Are Your IGF-1 Levels Too High Or Too Low?
This at-home IGF-1 blood spot test helps diagnose Growth Hormone (GH) issues and evaluate pituitary gland function and the effectiveness of GH treatment. It may also reveal your risks for certain diseases.
Studies show IGF-1 levels and interrelated GH levels can have substantial positive or negative impact on the body.
What Is IGF-1?
IGF-1 is a hormone that regulates the effects of GH. It also helps the body use glucose for energy, similar to the way that insulin does. It is vital for DNA synthesis, wound repair, and healthy skin regeneration.
Your liver synthesizes about 80% of IGF-1 and your bones produce about 20%.1 GH stimulates the production of IGF-1. The body creates IGF-1 throughout life but production slows greatly during the aging process.
IGF-1 belongs to a class of proteins called somatomedins. Somatomedins are intermediaries in chemical reactions, which means they are formed from reactions and then react to give direction for another step in chemical processes.
What Are Normal IGF-1 Levels?
Optimum IGF-1 levels are based on a many factors including age, gender, the presence of underlying medical issues, risk factors for chronic diseases and health goals.
Your lab test results will provide reference ranges based on age and gender.
Following are general IGF-1 reference ranges used in the US for men and women. Ranges may differ slightly from lab to lab.
|18-22 years||91-442 ng/mL||85-370 ng/mL|
|23-25 years||66-346 ng/mL||73-320 ng/mL|
|26-30 years||60-329 ng/mL||66-303 ng/mL|
|31-35 years||54-310 ng/mL||59-275 ng/mL|
|36-40 years||48-292 ng/mL||54-258 ng/mL|
|41-45 years||44-275 ng/mL||49-240 ng/mL|
|46-50 years||40-259 ng/mL||44-257 ng/mL|
|51-55 years||37-245 ng/mL||40-217 ng/mL|
|56-60 years||34-232 ng/mL||37-208 ng/mL|
|61-65 years||33-220 ng/mL||35-201 ng/mL|
|66-70 years||32-209 ng/mL||34-194 ng/mL|
|71-75 years||32-200 ng/mL||34-187 ng/mL|
|76-80 years||33-192 ng/m||34-182 ng/mL|
|81-85 years||33-185 ng/mL||34-177 ng/mL|
|86-90 years||33-179 ng/mL||33-175 ng/mL|
|>or = to 90 years||32-173 ng/mL||25-179 ng/mL|
Is Low IGF-1 Unhealthy?
Children and adults with growth hormone deficiency will have low IGF-1 because IGF-1 derives from GH. Treatments for growth hormone deficiency include the use of the peptides sermorelin or ipamorelin or recombinant (lab-synthesized using a combination of genetic material) human growth hormone (rhGH).
Additionally, IGF-1 production declines with age and is associated with decreased muscle mass,2 increased fat,2 insulin resistance—a cause of type 2 diabetes3−and decreased cognitive ability.4
IGF-1 may be boosted through medication and/or lifestyle changes. A study that aimed to increase IGF-1 in the elderly found that exercise, specifically strength training, boosted IGF-1.2
Is High IGF-1 Dangerous?
According to some research, high IGF-1 may pose a greater risk for prostate cancer 5 and breast cancer 6 but that doesn’t mean that elevated IGF-1 is the direct cause of cancer. IGF-1 promotes all cell survival, which means it could help protect and proliferate malignant cells.3
As you can see, the spectrum of IGF-1’s effects on the body is vast. Instead of guessing what your IGF-1 levels are and what could be going on in your body, get real data with an at-home test kit.
1 Kawai M, Rosen CJ. The insulin-like growth factor system in bone: basic and clinical implications. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2012;41(2):323-vi. doi:10.1016/j.ecl.2012.04.013
2 Castro JBP, Vale RGS. Insulin-like growth factor i (igf-1) in older adults: a review. MOJ Gerontol Ger. 2017;1(6):175-176. doi: 10.15406/mojgg.2017.01.00034
3 Asghari Hanjani N, Vafa M. The role of IGF-1 in obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Med J Islam Repub Iran. 2019;33:56. Published 2019 Jun 17. doi:10.34171/mjiri.33.56
4 van Bunderen CC, Deijen JB, Drent ML. Effect of low-normal and high-normal IGF-1 levels on memory and wellbeing during growth hormone replacement therapy: a randomized clinical trial in adult growth hormone deficiency. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2018;16(1):135. Published 2018 Jul 6. doi:10.1186/s12955-018-0963-2
5. High levels of two hormones in the blood raise prostate cancer risk | UK Biobank. Ukbiobank.ac.uk. https://www.ukbiobank.ac.uk/2019/11/high-levels-of-two-hormones-in-the-blood-raise-prostate-cancer-risk/. Published 2020. Accessed September 15, 2020.
6 Growth hormone IGF-1 is a likely cause of breast cancer | UK Biobank. Ukbiobank.ac.uk. https://www.ukbiobank.ac.uk/2020/03/growth-hormone-igf-1-linked-to-cause-of-breast-cancer/. Published 2020. Accessed September 15, 2020.
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