Bodybuilding is a highly competitive sport, and science has provided many participants with natural and nutrition-based methods of gaining an edge. One of the most effective is the use of supplements containing insulin-like growth factor 1, also known as IGF-1. This hormone is produced naturally in the body throughout life, bearing the primary responsibility for rapid growth during childhood, and production declines with age.
Role of IGF-1 in Bodybuilding
IGF-1 has a structure that closely mimics that of insulin, and it binds to cells in similar ways. Just as the hormone plays a large role in puberty-associated growth spurts, a decline in IGF-1 is a known precursor to neurodegenerative disease, heart disease, and premature aging. Lab experiments have shown that increasing the concentration of this hormone results in a longer life span for many species and concomitant slowing of degenerative processes associated with aging.
For bodybuilders, this is important news. IGF-1 is intimately connected to cell growth and DNA synthesis in nearly every cell of the body, including bone, cartilage and skeletal muscles. Increasing serum amounts of this hormone can help ensure that every training session results in muscle growth, making plateaus can become a thing of the past. IGF-1 bodybuilding relies on one of two methods of supplementation, either direct additions of the hormones or addition of the human growth hormone (HGH) responsible for prompting IGF-1 production.
IGF-1 Bodybuilding Connections to HGH
IGF-1 is a product of the liver primarily, and production is stimulated by the production of HGH in the pituitary gland. As HGH concentrations increase approaching puberty, so too does the concentration of IGF-1. After puberty, HGH production declines, which consequently lowers IGF-1 levels. HGH is a controlled substance, and prescriptions rely upon a diagnosis of retarded growth in children or clinical assays showing deficient growth hormone for adults.
Stimulation of HGH production can be accomplished to a lesser degree naturally. Known factors that promote production include adequate rest, vigorous exercise, supplementation of niacin as nicotinic acid, and fasting. The majority of production occurs during deep sleep cycles. Interestingly, increasing levels of IGF-1 in the blood can work to suppress production of HGH.
Maximizing Benefits with IGF-1 Bodybuilding Supplements
Two mechanisms are available for gaining the growth benefits of IGF-1. Several HGH supplements are marketed, yet this is considered a risky endeavor. Much is still unknown about the wide-ranging effects of HGH. Also the quality of supplements may be in doubt. HGH is a large and unstable molecule best absorbed through injections, yet this can cause dependency as the body shuts down natural production.
IGF-1 sources are likewise suspect, as they are largely unregulated and untested. One of the most reliable and natural sources of IGF-1 is actually an ancient Chinese remedy known today as deer antler velvet. The velvet is responsible for growth of the antlers, and it contains numerous beneficial compounds besides IGF-1, including glucosamine and chondroitin, anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, and a range of amino acids.
The quality of deer antler velvet will directly impact IGF-1 bodybuilding applications. Habitat, harvest time, and standardization of dose are all important to maximize benefits. AntlerX has addressed these concerns through sustainable harvesting and the provision of predictable extracts. The supplement is further augmented with minerals and amino acids to ensure top performance specifically for bodybuilders.
For more information on how AntlerX can improve your IGF-1 levels, visit them at www.antlerx.com.