IGF-1 Supplementation

As people age, there are a wide array of health issues they face. These include loss of muscle and bone mass, slow recovery from injury, decreased sexual function and desire, mood changes and other symptoms related with aging. Fortunately, recent advances in the anti-aging industry showed that an effective IGF-1 supplement can address all of these concerns by supporting muscle and bone growth, [47] increasing nerve regeneration, and ramping up sexual power.

Route of Administration
No matter what value and how potent an IGF-1 supplement has, it is useless if the method of delivery is not viable. IGF-1, like all growth factor hormones, is difficult to supplement due to the fragility of the compounds. Oral supplementation of IGF-1 is ineffective because they are typically destroyed in the gastrointestinal tract due to their extreme sensitivity to decomposition during digestion. [48] IGF-1, whether artificial or natural, must be administered via subcutaneous (between the skin and muscle) or intramuscular injections to avoid stomach acids and for it to be effective.

IGF-1 variants are classified into two groups: IGF-1 LR3 and DES IGF-1. Base IGF-1 has a very short half-life which only lasts about 10 to 20 minutes, [49] as a result, it is quickly destroyed by the body. To solve this issue, IGF-1 was modified leading to the creation of the amino acid analog IGF-1 LR3 (Long). The other variant of IGF-1 is known as DES IGF-1, which is a truncated version that is 10 times more potent than IGF-1. These variants have different actions which allow them to function in specific ways.

IGF-1 LR3 is also known as Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I Long Arg3 or Long R3 IGF-1. The IGF-1 LR3 is a long-term analog of human IGF-1 which has a half-life of about 20 to 30 hours and is much more potent than base IGF-1. [50] The enhanced potency of IGF-1 LR3 is due to its decreased binding action to all known IGF binding proteins – these binding proteins normally inhibit the biological actions of IGF. Since the half-life of IGF-1 LR3 is about a day, it will circulate in the body for longer periods of time and will bind to receptors and activate cell communication that improves muscle growth and fat reduction.

IGF-1 LR3 helps build new muscle tissue in the body by promoting nitrogen retention and protein synthesis. [51] This in turn causes muscle growth through both hyperplasia (increase in muscle cells) and mitogenesis (actual growth of new muscle fibers). Thus, IGF-1 LR3 does not only make muscle fibers grow bigger, but it also makes more of them.

When IGF-1 LR3 is active, it plays multiple roles on the tissues in muscle cells. IGF-1 LR3 increases the activity of satellite cells (precursors to skeletal muscle cells), muscle protein content, muscle DNA, muscle weight and muscle cross sectional area – all of these induce muscle growth and their effects are enhanced when combined with weight training.

IGF-1 DES is the shorter version of the IGF-1 chain, which is 5 times more potent than IGF-LR3 and 10 times more potent than regular base IGF-1. [52] The half-life for IGF-1 DES is about 20-30 minutes. [53] It has the ability to stimulate muscle hyperplasia better than IGF-1 LR3 so it is best used for site injections where you want to see muscle growth rather than overall growth. In addition, IGF-1 DES is known to bind to receptors that have been deformed by lactic acid, which occurs during workouts. [54] This allows IGF-1 DES to bind itself to a mutated receptor and signal growth of tissues during training. IGF-1 DES can be used for longer periods of time and more frequently than IGF-1 LR3.

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