5 Superfoods you Need in your Life

SuperfoodsThere’s nothing to stop hype-mongerers labelling anything a superfood. That’s because ‘Superfoods’ as a technical designation is not really a thing. I’m not saying there aren’t super…foods out there, but the buzzword is just that, and nothing else.

The problem this creates is quite profound. If some product or other receives pseudo-superfood status, then health junkies – and health junky wannabies – will rush out and load up on the stuff without a second thought as to what it is doing for them or how much they should consume.

Take avocados for example. They are a really good source of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil. They also contain a bunch of vitamins; E, C, K, B5 and B6, not to mention folate and potassium. The fats help you absorb lots of other important fat-soluble vitamins as well as the ones in the avocado itself. They can even improve your immune system and reduce your risk of some deadly diseases. That’s all great! Eat an avocado a day as part of a salad, or throw it in a blender with your other smoothie stuff.

But don’t eat 5 a day, because that’s (a) expensive as hell, and (b) nearly 1000 calories.

So consume in moderation. Nothing is a fix-all panacea solution to health.

That said, here are some foods that should be considered for ‘Super’ status if ever there were any:

Turmeric (Curcumin)

Okay so I’m starting with a spice. And really, you could spend a day on the spice rack alone, extolling the health benefits of 50 different powders, barks and flakes.

But Turmeric, man-alive! Turmeric is good.

It’s anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-Alzheimer’s and it fights arthritis. Super, right!?

Scientists don’t know how much is ideal but you can start frying up some cabbage and adding turmeric, it makes it delicious. Adding black pepper will increase your absorption of this awesome ingredient.

Garlic

Garlic improves blood circulation, reduces blood pressure and maintains healthy cholesterol levels (i.e. lipoprotein levels…i.e. higher HDL and lower LDL). Garlic is also a powerful anti-oxidant by way of enhancing the activity of antioxidant enzymes like glutathione. It might even help keep away those nasty chest infections, not to mention the neighbourhood vampires.

Put 2 cloves of garlic a day in your meals and your immune system will thank you for it. If you are worried about garlic breath, remove the green core – that’s the smelly bit.

Berries

blueberriesBlueberries are probably the most well-known for their antioxidant anthocyanins but most dark berries are good sources as well. Anthocyanins may reduce damage to DNA caused by oxidation, free-radicals and stress.

The morning smoothie is a good place to cram a few dark berries in. If you can’t get hold of fresh ones every day then use the frozen ones. Blend them up with some spinach, kale, banana, avocado, nut butter, chia seeds, flax seeds and lemon juice. Yum!

Leafy Greens

You’ve heard it a million times in your life, that you should get a good portion of dark leafy greens every day. What many people don’t know is that they contain high levels of nitrates, which can serve as an excellent pre-workout snack.

Why? Vasodilation, that’s why. Leafy greens get you pumped in the gym.

About 45 minutes before you go to the gym, have a beetroot salad and enjoy the natural nitric-oxide boost.

Spirulina

This blue-green algae, rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents, is also about 60% pure protein. The only downside is that it tastes pretty rough.

Again, whack it in the morning smoothies and mask its flavour with those dark berries and some lemon juice.

Conclusion

It doesn’t take much time to add these ‘Superfoods’ to your daily nutritional intake and they may just prove to have more than a health kick to them. You have to think ahead, these days. Some of the ingredients above might help future-proof you from some of life’s proverbial kicks in the teeth.

I’ll finish with a word of caution. After training is NOT the best time to load up on anti-oxidants. They interrupt the natural adaptations we need to make for improvement, muscle recovery and growth. Stick to your protein and carbs post-workout. Save the superfoods for first thing in the morning or in your other meals.

Other Articles of Interest

  1. Dietary Cholesterol New Status
  2. Importance of Sleep for Muscle Growth and more
  3. Sleep Supplements for Boosting GH
  4. Melatonin and Growth Hormone

Injecting Growth Hormone: Healing or Cheating?

liquid hghOne minute, highly influential people, deeply involved in the NBA, with lots of money are calling for more research into synthetic human growth hormone use to assess its usefulness with respect to injury recovery. The next minute, the NFL is being governmentally railroaded into conducting random HGH testing on its players.

Some ex-sportsmen say as little as 10% of their colleagues are shooting growth hormone on a regular basis. Others have since admitted it’s more like half the roster. Old skeletons are coming out of the closet for certain baseball players; they say they ‘used’ in order to recover from injury faster, to get back on the field and get the hounds off their back, not to mention being back to doing what they love to do the most.

Allegations of cheating have been made against the same people. Performance Enhancing Drugs – peds – is a pervasive term that get thrown around pretty carelessly these days. Ask some scientists/doctors and they will tell you there isn’t much going to happen in the way of performance enhancement if you inject HGH. Others disagree.

And so the circus continues, ignorance being the major driving force unfortunately.

Player Down

NFL and growth hormonePlayers who are sidelined due to injury are a massive money drain for teams. Coaches, general managers, owners and even the players themselves are under a mountain of pressure to get back in the game before they become too much of a burden. So of course, if a substance is perceived to help you achieve that, surely the benefit outweighs the risk. Or perhaps the player doesn’t even get a choice in the matter. Who knows what goes on behind the closed doors of a pro-sports organization?

Andy Pettitte – recently retired pitcher for the NY Yankees – may have hung up the #46 jersey for the last time, but the legacy of HGH use won’t be so quickly laid to rest. He maintains that all he was doing back in 2002 was desperately trying to get back from an elbow injury; something that regularly takes down the top pitchers – the forces acting on that joint, so repetitively, day after day, are remarkable. It’s a wonder Major League pitchers aren’t boosting buckets of growth hormone every day if you think about it.

So why can’t this guy be left alone? All he cared about was getting back on the mound and doing his thing, or so he says. Others are calling it cheating.

Certainly the Senator John McCain thought so when he wrote to the NFL, expressing his disappointment that they had yet to commence their random HGH testing.

Human Growth Hormone Testing

HGH in pro sportsIt’s easy, right? Take some blood, urine, whatever, run it through some scientific looking machine and you get a green or red light or something.

Nope.

From the 15,000 or so tests that have been conducted since the inception of HGH testing in sports, only about 10 people have been suspended from it. Out of those ten, two people were let off the charge because they appealed the science. Ergo, the science is fallible by a massive 20%. Reasonable doubt from that alone might get you off with a good lawyer.

