IGF1: Things You Should Know

IGF1: the complete guide

When you are looking to increase your lean muscle mass, you will find several options. These range from the protein supplements to anabolic steroids. It is pretty obvious that you will only select your option depending upon your specific needs.

If you are thinking about a level of muscle mass that could be compared with The Hulk, then you must have probably heard about IFG1. There is no doubt that it has great potentiality for making your dreams become a reality. Nevertheless, you should have a proper understanding of the supplement before making up your mind to buy it. Hence in this IGF1 review, you will be able to clear all your doubts about it.


IGF1: An overview

Also known by the name of Somatomedin C, IGF1 is considered to be the most coveted supplements to be included in a bodybuilder’s regime. That’s because of the powerful anabolic properties of the supplement that allows people to gather massive amounts of muscles on their bodies. It is believed that the first documented usage of IGF1 was at the beginning of the 90s, where a six-time bodybuilding champion showed up with looks that resembles a monster.

He dominated everyone in that competition and nobody was able to compete with his sheer size. That was the end of the golden era of bodybuilding, and IGF1 became a trendsetter. However, the term IGF1 may sound like steroids, but it is not. IGF1 is a protein hormone named peptide, which has a similar structure as that of insulin and produced by the body in a natural way by the liver.

However, the production of IGF1 is totally dependent on the HGH (human growth hormone), because it stimulates the liver to produce and release the protein. As a matter of fact, the growth hormone is a prohormone. Hence, whenever you will hear about the effects of the growth hormone, you should know that it was the effect of IGF1. As IGF1 has a similar structure to that of insulin, the name Insulin-like Growth Factor is derived from that.

But despite having a similar molecular structure as that of insulin, there is other fundamental difference in their structures that allow them to work differently. Insulin helps in transporting the nutrients throughout your body. A much similar type of work IGF1 does, but specifically, it transports only the important nutrients like amino acids and glucose into the muscle cells. The cells utilize those nutrients for developing new muscle tissue.

They have anabolic effects on your connective, bone, and intestinal tissues too. Therefore, the two major differences between these two compounds are that insulin helps in transporting the nutrients to all the parts of the body, whereas IGF1 diverts only the important nutrients to the muscle mass. However, IGF1 has a wide variety of roles that keeps on changing and depends on the development phase that you are in.

As for example, IGF1 is also responsible for secreting the growth factors by which a child transforms into teenage, and then adulthood. Because of this feature, it finds itself in many medical uses like treating growth failure. This peptide is also found to be handy in the treatment of stroke, cancer, anti-aging, and neuropathy.

Further research into the supplement has led the scientists to develop some variants of IGF1, which should be used in treating different disorders. These new variants are IGF1LR3 and IGF1DES. They do possess different properties, as well. For people who are new to this supplement and its variants, there might be some confusion, but you shouldn’t worry about it. They will be discussed in this article.


In what way do IGF1 work?

IGF1 is a peptide hormone that consists of 70 amino acids to form a chain. In comparison, insulin has a chain of around 51 types of amino acids. As aforementioned, this hormone works to transport the important nutrients to the muscle cells, and hence promoting the growth in muscles. But that’s not the only way this hormone works for enhancing the muscle mass.

IGF1 also enhances muscle cell hyperplasia, which means it multiplies the number of cells present in the muscle tissues. Other supplements intended for muscle-building achieve their ability by enhancing muscle cell hypertrophy. That means, they work to develop the growth of the existing muscles, without creating and multiplying them. Hence, when you use IGF1 the rate of muscle building increase drastically, because it encourages muscle cell hyperplasia and hypertrophy, as well.

What are the other variants of the supplement?

As of now after various researches, scientists were able to come up with two different variants if IGF1, and here is what you need to know about them in a detailed way.

IGF1LR3 – When you get to hear about IGF1 in the sports circles and bodybuilding community, people are typically referring to IGF1LR3. Hence, it is the most common and popular type of supplement. IGF1LR3 doesn’t have the chain of 70 amino acids, but they do possess an additional of 13 amino acids at the N-terminus, which becomes a total of 83 amino acids.

This variant of the peptide hormone is also different from the original one in terms of the positioning of certain amino acids. In the LR3 variant, arginine acid occupies the third position instead of glutamic acid occupying that position in the chain. As a result of the modifications, and including the original objectives of the peptide, this variant has the advantage of providing an extended half-life.

Half-life is typically referred to as the time in which the supplement remains active in your system. The half-life of IGF1 is about 12 to 15 hours, whereas the half-life of IGF1LR3 is about 20 to 30 hours. On top of that, the variant LR3 is about three times more potent than the ordinary IGF1. These factors make the variant very popular among the bodybuilders.

IGF1DES – On the other hand, this variant of IGF1 is popular for its fast-acting properties. However, IGF1DES is less preferred than LR3. This variant is different from the original form of the peptide as there is 3 fewer amino acids in its N-terminus. Because of that, IGF1DES consists of a chain that has a total number of 67 amino acids, as compared to the chain in the original peptide.

As a result of this deprivation, IGF1DES has reduced binding capability, which makes it act fast. In addition, the modification makes the supplement more potent by up to 10 times than the original peptide, and up to 5 times more potent than IGF1LR3. However, all the benefits do come with a cost, and for this one, the cost is even a great one.

IGF1DES has a half-life of 20 to 30 minutes, which is a very short span of time. Hence, its effects would remain for a short time and don’t make an ideal solution for anybody who is looking to build and manage a huge amount of muscle mass.

What are the possible side effects of taking IGF1?

Many studies have shown that people can easily tolerate this supplement within their body, provided they remain stick to the recommended doses. Anyone failing to do this will attract both short-term and long-term side effects. For the short-term effects, using the supplement will put certain risks at your blood sugar levels. As you know, one of the primary nutrients is glucose that is being transported to the muscle cells. 

As such, having a higher level of the supplement in your system means more glucose will be transported to the muscle cells, and thus there will be low levels of glucose in the blood. There is nothing to worry about if you take it at optimal doses, but once you decide to shift your course into using a higher dose, there would be unfavorable consequences. Even at lower doses, a diabetic person is at risk of hypoglycemia.

That’s why it is very important to monitor the blood sugar levels before starting to use the supplement. If you are diagnosed with an active tumor or cancer, you need to avoid IGF1. Since the supplement promotes growth, therefore it also promotes the growth of tumor or cancer. Remember that the supplement does not cause cancer or tumors, but it could accelerate their conditions.

For long-term side effects, using the supplement at higher doses will put you at risk of having acromegaly, and additionally for excess growth of the internal organs. This thing happens when there are extended periods of usage with higher doses. A perfect example of this reaction is the ‘bodybuilder gut’. If you are more into the bodybuilding scene, a remarkable flaw that almost every bodybuilder has is ‘bubble gut’.

When the individual is flexing, they look like action figures, but once they are relaxed they look like having beer bellies. That’s the result of oversized internal organs. It is unfortunate that such types of risks have to be taken by the professional bodybuilders as the judges will keep on emphasizing more on muscles than aesthetics. Keep in mind, not to go over the suggested dosage of IGF1.


IGF1 allows your body to build massive amounts of muscle mass within a short span of time through muscle cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia. However, before using the supplement you need to consult with your physician for avoiding any unpleasant experience.