IGF stands for insulin-like growth factor. It is a natural substance that is produced in the human body and is at its highest natural levels during puberty. During puberty IGF is the most responsible for the natural muscle growth that occurs during these few years. There are many different things that IGF does in the human body; I will only mention the points that would be important for physical enhancement. Among the effects the most positive are increased amino acid transport to cells, increased glucose transport, increased protein synthesis, decreased protein degradation, and increased RNA synthesis.
When IGF is active it behaves differently in different types of tissues. In muscle cells proteins and associated cell components are stimulated. Protein synthesis is increased along with amino acid absorption. As a source of energy, IGF mobilizes fat for use as energy in adipose tissue. In lean tissue,
IGF prevents insulin from transporting glucose across cell membranes. As a result the cells have to switch to burning off fat as a source of energy.
IGF also mimic's insulin in the human body. It makes muscles more sensitive to insulin's effects, so if you are a person that currently uses insulin you can lower your dosage by a decent margin to achieve the same effects, and as mentioned IGF will keep the insulin from making you fat.
Perhaps the most interesting and potent effect IGF has on the human body is its ability to cause hyperplasia, which is an actual splitting of cells. Hypertrophy is what occurs during weight training and steroid use, it is simply an increase in the size of muscle cells. See, after puberty you have a set number of muscle cells, and all you are able to do is increase the size of these muscle cells, you don't actually gain more. But, with IGF use you are able to cause this hyperplasia which actually increases the number of muscle cells present in the tissue, and through weight training and steroid usage you are able to mature these new cells, in other words make them grow and become stronger. So in a way IGF can actually change your genetic capabilities in terms of muscle tissue and cell count. IGF proliferates and differentiates the number of types of cells present. At a genetic level it has the potential to alter an individuals capacity to build superior muscle density and size.
There is a lot of talk about the similarity between IGF and growth hormone. The most often asked question is simply which is more effective. GH doesn't directly cause your muscles to grow, it works very indirectly by increasing protein synthesis capabilities, increasing the amount of insulin a person can use effectively, and increasing the amount of anabolic steroids a person can use effectively. GH also indirectly causes muscle growth by stimulating the release of IGF when it (the GH) is destroyed in the human body. So one way you could look at it as GH being a precursor to IGF. So to put it simple IGF is more effective at directly causing muscle growth and density increases. IGF is also much more cost effective.
IGF can also be effectively used by itself and gains will still be easily noticeable. With growth hormone you need to use high amounts of anabolics and often insulin to see any gains at all, this is not the case with IGF. IGF can be used by itself and is often used by bodybuilders who bridge between cycles, during this bridge is a good time to use IGF since it has no effect on natural testosterone production so it will therefore allow you to return to normal in terms of hormone levels. A stack of IGF, PGF2a, HCG, and clomid would be a good bridge stack and would allow your body to return to normal and still allow you to retain and make new gains.
IGF is a research drug, it hasn't been approved by the FDA for use as a pharmaceutical and it is currently being researched for nerve tissue repair, possible burn victims, and also as a possible aid in muscle wasting for AIDS patients. There are many different analogs of IGF available, instead of mentioning them all, I will simply mention the two most common and the most effective. Regular recombinant IGF is one of the two, it is also the more expensive and the least effective. Regular IGF only has a half-life of about 10-20 minutes in the human body and is quickly destroyed, it can be combined with certain binding proteins to extend the half-life, but it is not a very simple procedure and there is a more effective and less expensive version available. The most effective form of IGF is Long R3 IGF-1, it has been chemically altered and has had amino acid changes which cause it to avoid binding to proteins in the human body and allow it to have a much longer half life, around 20-30 hours. "Long R3 IGF-1 is an 83 amino acid analog of IGF-1 comprising the complete human IGF-1 sequence with the substition of an ArgŪ for the Glu(E) at position three, hence R3, and a 13 amino acid extension peptide at the N terminus. This analog of IGF-1 has been produced with the purpose of increasing the biological activity of the IGF peptide."
"Long R3 IGF-1 is signifacantly more potent than IGF-1. The enhanced potency is due to the decreased binding of Long R3 IGF-1 to all known IGF binding proteins. These binding proteins normally inhibit the biological actions of IGF's."