Nevertheless, the tests are going ahead now. The guys using the stuff have a bit of a headstart coupled with an advantage though. For starters, they’ve been injecting HGH on the down-low for nearly 4 decades now, which means they have gotten really good at knowing when they can and when they can’t. Also, the science has been so dodgy that the tests can be beaten – if not completely then enough that it gets a court rejection.

Even Olympic athletes were riddled with recombinant human growth hormone in the late ‘80s. Back then there was a way to stack testosterone with rhGH and go undetected. NFL players were also beating the relatively useless steroid testing procedures with the same combination method, and that stayed rife all the way through to 2005 when the DEA stepped in and found evidence that convicted drug dealers were supplying the demand!

But that wasn’t testing that caught them out, just classic investigative work. Standard isomer blood testing for growth hormone has too many holes in it.

The Science Bit

We actually have different ‘isoforms’ of growth hormone, which can show up in a blood test as being out of balance. The synthetic type – rhGH – is a different atomic weight, so if the test comes back with way more of that in ratio to the endogenous (natural) growth hormone then it’s deemed a positive result.

The Flawed Science Bit

Doctor and HGHSo what’s the problem? Remember that in the thousands of tests, only ten have come back positive, which is pretty weird considering the use of rhGH is meant to be so staggeringly pervasive. The first problem is that the isomer testing is only valid if the test is carried out after 10 hours and before 20 hours following the person injecting it.

That’s a pretty tight window when you think about it. Even more so when the NFL tests have to come with 24 hours notice. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out you can still inject most of the time, and simply stop for the pre-warned tests.

Another flaw in the test goes like this: now, players can get hold of BOTH isoforms synthetically. So they can inject both at the correct ratio and the test is good for nothing.

The isomer test also yields false positives, where people who aren’t even taking growth hormone in any form can fail. There’s no real baseline for what our endogenous levels should be when factoring age, genetics, health and so on, therefore how can a test be accurate?

When the isomer test was finally put to the test itself, it failed.

So what next?

The Biomarker Test

blood flowOther ‘biomarkers’ can show that the levels of growth hormone are not natural. Insulin activity for example, or levels of collagen in the subject’s connective tissues. Taking these into account with the biomarker test seems to have made a big difference. The science world is much more positive with this test.

Unfortunately, for the anti-doping agencies looking for an infallible test, the biomarker can also be broken. Much like the steroid stacks of old, the user can add all the biomarkers in small and varying amounts to account for the differences, and so get away with it again.

The biomarker test may still be better than the isomer test. That’s because the two athletes who have since been caught using synthetic growth hormone with the biomarker test were not tested positive with the isomer test. Some experts say neither test has passed the usual statistical stringencies that hard science requires.

Until anti-doping agencies and scientists can agree there is a statistically infallible method of testing for synthetic growth hormone, it may be impossible to be catch the sneakiest of sportsmen.

Cheating or Healing?

HGH researchBack to the original point though. Is the use of synthetic human growth hormone in order to speed up the healing of an injury necessarily cheating, or can it be viewed – as Pettitte would say – purely as a recovery aid?

Who cares – is a standard response from sports fans. As long as they (players) get on with the sport!

For those who do care, and don’t want to see professional sport become a ban-free circus, it’s an important question.

Let’s ask the question this way: if you use drugs to recover quicker from injury, isn’t the fact that you are ready and able faster than the ordinary healing process would allow, itself performance enhancement?

Or how about this way: if you can recover faster with the use of drugs, then perhaps you can risk injury by throwing, running and tackling faster and harder than you otherwise would.

1. NFL testing begins

2. NBA ties to hgh research

Melatonin and Muscle Growth

Growth Hormone booster pillYou might be lucky enough not to need a sleep aid of any kind. In which case, you may never have even used melatonin. Encouraging sleep and normalizing circadian rhythms are this substance’s chief applications, however, like so many of these products, it has other additional virtues which can escape the immediate attention of people who simply see it as a sleeping pill.

For example, melatonin supplementation can acutely raise your level of growth hormone at night; the time when it is most beneficial.

Humans actually secrete this neurotransmitter hormone in their brains naturally, largely in response to the darkness of the environment they are in, so as to encourage sleep at night time when it is dark. This is due to melatonin’s action of inducing a sedation effect.

The pineal gland in the brain is the principal origin of our melatonin secretion and you may be interested to know that L-Tryptophan is the dietary precursor to it. This is then converted to 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) and further to seratonin, and then finally melatonin. This might not mean much at this point but the implications regarding the supplements you may or may not be taking are quite profound.

Editor’s Stack-Hack!!!

GH Advanced day and night formulaMelatonin supplementation can help induce an acute spike in GH levels.

GH Advanced Plus already has a night-time blend as well as a daytime formula. This makes it perfect for adding a little melatonin to it. You can decide whether or not you want to add it but a 0.5mg addition of melatonin to the GH Advanced night pill is a good place to start.

GHA+ has a little bit of 5-HTP which is perfect as it can improve your mood by boosting your seratonin levels. The added melatonin will make this Growth Hormone Boosting giant even more effective. It’s the perfect stack.

Order GH Advanced PlusA month’s worth of melatonin is very cheap at the local pharmacy (I pay about $8 for mine) and you can stretch that out over 2 months if you follow a two-week-on / two-week-off cycle with it. Very cost effective.

For a few little pills, the muscle-building response you can get is well worth it.

We’ve reviewed GH Advanced on this site so make sure you take a look at that first.

Click here to read our GH Advanced Review

Melatonin Production in the Body

The main source of melatonin secretion is from the pineal gland of the brain. It is also made in several other locations such as the retina of the eye, the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and cells of bone marrow.

From our dietary intake, the following pathway leads to the synthesis of Melatonin

  1. L-Tryptophan from food (e.g. turkey) – converted via tryptophan-5-hydroxylase to;
  2. 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) – converted via decarboxylase to;
  3. Seratonin – converted via seratonin-N-acetlyltransferase to;
  4. N-acetylseratonin – converted via hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT) to;
  5. N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine…aka Melatonin
NOTE: Supplementing with L-Tryptophan does not always convert to melatonin due to a rate-limiting step between its intake and the 5-HTP conversion. As such supplementation tends to be with either 5-HTP or Melatonin itself.

In simple terms: melatonin comes from seratonin, which is made from tryptophan in food. The synthesis is triggered and regulated primarily by the level of sunlight hitting the eye’s retina.

