Drug Class: Growth Factor
Average Reported Dosage: 60-1000mcg daily
Water Retention: Diet dependent
IGF-1 is naturally produced in the liver as a result of GH (Growth Hormone) metabolism in the presence of insulin. Muscle tissue can also produce IGF-1 by way of an intracellular response. In fact, one of the benefits of training sets that result in an intense burn, or stretch position training, is the production of natural IGF-1. It is also a side effect of oral 17-ALFA ALKYLATED STEROIDS, which cause a higher release of IGF-1 from the liver. IGF-1 receptors exist throughout muscles and organs such as the heart, spleen, small intestines, and kidneys with a higher concentration of receptors exerting effects upon organs. IGF-1 is extremely anabolic, far more so than GH or Insulin.
Recombinant IGF-1 (genetically engineered) was reported to be effective when injected intramuscularly because it causes localized growth. This was the most popular method, and the agreed wisest for the most part. The drug has a half-life of about 10 minutes, and if it is or has been bound to IGF -BP-3, (INSULIN GROWTH FACTOR BINDING PROTEIN) the half- life is extended to about 12 hours. Pro’s often stacked Insulin and/or GH with IGF-1 because IGF-1 shuts off natural GH production and GH causes Insulin resistance. IGF-1 is often referred to as Pro-insulin because it counteracts Insulin resistance and interacts with insulin.
But this would actually be an untrue term for IGF-1. IGF-1 can have all the side effect of GH or insulin use with an added negative: gastrointestinal (GI) growth. This is due to a higher number of IGF-1 receptors being located in the GI tract as compared to skeletal muscle. The latter has more GH receptors. This explains much of the bloat seen in pro bodybuilders of late. IGF-1 is not stable in synthetic forms. A loud noise, shaking a vial, and sudden heat changes can render it nothing more than a bunch of expensive amino acids. Picture a piece of string folded up in a specific shape and held in that shape by a few fibers. This is what an amino acid sequence for GH or IGF-1 looks like, but the IGF-1 sequence has only 2 fibers keeping the active shape. The strand or string is a specific amino acid sequence.
The shaping fibers holding the active shape are called disulfide bridges. Change the folding or break a bridge and the IGF-1 no longer fits into its receptor-site. Like a key must have a specific shape to actuate its lock, so must a drug have the right shape to actuate its receptor. Again, this explains the common noted necessity of careful preparation and site-specific injection (into the muscle group trained that day) when IGF-1 was administered.
Common stacks have been 0.25-0.50-mg of GH per KG of body weight stacked with 60-1000mcg of IGF-1 divided into 2-5 daily injections. Many had reported improved lean mass gains by combining both with insulin and high androgen AAS (Such as testosterone or orals such as DIANABOL and /or ANADROL-50) for 4-8 weeks. Many simply injected 40-mcg of IGF-1 directly into the muscle group trained that day after training. It is important to note that IGF-1 can cause hypoglycemia and blood sugar monitoring was considered paramount by most.
The reader should note that IGF-1 has been used clinically on children at dosages of over 3-7mg daily. That is 3,000-7,000 mcg a day! No negative side effects were recorded, though none were expected… of course. The point being is that the 40-100 mcg of IGF-1 used by athletes is most likely insufficient, yet very expensive. However, the results some individuals have realized through IGF-1 use are amazing. I have personally noted amazing new growth as a result of past IGF-1 administration. However it is important that readers realize that long term negative side effects have not been well studied. Anything that possesses genetic altering potential has equally negative potential as well.