Insulin-Like Growth Factors (IGFs)

What are Insulin-Like Growth Factors?

Insulin-like growth factors (“IGFs”) are peptide hormones that are similar to insulin and are secreted from many different types of cells. IGFs are important factors involved in cell creation and metabolism. Almost every cell in the human body is affected by IGFs; especially cells in muscles and bones.

The two principle IGFs are IGF-I and IGF-II. IGF-I is very closely related to insulin. IGF-I carries the same amount of amino acids as insulin and is responsible for the anabolic reactions to growth hormone. IGF-I is an important factor in childhood growth and is highly anabolic in adults. IGF-I promotes the stimulation of cell growth as well as an inhibition of cell death.

What are the common names or slang terms for Insulin-Like Growth Factors?

Insulin-Like Growth Factors are commonly referred to as IGFs

What do Insulin-Like Growth Factors look like?

IGFs are clear liquids that are injected.

How are Insulin-Like Growth Factors used?

IGFs are injected. The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved two brands of synthetic IGF-I (Increlex and IPLEX) which are used to treat severe growth failure in children whose bodies do not produce enough IGF-1. Athletes abuse IGFs because they may increase the rate and extent of muscle repair after injury and increase muscle growth after training.

What are their short and long-term effects on the body?

IGF-I use can cause abnormal and rapid growth of soft tissues and bones, and other symptoms characteristic of acromegaly and gigantism. Additional side effects of IGFs include low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), enlarged tonsils, increased pressure in the brain (intracranial hypertension), slipped capital femoral epiphysis and scoliosis (curving of the spine). Painful reactions in and around the injection site can also result.

What is its federal classification?

To be used legally, this substance requires a legitimate prescription from a physician.