It is also not as expensive since a media grade version is available which is sufficient for bodybuilding use. There is also a receptor grade available but it is VERY expensive and the only noticeable difference between the two would only be able to be noticed in a laboratory setting. The price on the black market for Long R3 IGF-1 can be seen anywhere from $300-$500 per milligram depending on the source, be wary of black market dealers of any IGF since it is a VERY difficult item to obtain. As mentioned IGF is a research product and is only available from a few laboratories in the world and is only available to research companies and biotechnology institutions. For the rest of this article when I say IGF I am now referring to Long R3 IGF-1 for simplicity sake.
Any form of IGF is ONLY supplied in a lyphosized form, which means a dry powder state. NEVER PUCHASE PRE-DILUTED LIQUID IGF!!!! There is no such product made anywhere in the world and even if there were real IGF ever present in the vial it would all be dead by the time you receive it. IGF is a very delicate peptide and must be diluted by yourself, where you have access to a refrigerator and freezer. There has also been a lot of talk by certain sources claiming to have IGF made by the Eli Lilly company, to clear things up Lilly is a pharmaceutical company and as stated IGF is a research drug and has not yet been approved, Lilly does not and never has manufactured research drugs for retail sale.
The dilutents you will need for the IGF are a weak concentration of hydrochloric acid and a sterile buffer(sterile water or bacteriostatic water) the procedure for diluting the IGF is not very difficult, the dilutents can be obtained from most local chemical suppliers and a good source of IGF would also be able to supply the necessary dilutents.
The most effective length for a cycle of IGF is 50 days on and 20-40 days off. The most controversy surrounding Long R3 IGF-1 is the effective dosage. The most used dosages range between 20mcg/day to 120+mcg/day. IGF is only available by the milligram, one mg will give you a 50 day cycle at 20mcg/day, 2mg will give you a 50 day cycle at 40mcg/day, 3mg will give you a 50 day cycle at 60mcg/day, 4mg will give you a 50 day cycle at 80mcg/day and so on. The dosage issue mainly revolves around how much money you have to spend, plenty of people use the minimum dosage of 20mcg/day and are happy with the results, and in fact several top bodybuilders use the 20mcg/day dosage and are pleased with the results. IGF is most effective when administered subcutaneously and injected once or twice daily at your current dosage. The best time for injections is either in the morning and/or immediately after weight training.
Another frequently asked question of IGF refers to the real world results, in terms of pure weight gain don't expect to gain 5 lbs. a week like you may off of anadrol or a similar steroid. The only weight you will gain from IGF use is pure lean muscle tissue, with steroids most of the weight gained is water weight. With an effective dosage you can expect to gain 1-2 lbs of new lean muscle tissue every 2-3 weeks and these effects can be increased with the use of testosterone, anabolic steroids, and insulin use. Increased vascularity is also very common, people report seeing veins appear where they never have before. And yet another effect reported is the ability to stay lean while bulking with heavy dosages of steroids and TONS of food while on an IGF cycle, this is perhaps the most pleasing effect. Increased pumps are also noticeable almost immediately, the pumps can almost become painful, pumps are even noticeable when doing cardio.
Overall, IGF is a very exciting drug due to its ability to alter ones genetic capabilities. If you can find a trustworthy source and you use it correctly it can be a VERY useful tool in your bodybuilding drug arsenal
IGF1, also known as somatomedin C, is polypeptide hormone about the same size as insulin. It is produced predominantly in the liver in response to growth hormone (GH) release from the pituitary gland. Many of the growth promoting effects of GH are due to its ability to release IGF1 from the liver. The conversion ratio of GH to IGF1 varies greatly in different individuals but most external sources of GH convert around 4-6mcg of IGF per one I.U. of GH. IGF-1 acts on several different tissues to enhance growth. IGF1 belongs in the 'superfamily' of substances known as 'growth factors,' along with epidermal (skin), transforming; platelet derived fibroblast, nerve, and ciliary neurotrophic growth factors. None of the other factors have any bearing on exoskeletal tissue incidentally however These agents all have in common the ability to stimulate cell division, known as mitogenesis, and cell differentiation. Meaning That In the case of IGF1 which does act on muscle tissue it will initiate the growth of new muscle fibers, and subsequently new receptors for testosterone. Users have unanimously concluded that it enhances cycles of steroids significantly. They also seem to be adamant about its ability to reduce fat and improve vascularity a great deal.