Beneficial Effects of Supplementing Melatonin

getting more sleepIf you hadn’t already known, by now you will realize that melatonin can be safely supplemented to hasten the time it takes to fall asleep. The main benefit of this is to normalize/regulate the body’s natural circadian rhythm in order to induce a healthy sleep pattern.

There are other benefits to taking melatonin, and they have extremely interesting implications for those that lift weights to build muscle, or otherwise engage in exercise to enhance themselves physically.

Growth Hormone Spike

GH Advanced HGH BoosterNo matter what the dose between 0.5mg and 5mg, the result is the same; there is an acute increase in growth hormone levels shortly after taking melatonin.

This is believed to be the result of an indirect pathway caused by melatonin’s ability to make the pituitary gland more sensitive to growth-hormone-releasing-hormone (GHRH) which triggers it to release Growth Hormone.

The effect appears to be induced more potently post-exercise, though there has been some positive correlation to improved GH response when melatonin was supplemented before anaerobic cycling.

If your activity is all-body resistance training to grow muscle then it would be better to stick to evening supplementation to avoid drowsiness in the day.

Other Benefits

Studies of melatonin have shown that it’s supplementation can exert several other positive effects on health:

  • Protective against stomach ulcers
  • Blood pressure reduction
  • Increases insulin sensitivity
  • Improves several indirect fat-reducing processes
  • Reduces inflammation and muscle damage
  • Increases antioxidant enzyme profile
  • Alleviates heartburn
  • Improves memory
  • Improves blood flow

Supplement Effect on Endogenous Synthesis

Our endogenous (body’s natural production) hormonal secretions can sometimes be adversely affected by supplementing exogenous (external supplement) equivalents. Certainly this is the case with anabolic steroids. Most of those – e.g. testosterone, deca-durabolin etc. – shut down the testicular production of testosterone, and sometimes with a single dose! This is due to a biological negative feedback loop.

This appears NOT to be the case with melatonin. Long term supplementation has been found to have no effect on the natural production at doses of up to 5mg. This implies that there will not be a period of insomnia following the point that you stop taking melatonin.

Conclusions and Recommendations

GH Advanced boosterAs you can hopefully see, a little melatonin goes a long way, both to help ensure you get into the best sleep pattern possible and maximize your overnight muscle-growth.

The ‘bolt-on’ approach with GH Advanced is an excellent combination.

Personally I recommend starting at the 0.5mg range for melatonin and working up from there depending on your response. Don’t go over the maximum of 5mg though, there is no need. Take for 2 weeks at a time followed by two weeks off it. Long term supplementation has been deemed safe but it’s still unwise to take a supplement in perpetuity with no breaks because no study can assess the effects of permanent use.

Click here to read more about GH Advanced Plus

Sample Reference Sources

  1. Meeking DR et al – Exercise-induced GH secretion is enhanced by the oral ingestion of melatonin in healthy adult male subjects – 1999
  2. Valcavi R et al – Effect of oral administration of melatonin on GH responses to GRF 1-44 in normal subjects – 1987
  3. Ochoa JJ et al – Melatonin supplementation ameliorates oxidative stress and inflammatory signaling induced by strenuous exercise in adult human males – 2011
  4. Bernard M et al – Melatonin synthesis pathway: circadian regulation of the genes encoding the key enzymes in the chicken pineal gland and retina – 1999
  5. Matsumoto M et al – The amplitude of endogenous melatonin production is not affected by melatonin treatment in humans – 1997
  6. Wright J et al – The effects of exogenous melatonin on endocrine function in man – 1986
  7. Masana MI et al – Melatonin receptor signaling: finding the path through the dark – 2001

Myostatin Inhibitors and MHP MYO-X

MYO-XMyostatin is a protein that inhibits some muscle growth in animals and humans, in part so that their size doesn’t get out of hand.

How bodybuilders must really love that biological control mechanism…not!!  Well, if MHP have created the product they say they have, with a clinical trial in tow to back it up, then bodybuilders worldwide can start thinking ‘bigger’.

…but can it really be possible: inhibit the inhibitor? The idea is simultaneously wonderful, and completely scary.

Some people have conditions where this happens naturally, and they are just more muscle-bound than the average person. For cattle farmers, this is nothing new.

There are substances they can use to block Myostatin, thus bio-engineering huge animals. The only downside is that said animals are more expensive to feed and care for.

MHP are waving a clinical trial report around saying it’s possible to gain 8 lbs of lean muscle mass in 12 weeks with MYO-X, their ‘Myostatin Inhibitor’. Okay, so maybe the first thing to do is understand a little better what Myostatin is, and does.

Read why Prime Male is so highly rated – click here

Myostatin and Muscle Hypertrophy

There’s a rare condition called Myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy, where affected people naturally have increased muscle and less body fat. In some cases the subject can have up to twice the muscle mass in their bodies when compared with the average individual in their genetic or racial lineage.

What’s even more strange is that these people do not suffer from any negative medical issues, and they have the same intellectual potential and mental health as the average person. Sounds like a gift to a bodybuilder, right!

Exactly how common this condition is, is not known, probably because there are varying degrees of it. People may not necessarily come forward or be tested for something so unusual, especially if there is no discernible negative.

What About Strength?

HGH MusclesHypertrophy is one thing, but the size of the muscles don’t automatically indicate their strength.

The science is a bit sketchy at the moment but there is a theory that the muscle gained from having the Myostatin reduced condition is not actually stronger than regular muscle because it hasn’t been built the same way, i.e. through resistance training etc.

At one time, sports governing bodies were concerned that people using Myostatin inhibitors / blockers may have a performance-enhanced edge on the competition. As stated above, however, it looks to be mainly a hypertrophic effect and not particularly strength building. That said, there isn’t much human evidence to show that muscle built through myostatin inhibition could not be strengthened, and therefore become much more advantageous that way.

In animals, the story is slightly different. A study in 2007 showed a significant correlation between a genetic myostatic-deletion in whippets and positive performance in races. More muscular in appearance, they did seem to be less able runners overall. There was a trade-off in this circumstance, evident from the fact that these special whippets did not always win!

Myostatin Inhibition Study on MyoT12

A recent study involving MyoT12 – the active ingredient inside MHP’s MYO-X – was undertaken at the University of Tampa to determine its effectiveness on lean body mass, strength and power in resistance-trained men. The men were recreationally trained, which basically means that they haven’t reached their plateau strength.

The study was 12 weeks of periodized training and lean body mass, muscle thickness, and strength were measured. There were two MyoT12 groups (10 and 30g/day) and one placebo group.

