There are many processes that take place in the body naturally which helps sustain the body and thus life. But as age advances, the body organs too start ageing and do not function as it should and that is when, different illnesses start to set in. That is when, certain supplements and hormone therapies are suggested. IGF-1, Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 is one such supplement which has various benefits and is a similar structure to insulin.
Know more about IGF-1
IGF or Insulin like Growth Factor is actually a natural hormone the liver generates. It is called so because it has a molecular structure like that of Insulin. It is an endocrine hormone and its production goes on in the body continuously. Generally, it is the pituitary gland that produces hormones such as GH or the growth hormone. When the pituitary gland releases GH, as a response, the liver produces IGF. Both these processes are beneficial as it enhances cell growth. This growth of cells is what is used for muscle build-up, skin formation, liver cells growth and so on.
Insulin-like Growth Factor -1 has many benefits. It is responsible for cell growth and also to enhance nerve cell synthesis and even the DNA production. Along with its receptors that bind to different cells, additional benefits can take place. Tyrosine kinase when binds to IGF-1 can stimulate the communication or signalling between different cells. IGF is also helpful in the stimulation of AKT signalling as well as prevents cell damage.
Research findings on IGF-1
Even today, studies are going on regarding the benefits and usage of IGF. The pituitary gland that is responsible for many hormone productions decrease its function as age advances. As the GH levels become lesser in the body, so do the IGF-1 as well. This also means sex hormones too decline in the body. Apart from age, the health and weight of the person too can trigger or reduce hormone levels. Of course, the nutrition that the body receives as well as the medical condition of the user also matter.
There has been some notable studies regarding IGF which has a similar structure to insulin and one such study has been on how the insufficiency of IGF-1 can affect the working of brain. If such studies are able to find the connection, then many age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s can be treated with IGF. Some studies on animals have found that with adequate IGF-1, many symptoms related to brain damage can be addressed.
Yet, the one area where many research studies are going on is to find the connection between muscle and bone development with the help of IGF-1. Studies on animals have proved all the assumptions right but the research on humans is yet to come out.
Since IGF-1 is a natural hormone, it does bring about many benefits and can be advantageous to the body. Also, there are many dietary supplements that are available which can also help in increasing the levels of IGF-1. Talk to your doctor and find what is best for you.