The IGF1 Hype
There is a considerable amount of hype surrounding IGF1. Every one is blaming the distended bellies of modern Bodybuilders on it. Also the freaky proportions that old bodybuilders that have been around for years are starting to attain. Anti-aging proponents are touting it as the miracle cure for every thing from Parkinson's disease to Alzheimer's. And the medical community has published numerous articles on it for its ability to cause cancer, diabetes and gigantism. While at the same time performing documented experiments on thousands of patients of muscle wasting diseases. And reporting significant turnabouts in there conditions. So what is a guy to think about IGF1 as far as athletic enhancement is concerned? Well first of all you need to know that most experiments conducted with IGF1 do not list the type of IGF used. I have written Dr. Robert Saline of the Swedish rejuvenation institute on several occasions and we have had in-depth discussions on the subject of IGF1 for physical appearance enhancement. He feels it would be unethical to prescribe IGF1 to a bodybuilder to increase muscle mass simply due to the fact that IGF1 has valid applications in the medical community, (Like I could give a rats ass about "ethical"). He can not argue that it is extremely effective as a promoter of muscle growth far beyond what androgens (steroids) alone can offer. Well fortunately in America IGF1 is not a drug (yet) and the FDA has no control over it as of now. This will change in the very near future however, Im absolutely sure of it.
How to use IGF1
Assuming that you have acquired legitimate IGF1 (R3) long chain, That's IGF1 with the binding protein added. You should take dosages ranging from 60mcg up to 120mcg per day in divided doses. One injection in the morning and again at bed time. Never exceed 120mcg in one day. IGF1 can cause serious gastrointestinal problems such as tumors intestinal swelling diarrhea and vomiting. Most IGF1 comes in a concentration of 1000mcg per ML or CC so it makes it easy to measure in an insulin syringe. 10 IU on the syringe is 100mcg. Do the math.
IGF + Insulin
If you plan on doing IGF1 with Insulin, listen closely IGF1 is not that expensive, sure you can get away with using less by including insulin in the stack, but IGF1 and Insulin together have a pro-insulin effect on your blood sugar balance. It can enhance the chances of a hypoglycemic episode ten fold. I would recommend against it for any one not ABSOLUTLY comfortable with insulin or IGF1.
Here is how insulin and IGF1 work together. Igfbp3 is the binding protein, which allows IGF1 to remain active in the system for a long enough period of time to really work its magic. IGF1 by nature has a half-life of less than 10 minutes by its self. The molecule was so small it would escape the blood stream very rapidly. This was the reason IGF1 was so "underground". It took very frequent injections at high dosages to achieve even minimal results. Aside from this reconstituting the compound required a degree in biochemistry. This short acting version was the only IGF1 known until recently IGF1 would have been administered in 100 mcg dosages 4-6 times a day. That is a hell of a lot of IGF1. That explains a lot of the distended bellies. Now with R3 long chain IGF1 and the Binding protein IGFBP3 IGF1 will last up to 6 hours in the system. By binding IGF to the IGFBP3 you make the molecule larger and it gets trapped in the blood stream until the protein is broken down and the IGF molecule escapes. You can further its life by combining Insulin with it, although I here its very risky. Insulin prevents the breakdown of IGFBP3 and leaves the IGF1 molecule roaming free in the blood stream for longer periods of time up to 12 hours as insulin levels return to normal IGFBP3 will begin to break down and the IGF1 will escape from its bound protein IGFBP3 again having a half life of less than 10 minutes.
Insulin should be taken at the normal dosage it is usually administered at minus 10% about 45 minutes prior to the IGF1 infusion. Again let me remind you this can be deadly if you don't know what you are doing. And of course do not use Insulin for the nighttime injection of IGF1 by taking it in the morning you prolong the IGF1's half life to 12 hours and then take a 6 hour injection, you should be fine. Hell if you want to eat a big bowl of rice and drink another 100g of simple carbs 45 minutes before the bed time IGF1 infusion you could spike insulin for at least a few hours of extended IGF1 activity. If your not going to be using insulin in the stack then go ahead and do the same in the morning.
