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What Is IGF-1?

IGF-1 is an acronym meaning, Insulin-like growth factor. It is a hormone produced by the human body, promoting growth and promoting cell vitality. IGF-1 has also been observed in birds, fish, and mammals. Most of the time IGF-1 will be created and released by the liver as a response to the growth hormone. On a chemical level IGF-1 is very similar to insulin. Activation of the insulin receptor by the IGF-1 will cause that specific cell to absorb added protein. This permits IGF-1 to use receptors and ducts that are supposed to be for the use of insulin, although since it is not insulin its use of these receptors is not as effective as that as when it is insulin that activates this.

The effects of IGF-1 can be regulated by several proteins. These proteins are referred to, in general, as IGFBPs (insulin-like growth facter binding protiens) and individually as IGFBP-2, IGFBP-3, etc. These proteins prevent IGF-1 from stimulating cells by stopping IGF-1 from binding to cells. Some are also able to extend the life span of IGF molecules.

Too much IGF-1 in a person’s system is bad and may become the cause for some diseases. Extended cellular life span in the prostate and breast areas may lead to cancer of those areas. Too much cell longevity may cause uncontrollable bodily growths that may lead to Gigantism. When doctors suspect Gigantism they may take a measure of the patients IGF-1 or growth hormone levels since both substances are much related to each other.

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