What is IGF-1 and Is it Safe?


IGF-1 is an abbreviated way to say Insulin Like Growth Factor. It is a growth factor, and it has been shown in scientific studies to be ten times as potent as HGH, the anti-aging supplement that has become a household word. Apparently, IGF-1 can even fix damaged DNA.

The one reason you take HGH is to boost levels of IGF-1. HGH doesn’t last a very long time in your bloodstream (approximately 15 minutes). Although, when it’s in your bloodstream, it signals the liver to make IGF-1. HGH is responsible for the release of IGF-1.

Why do people take antioxidants? Antioxidants minimize the damage to cells by counteracting free radicals. IGF-1 can actually heal damaged DNA. Some believe you can actually reverse the aging process.

The opposite is also true. If you let HGH and IGF-1 dwindle with age, cellular renovation and repair has trouble keeping up with cellular damage. What you get is a degenerative process that we call aging.

IGF-1 is often used in skin care creams help improve your skin and reverse aging. It can even work as a sports performance enhancer. It has a myriad of uses… There’s a reason why people of all stripes take it.

For example, professional football players are taking it in the form of deer antler spray. In fact, the supplement has become so popular that the NFL has taken notice of it and banned it.

Deer antler spray isn’t as popular as HGH or a number of other performance enhancing drugs, but NFL policy bars its players from taking, because it contains IGF-1. It is a substance that is banned by the league.

Ray Lewis, Vijay Singh, and University of Alabama football players have all allegedly used deer antler sprays.

What is deer antler? Deer antler has been a popular part of Eastern medicine for hundreds of years. Just like red meat and eggs, deer antler has tiny amounts of insulin-like growth factor.

The FDA, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and NFL banned IGF-1, though the WADA lifted its ban last year. It is a proven sports performance enhancer. However, WADA overturned the ban when it was shown that the substance only had small amounts of IGF-1 in it.

One supplement maker reported that up to 40% of professional athletes purchase his deer antler product. If there is that much buzz about it with professional athletes, it must have some merit to it, and it would stand to reason that it could be helpful for ordinary athletes. On the other hand though, other experts don’t believe the trace amounts of IGF-1 in these sprays is enough to provide any significant advantage.

Is it safe though? Other than some allergic reactions, deer antler spray does not seem to cause many clear, immediate side effects. However, there are some concerns about contamination. You also have to be sure that the company you’re purchasing from has a solid reputation because the last thing you want to do is take a supplement that’s carelessly produced and could contain potentially harmful filler ingredients.

Veronica Davis