The most average gains appeared to be from the 10g/day group. They built an average of 3.75 lbs (1.7 kg) lean mass and 0.2 cm of muscle thickness.

MHP MYO-X

The company claims that their product MYO-X, the main ingredient of which is MyoT12, can help the user pack on up to 8 lbs of lean mass in 12 weeks. In truth, the key phrase there is “up to” because it is likely that ONLY the individual who gained the most muscle during the study put on 8 lbs. If they said “an average of 8 lbs” then it’s a different story.

Take Away Points

1. There is likely a correlation between MYO-X and muscle growth but potential consumers should not realistically expect an 8 pound increase in lean muscle mass over the course of 12 weeks.

2. In the study, placebo and test groups increased in strength equally. The scientists who wrote the report state that given the relatively novice level of the trial subjects, their strength gains should probably be attributed to their neural adaptations, which is something that very experienced athletes cannot achieve anymore, hence why men who have hit their plateau of strength are the most valued test subjects of all. The scientists go on to say that experienced men and women should be used in the next study.

3. An average increase of 3.75 lbs (1.7 kg) over 12 weeks is not much different to what a developing athlete can do with diet and a good training period. 8 lbs would be more significant but that sounds like the measurements of the outlier in the study. The placebo group added 1.3 lbs (0.6 kg) LBM as well, so the difference of 2.45 lbs (1.11 kg) can be attributed to MTO-X.

4. MYO-X is $99 for 30 days of use. You would need to have 3 times this amount to mimic the 12 week study.

Editor’s Conclusion and Recommendations

I think if we all had an endless supply of money, we may as well be trying every supplement going that’s got some half decent study to back it up. After all, unless there’s some sort of negative side effect that’s too much of a risk, what’s the worst that can happen? Unfortunately, money often plays the decisive role in determining what we pick up from the shelves and finally decide to take home and try out.

I’m a supplement fan. When you get the right one for you and it both works and motivates you to work, then it’s a good thing. Many people look to them as the shortcut, and are disappointed when they don’t look like the models in the magazines after a couple months of taking them. The most important factors to have at least a moderate level of control over are your diet, your exercise and your sleep.

Prime Male top T boosterSupplementation does work, depending on the type obviously, but only after those important aspects of life are looked after. Whether you want to pay for this product or that product is entirely up to you.

As for alternative recommendations, there is a selection of online based products that we believe are worth more than a look at.

You probably came to this article because you want to build muscle, so follow the link below and see what you think. Perhaps you didn’t know some of them even existed.

Click here for our reviews of some of the best products

Sample Reference Sources

Matthew Sharp et al – The effects of a myostatin inhibitor on lean body mass, strength, and power in resistance trained males – 2014

Genetics Home Reference – Myostatin-related Muscle Hypertrophy

mTOR Pathway to More Muscle

supplement capsules If you’re into supplements, chances are you will have come across the term ‘mTOR’ at some point. The manufacturers will use it as a selling point – something like ‘…product X activates the mTOR pathway to give you monster muscle gains…’

Between the bro-science and the promises of getting ‘huge’, there’s not much to go on from the product website if you just want to grasp the basics of what this mTOR stuff is all about. Researching the term yields a bunch of science papers that might tire you out after the first sentence of technical talk.

Given the claims about this…thing…it might help to know a little more. So what is mTOR?

What is mTOR?

The mammalian target of rapamycin (or mechanistic target of rapamycin, depending on your mood) is actually just an oddly named protein. Rapamycin was discovered to suppress the immune system, and is used for that purpose after organ transplant surgery to prevent the patient’s own immune system from rejecting the new organ.

The target of Rapamycin (mTOR) is however the protein we are talking about, and that is one of the most fundamental and vital proteins we have in our bodies. Controlled by a gene bearing the same name, mTOR regulates processes like protein synthesis and cell growth, proliferation, survival etc.

In the context of muscle building, it’s a really big deal, but it’s nothing we don’t already know. If you know that proteins like branched chain amino acids can help your muscles grow after exercise, then you already know about mTOR, you just might not have known you knew.

Actually, mTOR can regulate and integrate into cells the actions of several other mediators, like insulin, insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2 (IGF-1 and IGF-2), and amino acids – specifically Leucine. Whatever role each of these agents play along the chain of events which leads to larger, stronger muscle, it is safe to assume they are all extremely important.

Prime Male 4 for 3Anabolic muscle growth and mTOR signalling in particular is not limited to once supplement or even one ingredient. There are many proven compounds which have the ability to trigger significant growth response from the stimulus of resistance weight training.

An example is Leucine, which is garnering more attention than it has for a while. This essential branched chain amino acid has long been known to reduce the catabolism of muscles intra and post-workout, but any even heavier emphasis is now being placed on its interactions with the mTOR pathway.

Follow the link below to see the reviews of what are, in our opinion, the best growth-inducing supplements available

Click here to see the top supplements reviewed

What Does That Mean For Me?

free squatEverything and nothing, is the mysteriously unhelpful answer. Do you need to concern yourself about the microscopic actions of your mTOR, or insulin, IGFs and amino acids for that matter? No. Of course not. You just need to look after yourself on a macro level, i.e. your macro-nutrients: Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fat.

The biggest mistake people make is thinking muscle growth is all about protein intake. Protein is key, but it’s not even half the picture. And once you have enough protein for your requirements, it’s best not to go too much above that otherwise it will start to be converted and stored as fat.

Carbohydrates – and insulin’s reaction to them – are as important, if not more important, than protein intake. Proper fuelling before, during and after exercise with appropriate carbs alongside the optimal quantity of protein is the foundation of muscle building. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats are also vital in the right moderation. That’s what you can do, then mTOR will do what it does.

mTOR Paradox

Research on small mammals like mice has indicated that inhibition of mTOR activity can extend lifespan. As mentioned briefly earlier, Rapamycin is used as an inhibitor to help prevent a transplant patient’s immune system from rejecting new organs. It’s also believed to reduce the onset of cancer, which is assumed to be part of the life extension equation. The genetically altered mice displayed other anti-ageing benefits as well: they gained better memory and coordination as well.

Survival of mammals depends on the activity of mTOR – so the gene could not be totally disabled – yet its inhibition may serve to increase life span. At least, it can in mice.

Take from that what you will, but maybe that increased muscle and strength may not directly equate to a longer life!

What about the Supplements Claiming to Boost mTOR activity?

