction of the pituitary gland can also affect the manufacture and secretion of IGF-1 by the liver. Studies of low insulin growth factor 1 continue as well.
One specific study, “The effects of growth hormone and IGF-1 deficiency on cerebrovascular and brain aging” have led researchers to note age-related changes in cellular and tissue functions that are directly linked to lack of growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1, and anabolic hormones.
Most research has been focused on the effect of IGF-1 on muscle mass and bone development. One study, reported in the Journal of Anatomy, determined that growth hormone administered for approximately 28 days increased the microvascular density in older animals and that brain or cerebrovascular vasculature is an important paracrine source of IGF-1 for the brain.
It was also noted that growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH sent as a neurohormone messenger from the hypothalamus gland to stimulate increased of production and secretion of growth hormone) can reduce decline of some memory and spatial awareness functioning in the brain.
Insulin-like growth factor-1 is an important facet of overall health and wellness. Talk to your doctor about natural ways to increase levels of IGF-1 through diet and exercise or dietary supplements that not only provide support to the pituitary gland, but enhance production and secretion of IGF-1 in the body.
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