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HGH versus IGF-1: Which is better?
Before choosing, it’s important to know what each is, how they differ from one another, and what each can do separately or working together
HGH stands for human growth hormone.
IGF-1 stands for insulin-like growth factor-1.
Both encourage growth and development of cells, organs, and organ functions in the body.
Still, they are different, not only in origin, but in function.
HGH Versus IGF-1: Review and Comparison
When it comes to HGH versus IGF-1, it’s not only a matter of which is better or which may produce the more impressive results, but about safety.
We want to begin by saying that deciding between HGH and IGF-1 is a fool’s errand.
They are not the same thing, so it is a bit like comparing apples and oranges.
However, they both play critical roles in promoting growth. HGH and IGF-1 work together in the body.
Still, it is worthwhile to examine what makes each unique before supplementing with either synthetic growth hormone or synthetic IGF-1.
What is HGH?
HGH, or human growth hormone, it is manufactured in the pituitary gland.
The tiny, raisin-sized gland is situated deep in the brain.
Despite its diminutive size, the pituitary gland is also known as the master gland of the body.
This is due to its responsibility for overseeing the production and secretions of other hormones in the body.
The pituitary gland can increase production and secretions of growth hormone when it receives a trigger from the hypothalamus, also located in the brain. The hypothalamus is responsible for homeostatic balances in the body.
The hypothalamus secretes growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) to stimulate production of growth hormone in the pituitary.
If levels are inadequate, the hypothalamus secretes GHRH. If the body has enough growth hormone, it releases an inhibiting hormone known as somatostatin.
When growth hormone is released, it also indirectly acts on other growth promoting functions of the liver and other tissues in the body.
What is IGF-1?
In response to the release of growth hormone, the liver manufactures and secretes insulin-like growth factors, including IGF-1.
These specific mechanisms of action promote growth of skeletal and extra-skeletal functions in the body including but not limited to:
Increase in cartilage formation
Enhanced protein synthesis
Boost in cellular growth and repair
In addition to these indirect actions, growth hormone also promotes other more direct actions including those that influence the metabolic system. These actions can trigger:
Fat (lipid) metabolism (increasing breakdown of fats)
A bodybuilder shouldn’t just compare HGH versus IGF-1, as they both work together to promote so many indirect and direct functions in the body that can benefit bodybuilding and athletic performance enhancement.
Both are anabolic in nature.
HGH VS. IGF-1 Side Effects
Before comparing HGH versus IGF-1 in regard to usage, be aware of the potential side effects of either used separately or combined.
The hypothalamus gland is responsible for maintaining a careful balance and interaction of hormones in the body.
When left to do its job, the hypothalamus and the pituitary as well as other hormone glands function optimally.
At times, a malfunction occurs or a growth hormone deficiency can be diagnosed. At such times, these conditions can be treated with oversight by a physician.
When a bodybuilder injects either HGH or IGF-1 into the body, he or she is taking on a number of risks.
Exogenous (outside the body) introduction of either hormone or growth factor can trigger a number of unexpected side effects and adverse reactions.
HGH versus IGF-1 side effects are often similar in nature because they’re both involved in growth processes of cellular and organ structures. These side effects can be short-term or long-term in nature.
Short-term effects of IGF-1 include declining blood sugar levels known as hypoglycemia.
As a hormone, IGF-1 and HGH can also disrupt function of insulin, contributing to insulin resistance, which in turn can develop into diabetes mellitus.
IGF-1 has the potential to suppress breakdown of proteins while HGH triggers synthesis or production of proteins.
Both HGH and IGF-1 have the potential to trigger unbridled growth of bone, connective tissue, and muscle in certain joints of the body.
The condition is known as acromegaly. It mainly occurs in the face, such as the forehead, the jaw, and is also been noted in the wrists and joints of the lower extremities.
Another serious side effect of HGH and IGF-1, especially when levels in the body are higher than normal, is the potential for development of cardiomyopathy or an enlarged heart. This itself can trigger a number of cardiovascular issues and dangers.
So far we have been discussing synthetic versions of HGH and IGF-1.
There are natural alternatives on the market that are less prone to adverse side effects.
Rather than directly putting additional growth hormone and/or IGF-1 into the body, these products help trigger the body to naturally generate more of these compounds on its own.
For those seeking the potential advantages to weight loss and athletic performance that either growth hormone or IGF-1 can offer, HGH-X2 is a nutritional supplement that can help.
HGH-X2 is legal, safer and does not require an injection.
Things to Consider with HGH and IGF-1
Before considering HGH versus IGF-1, take the time to research. Many bodybuilders feel that IGF-1 is less dangerous and easier to control in regard to benefits and side effects than HGH. This is not always true.
Dosage, frequency of dosage, and individual physical factors including metabolism, hormone levels, diet, and exercise can also influence the benefits as well as negatively influence the potential for side effects and adverse reactions.
HGH versus IGF-1 is a bit of a misnomer.
They are not the same thing, although they both promote the same functions: growth. It’s more like HGH and IGF-1 working together.
In either case, and no matter which you choose, or even in combination, proceed with caution.