That’s an interesting point. Any supplement containing something as simple as Leucine could be said to be activating the mTOR pathway, because the anti-catabolic actions of this BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acid) are indeed mediated/regulated/integrated by mTOR.

The problem for the supplement companies is that Leucine is not as expensive as it was now, and they can’t make massive profit, so they need to be on constant lookout for new ingredients. Recently, they think they’ve found one.

Phosphatidic Acid

Most of the newer supplements that claim to accelerate the mTOR pathways are full of Phosphatidic Acid. A component of mTOR’s activation is the signal sent in response to resistance training. The cells that receive the stimulus of weight training release Phosphatidic Acid, which then binds to the main complex (Complex 1) of mTOR, the one responsible for muscle repair and ultimately hypertrophy (growth).

You will find some studies supporting the use of Phosphatidic Acid, and I’ve put a couple of links at the end of the article. The one companies are currently shouting about is: Phosphatidic acid enhances mTOR signaling and resistance exercise induced hypertrophy where subjects gained twice as much lean muscle mass and lost more than twice as much body fat as the placebo group.

Reliability of Studies

This is merely conjecture on my part, but many of the lead scientists in these studies – and indeed the laboratories they conduct the trials out of – can have pretty close ties to supplement companies. I’m not suggesting anything untoward happens, but there are ways in which a study’s findings can sway more favourably in the direction of the desired result.

No doubt they will sell many many bottles of Phosphatidic Acid-based supplements in the months and possibly years to come, but try to remember that real muscle gain starts with nutrition, exercise and adequate rest. Without looking after those aspects of your life, all the supplements in the world won’t make you pile on the muscle.

Supplement Examples

Max Muscle – MaxxTOR
Fuel: One – Phospha Build (click for our review)
Cutler Nutrition – Cutler KING (click for our review)
EPIQ Results – Phosphatidic Acid

Conclusion

HGH MusclesIt’s been known for centuries that lifting heavy loads induces a growth response from our muscles. More precise details on the nature of how this works – including the mTOR pathways used – have only been discovered in recent years.

Clinical studies can show the effect of supplements on this system, measured against a placebo group. The results are there for all to see. How you interpret the results is up to you, but the supplement companies will want you to accept them whole-heartedly, whereas some people will tell you the science is completely rigged. I’m somewhere in the middle, and I believe supplements work as part of a broader spectrum of general health mixed with a goal oriented training schedule.

Adding supplementation to that basic formula of eat, exercise and sleep is extremely useful, but look after the basics first and make sure your supplement is just that; a supplement.

Click here to go back to the best GH Boosters

Phosphatidic Acid Supporting Studies

Wilson, JM et al – Phosphatidic acid enhances mTOR signaling and resistance exercise induced hypertrophy – 2014

Hoffman, JR et al – Efficacy of phosphatidic acid ingestion on lean body mass, muscle thickness and strength gains in resistance-trained men – 2012

Growth Hormone Sleep Supplements

push upsSince the supplement industry realized there was money to be had in the natural growth hormone boosting sector (entirely different to synthetic growth hormone), there has been a flurry of products released.

Generally they contain a suite of ingredients that are included for their various interactions with the pituitary gland (which produces human growth hormone) or any number of related pathways that can help keep the consumer’s levels of this important hormone optimal.

Endogenous GH Release

It’s been well documented for a long time that our greatest endogenous (body’s natural) production of growth hormone occurs as we sleep. For the average person, this activity is at its highest during the growth spurt years and early twenties when the muscularity and bone strength that makes up our adult physique is developing toward its peak form.

Decline in Age

human growth hormoneAs the body ages, there is a concomitant decline of growth hormone (amongst other hormones). This is a good thing in one respect; who wants to keep getting taller for the best part of a century? We’d never be allowed on theme park rides for one thing, and that’s just depressing.

However, a certain level of HGH swimming around our systems is still desirable. For bodybuilders, weightlifters and all people similarly inclined, having optimal levels of endogenous human growth hormone is necessary in order to get the best results from the resistance training they so crave.

It’s worthy of note that resistance training alone can stimulate the release of growth hormone and other anabolic agents such as testosterone. That’s a good thing, but there is yet more we can do to increase our dwindling supply. Nutrition and sleep are the other two aspects of the anabolic trifecta. Ask anyone in very good shape, what they do to build muscle and the answer should not be ‘lift weights a lot’. The more accurate response would be ‘eat and sleep enough’.

That’s because muscle growth does not happen in the gym – the weights are only the stimulus. The real construction work happens during rest, particularly at night, and ideally over about an 8 hour period. Food is the raw material we ingest, but sleep is when we build most of our muscle.

Crazybulk HGHX2

At GH Boosters, we recommend a variety of GH Booster supplements that have been selected from a growing pool of products on the market.

HGH-X2 is one of best in our opinion, especially within the context of sleep-aided muscle growth.

The formula is the strongest we have tested, and as a result HGH-X2 Somatropinne became a part of a regular supplement routine.

Click here to read our review of HGH-X2

And then there’s supplements

It Always Comes Back to Sleep

So, there’s a general underlying theme to this article that I’m positive you’ve detected.

It might seem obvious to some people, but to others, they just…don’t…get it! They beast themselves in the gym, work their a**es off in the office, yard, shop or wherever, look after their kids, WAGs, houses, dogs, finances. And, they eat right, but they can’t seem to pack on the muscle. Also, they are tired constantly.

I will refer those people to the above section because they are missing the crucial, dominant factor of building muscle – you guessed it, sleep.

Growth Hormone Supplements and Sleep

getting more sleepThis is what the supplement industry understand, and it’s a valid idea too. Get enough shut-eye at night and there is a more than likely chance of your muscle mass growth potential being maximized.

If you have checked the boxes next to:

  • Training: the stimulus
  • Eating: the raw material
  • Sleep: the bulk construction time

…then you can add another to your armoury, with:

  • a good supplement: the icing on the cake.

The top Growth Hormone supplement manufacturers have got it on lock. It’s a bit of a recent trend but most of them will generally release a sleep-aid/HGH stimulator, but the really shrewd ones have the Day/Night formula.

I consider this to be the best type of GH supplement. You’ll take a pill or two in the morning and one before you go to sleep for 24 hour growth hormone support. That’s my opinion, and there are so many combinations these days that it’s difficult not to want to try them all out. That’s a confusing way of going about it though. Usually I recommend someone uses a supplement for 2 to 3 months before deciding whether it helped and either continuing with that one, or looking elsewhere.

