There are several different proteins and peptides in the body that mirror or mimic the action of other proteins and peptides. While this many seem to be a duplication or redundancy, each protein or peptide provides a slightly different yet completely unique impact on the cells of the body. IGF 1 is one such protein that has some functions that are very similar to insulin, yet also has some unique properties as well.
The Role of IGF 1
IGF 1 has been researched since the early part of the 1970s. It has been shown in the lab and in clinical trials and studies to have a mechanism that simulates cellular growth, particularly when used in studies with young subjects, and continues to play a role in cellular anabolic processes that build and strengthen individual muscle groups, organs and tissues.
It does have actions similar to insulin. In the human body naturally occurring IGF 1 is produced in the liver. Production of IGF 1 in the liver is controlled by the presence of growth hormone and once released IGF 1 binds to specific receptors in cells, just like that of insulin.
Once IGF 1 binds to the receptor on the cell and signals the cell to grow. This is true for muscles, cartilage, bone, nervous system, and skin cells. It works specifically to keep cells healthy and functioning and to stop early cell death or cell degradation within organisms.
What The Research Shows
Interesting cell studies show that IGF 1 can be helpful in reducing the aging process at a cellular level. Studies with single celled organisms and Drosophila melanogaster, a small fly, as well as mice show that cells that have IGF 1 bound to receptors degrade much slower and do not show the fragmentation and cellular breakdown that is common with cell aging.
Interestingly this also works with neurological tissue including spinal cord motor neuron axons, which previously have been resistant to regrowth and rebuilding due to disease or trauma.
IGF 1 is a promising breakthrough in cell growth and regeneration as well as in limiting early cellular level breakdown. Research continues to the effectiveness of this peptide in a range of different uses.
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