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When learning how to increase IGF-1 naturally, the first step is to know what it is and what it does.
IGF-1 is an acronym for insulin-like growth factor-1, manufactured in the liver. It’s a natural hormone; a type of growth hormone to be specific.
What does insulin-like growth factor do?
It’s a hormone secreted by the liver that is regulated by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, both located in the brain.
This hormone is influential in cellular metabolism, protein synthesis, and immune system function.
It also plays a role in a number of biochemical interactions and functions in the body’s cells.
As we age, natural production of hormones decreases. Decrease in insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a polypeptide hormone that is similar to insulin (hence its name), has been linked to a decline in activity of cells.
Before learning how to increase IGF-1 naturally, be aware that too much of anything, even a supplement added to enhance endogenous hormones, can have a negative influence on those hormones.
IGF-1 has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity. As such, it can have an impact on insulin production and function. Some disruption of these levels can trigger Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
How to Increase IGF-1 Naturally Through Supplements
A number of IGF-1 supplements are available on the market today.
After dietary considerations, supplements are often beneficial in increasing hormone levels without taking drastic steps such as prescription-strength injections.
IGF-1 is converted in the body. This conversion relies on growth hormone, manufactured by the pituitary gland.
Individuals looking to naturally boost their levels of IGF-1 often turn to supplements containing a variety of ingredients to boost the pituitary.
IGF-1 manufactured in the body (endogenous) is composed of approximately 70 amino acids. As such, any IGF-1 supplement should contain many amino acids.
Bodybuilders Using IGF-1
It is not recommended that bodybuilders take prescription strength growth hormone or growth factors without the guidance and supervision of a physician.
This ensures safe use as well as reduction of potential side effects and adverse reactions.
IGF-1, when used by bodybuilders and athletes, can promote a number of benefits including:
Increase in development of lean body mass
Reduction of fat
Improved bone growth and strength
Boost in muscle development
Enhanced nerve conduction
Repair of damaged peripheral nerve tissue
The bottom line is that IGF-1 is a vital component of muscle growth and development.
Microtears in muscle fiber are not only repaired, but after healed, lead to even greater potential in growth by the influence of IGF-1.
When taking steps to increase IGF-1 naturally, turn to nutrients that not only support the pituitary gland, but the activities involved in the above-mentioned benefits.
For example, calcium is an important component to bone strength, as are other vitamins and minerals including:
Vitamins C, D, E, and K
Protein is also essential. Under appropriate dietary guidelines, consumption of adequate nutrients is effective in promoting the maintenance, health, and secretions of numerous glands in the body besides the pituitary, including the liver, where IGF-1 is manufactured and secreted.
Maintaining Adequate Balances
When it comes to hormone production, including that of IGF-1, the body is typically capable of maintaining its own system of checks and balances.
It can be frustrating for not only healthcare providers, but bodybuilders, looking to provide a boost not only in muscle growth and strength, but endurance, stamina, and performance to find just the right balance of hormones to achieve this.
The body is designed to carefully maintain adequate chemical balances and ratios of vitamins and minerals, enzymes, proteins, carbohydrates, and amino acids responsible for specific and often complicated functions in the body.
For example, dairy products are recommended to most for its vitamin and protein content, but a high intake of dietary proteins does have the potential to trigger an increase in IGF-1 production.
This sounds like a good thing, and is a natural way to increase IGF-1 in the body, but too much can potentially trigger development of prostate cancer.
Excessive levels of calcium can suppress synthesis of vitamin D, which is believed to protect the prostate gland from cancer.
Side Effects Associated With IGF-1
When learning how to increase IGF-1 naturally, avoid the mistake that others have made.
Just because a product contains natural ingredients and is not prescription strength, doesn’t mean that it cannot cause harmful side effects.
Higher than normal levels of IGF-1 in the body can contribute to negative side effects including but not limited to:
Potential development of hypoglycemia
Water retention (edema)
While the risks of supplemental IGF-1 products are not as dangerous as injection or oral forms of genuine IGF-1, users may experience different reactions that include the benefits as well as the side effects.
Before taking steps or learning how to increase IGF-1 naturally, understand the hormone.
Be aware of what it can and cannot do, combined with associated dangers of use.