Recommended HGH Supplements

Crazybulk HGHX2On this site, we’ve reviewed a fair few of these supplements and we’ve got a best-of page where you can read a summary of the ones we think not only make the cut, but that gave us results.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of HGH-X2; they have got the Day/Night formula down, and they’ve built a cocktail of some of the most proven ingredients (and some of the less proven ones), and it’s arguably a winner.

Don’t rule out any of them though. Like I said, it’s a case of trying things out in the supplement game.

Click here to view the best GH Booster available

Growth Hormone and Life Extension

Paypal was a really smart idea; it’s one of those I wished I had thought of first, like, well pretty much anything that makes a boat load of money.

The idea is simple, but I’d bet the execution was the tricky part – after all, a concept is nothing without its materialization.

One of the co-founders of Paypal – Peter Thiel – seems to have done pretty well from it anyway, as Forbes tells us he’s got about $2.2 billion stuffed into his mattress.

Two billion dollars is the equivalent of about £5 in today’s economy so I reckon I’m still richer than the guy, but whatever. Anyway, there was a point I was trying to get to here and it’s this: he would like to live to the age of 120 years old…and he’s using growth hormone pills as part of his plan, and not the sort of GH Boosters we review either, he’s gone full synthetic.

He also claims to be on a paleo diet and steers clear of nearly all sugar, which he explains contributing to a longer lifespan rather than being the major factor. According to him, ridding your diet of sugar is the only real dieting rule one should follow. Okay, Pete, paleo diet and no sugar ever…sounds like my idea of Hell on Earth if I’m honest.

The basic idea of the paleo diet is to mimic more closely the type of nutrition that cavemen lived on, because they didn’t have access to processed foods and pasteurized milk and so on, yet they were super-athletic and didn’t get cancer much. They also didn’t live past 35, but no-one seems to mention that.

Any paleo stalwarts will be about to smash their computer screens now. To those people: I know there’s more to it than that, I’m just attempting some festive jest. Relax, and drink a yummy raw milk and mud smoothie or something.

Justifying use of HGH

Peter Thiel says he takes GH pills every day because they help you retain muscle mass, which makes your bones less likely to break or develop arthritis. I must admit, this philosophy was a bit of a head-scratcher for a while until I moved on, thinking silly billionaires!

Yes, synthetic human growth hormone will certainly help muscles grow and bones to heal, but it will also help a bunch of other tissue types to grow according to some research findings. Unfortunately, they include the malignant variety, and while tumor growth is a concern, there’s also other problems like the overgrowth of jaw bones and feet and such. None of that sounds pretty but there is more than likely a dosage level that doesn’t have too many side effects.

More Research Needed

Doctor and HGHMore research into the true effects of HGH is needed, and it’s interesting to see some important people in suits with fat wallets take a real interest in it. Even in the NBA, one team manager has decided to fund some research to find out whether growth hormone can play role in suitable recovery therapy for players with injuries. Contrastingly, the NFL has recently announced that HGH is on their banned and tested-for performance enhancing drug (PED) list.

Of all the things human growth hormone might be capable of, performance enhancement is probably going to be one of the least effective. While the drug’s association with concomitant growth in muscle size and recovery will more than likely be corroborated by research, there is not much preliminary evidence to suggest it leads to huge gains in strength, power or performance. To some people, however, the very fact that it speeds recovery from injury is just another type of performance enhancement. Also, what does it say about the risks professional sportsmen would take if they know they had a powerful healing aid waiting for them?

Risk versus Reward

But back to Peter Thiel, who understands the potential increased risk of cancer growth and responds with the positive mental attitude that cancer will hopefully be cured within 10 years. Just got to scrape through the next decade unscathed then, Pete. You know what though, all power to the guy; he’s pumping wads of cash into cancer and other biotech R&D, which is only going to benefit us proles who can’t even afford to upgrade our seat from economy class on Cheapo-Air.

At least some of them are philanthropists (well pseudo-philanthropists, these people always have their own agenda) because on the other hand we’ve got Branson trying to send non-astronaut type souls into space for $200,000 a pop. That’s unfair, Richard does a hell of a lot for charity, even though he sort of has to, for tax purposes and such.

Synthetic or Natural Alternatives

Right, human growth hormone, sorry. Long story short: the jury is very much out on the benefits of using the synthetic hormone. Personally, I will always be a proponent of the natural and supplemental methods of indirectly increasing our endogenous (body’s own release) growth hormone levels, as there is an abundance of benefits to be had from doing so. It’s also hugely safe, because our hypothalamus and pituitary gland can release and regulate it. Supplements are a handy way of doing this because it saves the time and expense of seeking out all the ingredients separately from specialized stores.

Amongst other ways to boost your natural (endogenous) release of growth hormone there’s exercising regularly and getting a good amount of sleep. And that advice holds true for so many other factors of our health, so just do it anyway, and don’t waste time thinking about it.

So, while some ridiculously wealthy people, some pro basketball players (also ridiculously wealthy), and quite a few bodybuilders, to name but a handful of persons, might start taking human growth hormone with their breakfast, I will stick to the natural GH boosters thank you very much.

Prime Male 4 for 3Considering synthetic HGH is prescription only in most countries, I assume such formalities don’t get in the way of billionaires very often. I’ll wager there’s a well paid doctor somewhere laughing maniacally as he relieves his office wall of one undeserved hippocratic oath. And if we’re really honest, synthetic human growth hormone is probably not the panacea-esque fountain of youth it was once believed to be.

I can tell you one thing for sure; if you told me I had to eat a sugarless paleo diet for the next 80 years or so, I’d take something far more dangerous than synthetic growth hormone immediately. What’s the point of living to 120 without chocolate in your life!!

Pro Sport Funded HGH Research

HGH researchThe owner of a very prominent Pro Basketball team intends to fund some research into human Growth Hormone, the emphasis being on whether it could help injured players recover quicker from injury. The move is spurred by the fact that several of the team’s players, and indeed pros NBA wide, have been sidelined for long periods of time due to injury.

In light of the recent decision by the National Football League to start testing its players for synthetic growth hormone, it seems rather strange that such a high profile person should buck the current trend.

To be clear, the owner in question is not suggesting the use of currently banned substances for performance enhancement, but saying it’s definitely worth looking into – especially in a clinical study capacity – to determine whether the substance can be applied in a controlled and safe manner to help people recover.

Old Debate Refreshed

My first reaction wasn’t good.

