Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and human growth hormone (HGH) work together in the body to support optimal aging. This is a very complex process and if excessive levels of IGF-1, either low or high, are present in the body, it can lead to various health problems. HGH is generally considered to employ anti-insulin actions, whereas IGF-1 has insulin-like properties. By maintaining relatively low levels of IGF-1 and synergy between HGH and IGF-1 throughout your patients’ adult life, they may be able to live a healthy lifestyle and experience optimal aging.
HGH and IGF-1 Play Essential Roles in Health
HGH and IGF-1 are essential in childhood growth as well as important for metabolic function in adults. There is a condition that can affect healthy aging which is known as Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency (AGHD). This condition includes increased visceral adiposity, abnormal lipid profiles, premature atherosclerosis, decreased quality of life, and increased mortality.1 HGH deficiency in adults predisposes insulin resistance.2 High doses of HGH treatment have been shown to affect lipolysis, which plays an important role in promoting its anti-insulin effects. Alternatively, IGF-1 acts as an insulin sensitizer that doesn’t exert any direct effect on lipolysis or lipogenesis.3
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- “Metabolic effects of recombinant human growth hormone: isotopic studies in the postabsorptive state and during total parenteral nutrition.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. Accessed 21 Jun. 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2116934
- “Low-dose growth hormone and hypocaloric nutrition attenuate the protein-catabolic response after major operation.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. Accessed 21 Jun. 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1357936/