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IGF-1 and Blood Pressure

Low levels of IGF-1 are associated with hypertension. [90] Several clinical trials have suggested that IGF-1 may have a role in preventing the development of hypertension. [91] In vitro and in vivo experiments have shown that IGF-1 has vasodilatory properties. [92-93] Normally, blood pressure increases if blood cannot flow freely inside the blood vessels due to narrowing of the opening, fat deposits, plaques and other causes. [94] Vasodilatory action of IGF-1 causes the blood vessels to relax or widen, thereby allowing more blood to flow freely inside it. This in turn leads to a reduction in the blood pressure. IGF-1 also attenuates the contractile action of the powerful vasoconstrictor known as endothelin-1 by altering the signaling activity of its receptors in smooth muscle cells. [95] Moreover, the role of IGF-1 in improving blood glucose levels can also help lower blood pressure. High blood glucose causes the blood to become thick and sticky, thus affecting its normal flow. [96] This in turn increases the pressure within the blood vessels and can lead to rupture if not treated. Because of these powerful mechanisms, numerous high quality studies have shown that IGF-1 replacement therapy in patients with hypertension may help normalize blood pressure, thereby reducing their risk of developing serious medical conditions. [97-105]

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