After thinking about it, I’m more along the lines of this is exactly what pro sports needs…in a way.

Instead of the negative outcomes from conjecture, accusations and huge, high profile court cases making the sport headlines, it makes a nice change to see someone stepping up and saying ‘let’s just look into it further.’

It’s a good move, because it completely refreshes the whole debate on substance use and gives it a spin that makes you wonder if a balance can be struck between abuse of a performance enhancer and medically controlled use of it as an injury treatment.

Performance Enhancement versus Injury Recovery

Where do we draw the line? That’s the immediate question. It’s one thing testing players across the board for performance enhancers that shouldn’t be there, but if the same or similar substances were allowed for injury recovery purposes then the NBA and all other professional sports organizations that adopt it are going to have to prepare for a mother-load of red tape to fight through.

Banned for performance enhancement but legal for treatment of certain injures; good luck getting a consensus on that one!

Two Steps Forward

Doctor and HGHLike I said; at least someone wants to do something to figure out the performance enhancing drug quandary. Perhaps it’s worth it just for the amount of pure research that will come out of a pre-emptive move like this.

There may even be positive impacts on the medical application of growth hormone as a whole. Hell, they shouldn’t stop there, let’s re-open the book on steroids as well.

No-one ever said some of these drugs didn’t have the potential to be useful and relatively safe in small doses on a short term basis. After all, what’s worse: a blown AC ligament and a career stopped in its tracks, or a few short-term side effects from drugs?

Well, that’s a question only the research can answer.

Jumping on the Bandwagon

There’s always the issue of regulation, in my opinion. Doctors currently face heavy penalties for prescribing HGH to anyone, save for a handful of uses, and if there is a whiff of it being off-label (i.e. not for intended purpose), then they are in deep trouble.

If the research results in a green light for HGH treatment then every doctor gets to sign off on its use. We’ve already seen the cases of dodgy docs prescribing ‘roids off-label to famous sports players, but give them a wishy-washy law to back them up (because it will be super wishy-washy at first) and we’re back to square uno.

And what are the implications with other professions? Say, for example, a construction worker gets injured and the doctor thinks he’ll be back on his feet quicker and earning money for his family again if he prescribes a short course of HGH?

What if a guy tears a muscle pushing too hard in the gym?

If they determine that it’s safe to use growth hormone, then is shouldn’t matter, should it?

Conclusion

HGH in pro sportsRegardless of what might occur, I still think it’s a good thing that someone is willing to fund research into treatment with HGH. I just hope the research remains completely objective and doesn’t take into account the people funding it, or what their underlying motives might be.

To be honest, I don’t think any of the owners in the national American sports leagues would just benevolently throw money at research without seeing some kind of financial return.

The obvious outcome is that HGH does help injured players recover quicker and lets them get back to what they do best, and that’s earning their pay checks.

Every team owner wants that, but do they want something else as well? And will they open a can of jacked-up worms in doing so?

Click here to read about the recent decision by the NFL to test for HGH

NFL Starts to Test for HGH

NFL and growth hormoneThe NFL (National Football League) recently announced their updated measures for drug testing its professional players. Included is a new schedule for testing for synthetic Human Growth Hormone. It’s an interesting development for many reasons, but what strikes us primarily is how late in the day the NFL have gotten around to doing this.

It’s true that rules against the use of HGH were not enforceable until relatively recently compared to its anabolic steroid cousins. This was because the detection of the drug was so unreliable that the case against it being a true positive was too strong to take to court. That said, they had nailed down a more accurate blood test by the early 2000s and were readily using it during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

The NFL are therefore a full decade later than WADA (The World Anti-Dopin Agency) in bringing this type of testing to the fore. They have always done things their way and in their own time, so it comes as no surprise that ten years has gone by before they have something in place.

Detection of Synthetic HGH

During the 1980s and 90s, when steroid users had to start going to ground or weren’t able to use the banned substances so prolifically (or indeed at all), the use of synthetic HGH became a go-to option. For many a pro athlete, HGH became their main substance for fear that steroids were going to end their career, or at least be the cause of heavy suspension and fines.

With respect to its detection, HGH was a safe option at the time as it appeared testing could not accurately distinguish between the synthetic stuff injected and the body’s endogenous volume produced by the pituitary gland. During the early 2000s, however, blood tests which could differentiate between the natural and artificial types of HGH began to be rolled out by sports governing bodies, in particular the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), at the Olympic Games.

Use of HGH in the NFL

So how rife is this problem amongst the NFL, for example? Well, you don’t have to research too hard to find the unofficial answer to that question. If the testing had come unannounced and random selection, the general belief is that a few mighty footballers would be facing the four game suspension being issued as the first instance of detection.Incidentally, it’s 10 games for a second offence, and then a two year ban for third offences and upward.

The testing has been announced though and considering the short life-cycle of the synthetic compound in the bloodstream, those that aren’t too keen on a ban are going to be able to pack it in before they have detectable levels.

Of course, there are those who will continue to risk their careers to get ahead because there always are. How long have steroids been banned and yet some big names keep being taken down, right? Sometimes the chase for glory outweighs the potential fall from grace. Using the NFL again: 8 players from 5 teams will be selected each week for testing. It’s a numbers game, and plenty will play the odds.

How Effective is HGH as a Performance Enhancing Drug (PED)?

HGH syringe As usual, the scientific community is divided on the matter of growth hormone efficacy as a PED. There isn’t much debate that elevated levels of the hormone – whether synthesized or released endogenously (natural production within the body) – causes a growth reaction in both bones and muscle tissue, along with a reduction in body fat retention. Sounds good indeed.

The debate is more over the effectiveness of the hormone as a strength builder. Now, it’s a relatively young research subject, which only adds to the dichotomy of opinion. There’s two or more scientific schools of thought before you even get to the anecdotal and empirical ‘evidence’ from the athletic community. Spending time listening to any would have you convinced of their side of things.

With regard to strength, some studies suggest that the connective tissue within muscles is increased, which explains the size and mass gains, but there is little effect on the proteins themselves either in length or number.

Another study will show that the recovery speed from injuries such as achilles tears is quickened, others say recovery time is unaffected. For an offensive lineman in the NFL, size counts. In many ways, size is his strength. So where does that leave us in the usefulness of HGH.

One thing’s for sure, it isn’t much use to anyone on a two year suspension.

Difference Between Natural and Synthetic HGH

Endogenous (natural) growth hormone is largely responsible for the teenage growth spurt. At that stage in life, the pituitary gland’s release is at its highest, but there are certainly advantages to retaining a high level of natural HGH production into adulthood.

