With just a single Google search you’ll be dazzled, and at the same time confused about the hormone IGF 1. This hormone is actually one of the controversial hormones in town. You could call it the hot cake of our time. Anyway, different people have different opinions about this hormone. Some feel it’s a miracle hormone that does wonders. While some think it’s a hormone that could bring you closer to cancer. So, which one should you believe? Well, hold your peace! You will be finding out in a bit, what exactly this hormone is all about. Also, we’ll be having a look at the IGF 1 diet plan. That’s because it’s important to know foods that can increase, or decrease hormone production.
So what’s the full meaning of IGF 1? Well, it’s insulin growth factor 1. This hormone is actually produced by the liver. And another hormone known as growth hormone has an effect in its production. Here’s how it goes. When growth hormone is secreted by the anterior pituitary gland it goes to the blood. While in the bloodstream it stimulates the liver to produce IGF 1. The highest production of this hormone can be seen at puberty. And at infancy and adulthood production is small. That’s why people believe this is very important in the development of a child. Later on, we’ll have a look at other benefits that this hormone can offer.
Overview of IGF 1
Another name for IGF 1 is somatomedin C. The interesting thing about this hormone is that its structure is similar to that of insulin. As mentioned earlier, this hormone is primarily produced by your liver. And stimulation of its production is by growth hormone.
This hormone is actually produced throughout life. But the amount produced varies from person to person. There are different factors that affect the production of this hormone. Some of the factors are the sensitivity of growth hormone, stress levels, diet, disease state, and even exercise. The main point here is that the amount of IGF 1 produced in the body can be regulated.
IGF 1 actually aids in systemic growth. This is one of the hormones that have an effect on so many cells in the body. Talk of skeletal muscle, kidney, liver, cartilage, lung, and even hematopoietic cells. It’s really interesting as to the effect of this hormone in terms of growth in the body.
Here are some of the roles that IGF is believed to take part in:
- Building muscle mass
- Enhancing muscle recovery
- Regulate blood glucose
- Helps in bone building and prevents bone loss
- Growth and development during child growth
- Supports kidney filtration
- Regulating body fat
- Helps fight against neurological problems
- Prevents thinning of the skin
Even with these, it’s believed it could also have a few negative effects on our body. Some of the negative effects include:
- Decreased lifespan
- May promote cancer
So it’s quite glaring that IGF 1 could be a two-edged sword that does good and at the same time could have a negative effect. Then what’s next? That’s a good question. The next step is to find a balance. Too much IGF 1 production in the body could be dangerous. At the same time, little production as well could pose harm. So you have to find a way to make your body produce just the right amount of IGF 1. And one way to do that is by following an IGF 1 diet plan.
IGF 1 diet plan
An IGF 1 diet plan is not a strict diet plan. It’s just a diet plan that indicates foods that can increase or lower the levels of IGF 1 in the body. One main research that has been done over the years is the effect of animal protein on IGF 1. And it has been found out that consuming too much animal protein increases this hormone. Other foods include seafood and other dairy products.
The problem with animal protein is the amino acid content. So it’s expected that foods that are also very high in amino acids would increase IGF 1 levels. Even protein powders could lead to an increase in this hormone.
At the same time, refined carbohydrates also raise IGF 1 level in the body. Examples of refined carbohydrates are white rice and white flour. And the reason behind this is because these foods raise the levels of insulin in the body. And when that happens there is an increase in IGF 1 signaling.
Staying away from the foods mentioned above will surely help reduce the level of IGF 1. Also, you can include fruits and vegetables in your diet. Not because they have a direct effect on IGF 1 production. But because they help prevent cancer. So the risk of having cancer is lesser.
Always bear in mind that the most important thing with regards to IGF 1 and growth hormone is maintaining a balance.
Benefits of IGF 1
- Helps reduce the risk of diabetes type 2. As mentioned earlier, IGF 1 has a role to play in reducing blood glucose levels. So if blood glucose level is well-regulated by this hormone the chances of having diabetes type 2 reduces. And if you think about this, it’s a great benefit. Because diabetes type 2 happens to be one of the top ten leading causes of morbidity in the U.S.
- Helps build muscle. Studies have proven that IGF 1 happens to be one of the hormones that aid muscle hypertrophy. And if you’re quite familiar with muscle growth you will know that muscle hypertrophy increases the size of your muscle. At the same time studies have proven that this hormone also helps build strength. This makes it easy for you to work out for a very long period of time.
- Helps build bone. It has been proven that IGF 1 has a great role to play when it comes to bone growth. At the same time, it also prevents bone loss in older people. When there’s an increase in growth hormone production there’s an increase in IGF 1 production. That’s why these two hormones play great roles when it comes to skeletal growth at puberty.
- May have anti-aging effects. A study was done to know the effect of IGF 1 on telomere length. And it was found out that the length of telomeres increased with an increase in this hormone. Which could be indicative of anti-aging properties.
Even with all these benefits, you must bear in mind that IGF 1 is also believed to have negative effects. So maintaining and balancing IGF 1 levels is very important. And, you can do this with an IGF 1 diet.