What Is Igf-1 ( Insulin-Like Growth Factor ) - Health Article

What Is Igf-1 ( Insulin-Like Growth Factor )

IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) stands for insulin-like growth factor and was formerly known as somatomedin-C. It is a natural substance that is produced in the human body and to reach the highest concentrations in the blood during adolescence. IGF-1 is regulated by the HGH (human growth hormone). IGF-1 has a molecular weight of 7.5 kDa. IGF-1 is in many organs (particularly liver) is made and secreted into the circulation, where it is bound to different proteins from which IGFBP-3 is the primary binding protein. These binding proteins provide a longer half-life.


IGF-1 is a growth factor which is of importance for the survival of oligodendrocytes, and the triggering of myelination. In addition, the various repair and constructive functions (especially in puberty). However, this growth factor works on most cells of our body. The growth factor exerts its effect on the cells by means of a receptor, the IGF-I receptor. Because of this he is partly responsible for organ growth. High IGF-1 levels may therefore have adverse effects.


-Abnormalities in growth hormone production
-Treatment of growth hormone deficiency
-Treat acromegaly
-Control hypothalamic-pituitary somatotropic axis


IGF-1 is as a medicinal product still under investigation, it is not yet approved for use as a medicament, it is examined for the repair of nerve tissue, in burn wounds, and possibly also as an aid to muscle wasting in patients with AIDS infection. IGF-1 also appears to have a regenerating effect on the damaged neurons in the brains, which probably would offer opportunities for healing of damaged regions of the brains, such as lack of oxygen at birth, to strokes, alzheimers etc. Nowadays, IGF-1 also a popular sport doping because the product works muscle strengthening and promoting recovery and causes less fat and more muscle.

Differences in IGF-1

There are several available analogs of IGF-1. The most effective are the ordinary recombinant and Long R3 recombinant. The ordinary recombinant IGF-1 is expensive and least efficient. The ordinary IGF-1 has only a half-life of 10-20 minutes in the circulation in humans, it is destroyed quickly. It can be bound to specific proteins in order to extend the half-life, but this is not a simple procedure.

The most efficient form of IGF is Long R3 IGF-1, that has been altered chemically, it has namely, changes in the amino acid sequence which prevent the binding to proteins in the human body. As a result, it gets a much longer half-life of 20-30 hours. Long® R3 IGF-1 is an analog (derivative) of IGF-1 of 83 amino acids comprising the complete human IGF-1 with substitie of an Arg (R) for Glu (E) at position three (hence R3) and an additional chain of 13 amino acids at the N-terminus (N-terminus). This analog of IGF-1 is produced with the intention to increase the biological activity of the IGF-1 peptide. Long® R3 IGF-1 acts considerably stronger than the normal IGF-1. This is due to the reduced affinity of Long® R3 IGF-1 for all known binding proteins, particularly IGFBP 3. These binding proteins normally inhibit the biological activity of IGF-1.


IGF is still under investigation. It is not yet approved for use as a medicine. Therefore, it is still not used as medication.

In the world of sports IGF-1 is used, inter alia for the following purposes:

Burns: IGF mobilizes fat for use as energy in adipose tissue. In lean tissue, IGF prevents insulin to glucose transport across cell membranes. Consequently, the cells have to switch to burning fat for energy.
Hyperplasia: In normal situations muscle growth will occur through hypertrophy. Here, the muscle cell is larger. However, there will never come to muscle cells since they do not undergo cell division can more. IGF-1 can change this by providing the ability to achieve hyperplasia. Hyperplasia is actual cell proliferation.


The IGF-1 concentration is gender and age dependent.
In childhood increase is observed with the highest peak during puberty.

The IGF-1 concentration is affected by the concentration of growth hormone, nutritional status, insulin concentration, thyroxineconcentratie, chronic liver diseases, diabetes mellitus, chronic renal insufficiency.

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