The level of circulating hormones is regulated by the hypothalamus in the brain; it stimulates the release of hormones which have opposite roles to play but work in balance to affect the level of released HGH. This balance is largely based on need, such as the repair of muscle or bone tissue. One of the factors that influences this is the breakdown of muscle as a result of resistance weight training.

As we get older, the amount of growth hormone produced dwindles. A boost in natural production would therefore be welcome.

Conversely, Synthetic HGH cannot be regulated by the brain and enters the bloodstream via injection. It works directly on the muscle and exerts its effects. In many cases, it is used alongside anabolic steroids to compound their effect. There are many potential side effects to using growth hormone in this way, which we will touch on next.

Safety of Synthetic HGH

Too much unregulated growth hormone can cause unwanted effects:

  • Unnatural growth of bone (particularly around the jaw, fingers and toes)
  • Chronic headaches, vision impairment
  • Displacement of other hormones
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Potential for exacerbation of tumour growth

There are more negative effects, but this article’s purpose is to not labour the point. Suffice it to say that the introduction of this form of the hormone is not without significant risk.

The Final Word on the use of Synthetic HGH

Artificial human growth hormone is illegal without prescription, and potentially dangerous. That said, the amount of athletes probably using it at present means some level of control has been found in order for the drug to be administered with minimal negative impact on health. The chances of achieving this without professional medical support are a lot less for the average gym goer.

There are definitely viable alternative options available to people who do not want to risk the negative effects of using injectable synthetic HGH, not to mention the legal problems and high cost.

Safe Althernative – Natural GH Boosters

Growth Hormone booster pillGrowth Hormone boosters are a relatively new introduction to the sports supplement industry, but they are rapidly becoming very popular among everyone from weight lifters to people just feeling the effects of getting older.

These types of supplements are considered to be entirely safe as they simply stimulate – using natural ingredients – endogenous levels of growth hormone, which the brain can regulate healthily. Follow the link below if you want to read more.

Click here to read more about GH Boosters

Information Profile: IGF-1

IGF-1 protein hormoneAbstract

Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 is a hormone which can mediate cell growth and multiplication. In the context of muscle and cartilage growth, it is anabolic, most notably via an increase in the rate of protein synthesis.

There is some scientific research which suggests IGF-1 is the principal growth hormone and that it acts independently to pituitary GH as well as synergistically alongside it.

With respect to other health effects, research is in its infancy and a mixture of both positive and negative effects have been found. Nothing is conclusive at this stage.

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IGF-1: Insulin-like Growth Factor 1

IGF-1 is a hormone in the form of a protein which has a very similar structure to insulin. Proteins are coded by our genes and we have a specific IGF-1 gene which codes its protein.

Proteins, such as insulin and IGF-1 are like keys, and the genes that code them are like the key-cutters. Like keys, they fit a matching lock, and the locks are called receptors. The receptors tend to have very unoriginal names like Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 Receptor, or IGF1R.

The receptors can be found all throughout the body in different kinds of cells and tissues, and when proteins bind with them, their programmed behaviour can be exerted. As IGF-1 is very similar to insulin, it can actually fit the same lock as insulin, i.e. it can bind to Insulin’s receptor as well as its own, but it does so much more weakly than insulin does.

IGF-1 Binding Proteins – IGF1BP

There are several (current research indicates 7) binding proteins which modulate the availability of IGF-1 to the tissues it interacts with. Most (about 80%) of IGF-1 binds to IGFBP-3 which is regulated by pituitary GH, and to some degree IGF-1 itself.

Some supplement manufacturers develop products which inhibit the binding proteins – especially IGFBP-3 – in order to elevate the levels of free form IGF-1, the theory being that the binding protein itself inhibits the uptake of IGF-1 to the target cells.

Natural IGF-1 Production

IGF-1 is mainly produced in the liver, stimulated by Human Growth Hormone (HGH). A little is produced by other tissues. Several factors can inhibit its production and release, including poor nutrition, insensitivity to HGH and lack of the receptors.

As well as the liver, the cartilaginous cells secrete IGF-1 and it can be regulated in an autocrine (cell releases hormone and binds it to receptor on same cell to change it in some way) , paracrine (like autocrine but local cell to cell signalling) and endocrine (like paracrine but whole body wide) manner.

Supplement Industry Implications

Research into the exact behaviour of IGF-1 and its related components is always ongoing. The ergogenic supplement industry is manufacturing, promoting and marketing products based on results from first phase scientific studies.

If you are looking for an ironclad, placebo controlled, double blind, randomized studies with well trained humans, investigating the effects of something which might inhibit a binding protein of IGF-1, you are not going to find it.

Potential Health Effects

The effect of IGF-1 on cell multiplication and growth has excellent implications for someone building muscle. Research has led to further potential impacts on our health.

IGF-1 has been shown to improve the health of the digestive tract and is being investigated further as a possible treatment for bowel disease. However, some scientists have linked it with a few deleterious effects such as the proliferation of certain cancers and heart disease, the theory being that the cells it exerts growth activity toward are not always ‘good’ cells. An increased risk of diabetes has also been noted in one study, but another investigation implied it has beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity, therefore preventing diabetes. As you can see, more research is needed.

The takeaway point here is that IGF-1 is not even close to being fully understood, and it is early days yet with respect to the research. Our best advice is to ‘watch this space’ for now and see what develops in the world of IGF-1.

As for the currently marketed supplements which are advertising a boost in free IGF-1 levels, we cannot comment in a medical capacity on the benefits and risks of such products. However, we would find it difficult to believe the IGF-1 boost achieved from a supplement could be even in the same ballpark as the concentrations used in laboratory research.

Conclusion

IGF-1 is a growth hormone which can increase cell volume and replication, which translates to higher protein synthesis rates and anabolism in muscles. It appears to act both separately and in conjunction with Growth Hormone. Early research indicates that it may have both positive and negative effects on other aspects of health. Research is ongoing.

Final comment: These days, what can you ingest that doesn’t have research backing both negative and positive effects? Turmeric, maybe, off the top of my head, is a true superfood.

Alternative Names

IGF-1: aka – Somatomedin, sulfation factor
HGH: aka – GH, growth hormone, human growth hormone, Somatropin

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Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin-like_growth_factor_1
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1187088/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9402139
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1381713
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autocrine_signalling
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paracrine_signalling
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/732476_3