IGF-1: The pros and cons

Insulin like growth hormone – 1 is nothing but a hormone that is acts similar to insulin. This along with the growth hormone reproduces and regenerates cells and helps in growth of the tissues. Growth hormone released by the pituitary gland is active only for a short duration and in this time, it stimulates the liver to produce IGF-1 hormone. IGF helps strengthen the bones and builds muscle mass and fastens the healing process of the body. Artificial form of IGF is generally used in the treatment of growth related diseases and especially in children.

Other than this, IGF is very popular in the bodybuilding and sports world. They are available in various forms to be taken. It helps increase the performance of the user and is thus considered ananabolic steroid. There are many reviews one can go through when they want to start on IGF for its performance enhancement feature and there is also a full video review of IGF-1 where the pros and cons are discussed. The reviews are always both ways i.e. some people give a very good review about the usage of the hormone supplement and some give a negative feedback saying that they result in many side effects. Similarly, let’s look at a few pros and cons here.

Pros of IGF-1 hormone

  • Performance Enhancement – IGF binds with a receptor available on the cell membrane and it helps in synthesizing protein and it also slows down the breakdown of protein. Thus, there is more protein available and the size of the muscle increases and results in increasing the performance of the individual.
  • Boosts bone strength – Due to its cell regeneration capacity IGF helps in building strong bones and keeps fractures at bay. It also helps delay the onset of osteoarthritis kind of degenerations.
  • Muscle growth – It helps increase the size of the muscles at a faster rate when compared to non-users. This allows bodybuilders prepare for shows faster and boosts confidence.
  • Improves cognitive ability – a study conducted revealed positive results between use of IGF and improvement in cognitive ability. This is attributed to its neuroprotective capability.
  • IGF is beneficial in both the cycles.

Cons

  • It canprove to be life threatening in case the user starts suffering from cancer, as IGF’s main function is to reproduce cells and the tumor cells have a tendency to multiply faster.
  • There are chances of irregular growth of organs.
  • There are side effects that can start affecting the overall health status of the individual such as depression, addictive, headaches etc.
  • There can be short term side effects such as hypoglycemia due to abnormally low levels of glucose in the body.
  • Bone growth due to IGF supplementation can lead to changes in physical appearances, there can be features of acromegaly (abnormal face, hands and feet development)
  • In rare cases, but surely noted is the abnormal growth of the heart muscle which weakens the heart muscle and might lead to cardiomyopathy. The heart valves and heart rhythm are affected due to this.