What users report
Users of IGF1 have reported various results but all along the same lines, It does not appear to be dramatically less effective in any one individual (at least not to the best of my knowledge). I have a good friend who had to stop taking IGF1 due to stomach illness that was completely unrelated But he to experienced good gains from it for the 2 weeks he was on it, his dosage was 120mcg per day. One hour after the first injection he went to the gym and immediately told me about the uncontrollable pump he got from just one set.
That would indicate to me that he was experiencing some form of cell volumization. The general consensus on IGF1 seems to be that its benefits are as fallow:
Increased Pump Pumps are reported to be so severe that workouts are often cut short due to lack of ability to the muscle through the full range of motion...ouch
Gains retention is increased if IGF is used in a cycle I am not sure why, but IGF1 seems to make gains on a cycle stick with virtually no post cycle loss. Every bodybuilder I've spoken with seems to think this for some reason. Most of them use drugs like Anadrol or Dianabol with it because of the amount of size attained with these drugs. The usual draw back to these drugs is that in most users there is a post cycle "crash" that occurs, so the reasoning is to toss IGF1 into the stack and grow larger faster with out the post cycle crash blues.
Reverses testicular atrophy
Testicles if shrunken will return to "full swing" so to speak even in the middle of a cycle. If not shrunken they will not shrink during the cycle. This may explain partially why gains are kept after the cycle.
Users report feeling drained and tired all day. This seems to be one of the negative side effects to IGF1, it will make you sleep longer and you will require more sleep at night to feel rested for the morning. This is common with high doses of HGH and exhibited in children, whose IGF1 levels are extraordinarily high. A child needs 4 hours more sleep than an adult on average does. This may be directly or indirectly related to IGF1 levels.
An almost arthritic feeling is commonly associated with high levels of HGH, well IGF1 has the exact same property. IGF1 will cause your hands, fingers and knuckles to ache this is one way you can be sure you got real IGF1.
IGF-1's Side effects
Every thing has a down side. To bake a cake ya gotta brake an egg. IGF1 is no exception. The drug used in larger quantity around the 100mcg+ range will cause headaches, occasional nausea and can contribute to low blood sugar or hypoglycemia in some users. Although I have never heard of this first hand I'm sure its true.
IGF1 will attach its self to the lining of the intestine and cause atrophy of the gut. Every thing IGF1 touches will grow and you have a lot of receptors on the lining of the large intestine and inner wall of the abdominal well. This is what causes the GH gut look. You can easily avoid this by limiting your dosages and cycle lengths. IGF1 cycles should be kept to 4-6 weeks with 4-6 weeks off in-between. IGF-1 is considerably more powerful than HGH and you need to think of it along those lines as far as dosing goes. We all know what to much HGH can do over prolonged periods of usage. The Neanderthal look is definitely not going to win any shows this year. I would recommend 80 mcg a day for 4 weeks at a time you should get good results from that for a while. I don't know if you will need to up the dosage at any point, but I would think in the case of IGF1 it wouldn't matter. If 80mcg doesn't do it for ya, then bump it up to 100 You should definitely feel it at this point If not suspect the IGF1 as being fake. Beyond 120 mcg per day your asking for trouble, This compound demands as much respect as its sister amino Insulin.
Clinical Facts about IGF-1
IGF-1 is a polypeptide of 70 amino acids (7650 daltons), and is one of a number of related insulin-like growth factors present in the circulation. The molecule shows approximately 50% sequence homology with proinsulin and has a number of biological activities similar to insulin. IGF-1 is a mediator of longitudinal growth in humans or how tall you are capable of becoming. Serum IGF-1 concentrations are altered by age, nutritional status, body composition, and growth hormone secretion. A single basal IGF-1 level is useful in the assessment of short stature in children and in nutritional support studies of acutely ill patients. For the diagnosis of acromegaly, a single IGF-1 concentration is more reliable than a random hGH measurement (Oppizi, et al., 1986). IGF-1 can be used for the assessment of disease activity in acromegaly (Barkan, et al., 198.
Almost all (>95%) of serum IGF-1 circulates bound to specific IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs), of which six classes (IGFBPs 1-6) have been identified (Rudd, 1991). BP3 is thought to be the major binding protein.