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IGF-1 for bodybuilding, (insulin-like growth factor-1) is a peptide hormone that has become a popular supplement.
This supplement, at its base of definition, is a hormone with a molecular structure similar to that of insulin.
IGF-1 plays an important role as a growth hormone.
Hormones are secreted by glands of the endocrine system and produce a variety of changes as well as regulation of body functions.
As such, it has the potential to affect numerous body systems. So, is use of IGF-1 for bodybuilding safe?
Is Using IGF-1 For Bodybuilding Safe?
IGF-1, also known as somatomedin C, is controlled by human growth hormone produced in the pituitary gland in the brain.
Endogenous (body-produced) insulin-like growth hormone is produced and secreted by the liver, following instructions to do so by the pituitary gland.
IGF-1, like its “sisters” IGF-2 and IGF-3, bind to proteins. What has that got to do with bodybuilding?
Many use IGF-1 for bodybuilding cycles because, as a growth factor, it does promote the development and proliferation of muscle cells and tissues.
The spray is known to enhance muscle mass gains, endurance, and strength. Because of its effects on muscle growth and development, it’s been defined a performance enhancer. As such, it has been banned by numerous athletic organizations around the world for quite some time.
It contains approximately 70 bonded amino acids, essential for development of protein cells, which is why it is defined as a protein peptide hormone.
Like growth hormone, it is rendered useless when broken down by the digestive process. Supplemental use of injection or sublingual (under the tongue) forms are more effective when it comes to results.
Like insulin, insulin-like growth factor 1 bodybuilding interacts with insulin cell receptors. It’s not as strong in nature as insulin, and unlike insulin, it’s not significantly responsible for transporting glucose into the cells, but rather for the division and growth of cells.
Cellular division results in increased cell growth. New cells are always needed by the body to repair, rejuvenate, and replace damaged or dead cells in the body.
Because of its ability to accelerate cellular growth, IGF-1 also has similarities to insulin through its ability to increase the synthesis of glycogen, the main form of energy in the body.
Two different types are typically produced in muscle. One of those is mechano growth factor (MGF), which triggers the action of a number of proteins responsible for synthesis of muscle proteins. This function also enables cells to repair damaged muscle fibers.
During exercise, and most especially high-intensity weight training employed by bodybuilders, this factor can also stimulate the release of IGF-1 into muscle fibers.
Other factors are responsible for the stimulation and synthesis of IGF-1 production in the body.
However, it’s also important to be aware that it takes more than one hormone or component in the body to produce these benefits. Diet, adequate calorie intake, and adequate levels of protein are also vital in maintaining and stimulating production.
However, too much of anything can be detrimental. Excessive caloric intake can lead to an increase in body fat as opposed to lean muscle mass.
What About Side Effects of IGF-1 For bodybuilding?
Always keep in mind that hormones are powerful components in the body that can contribute to a number of emotional, and mental thought processes as well as physical functions.
The body does tend to produce adequate amounts of IGF-1 and other hormones with a balanced and nutritious diet, adequate exercise, and a generally healthy lifestyle.
Using IGF-1 for bodybuilding results is a popular concept, but always weigh the benefits with risks.
Not everyone will experience benefits, and the same applies to side effects. However, too much in the body, especially in synthetic form, can result in a number of issues including:
Pain experienced in the jaw, facial muscles, and the hands
Swelling of the heart or an enlarged heart (cardiomyopathy) which can contribute to high blood pressure and heart damage
Synthetic forms remain in the body longer than endogenous IGF-1 and can lead to abnormal growth of not only muscle tissues, but organs
Protruding belly (caused by abnormal growth of organs)
Potential risk of cancer
While many users of growth hormone injections obtained without a prescription (illegal) or other forms of growth hormone scoff at the potential of severe side effects of excessive levels of IGF-1 in the body, always err on the side of caution.
When taking supplements, it’s always important to read the label instructions regarding dosage. The problem is that many bodybuilders and athletes engage in illicit use of anabolic steroids and hormones.
They obtain injectable forms of the drug illegally and often misuse and abuse the product by taking alarmingly high doses than recommended.
While IGF-1 for bodybuilding can produce impressive results, it’s always important to carefully consider the risks you’re taking when injecting any hormone or steroid into your body.
Sometimes, the risks, side effects, and adverse reactions are not worth the benefits of buying.