IGF-1 is a hormone that is naturally produced by the liver. During childhood, it is one of the primary hormones responsible for growth and remains a powerful precursor to cell growth in adults.
This test is often requested by those who are looking to gain muscle and build strength, whether for health, training or sporting reasons. The test can also be used to detect certain disorders and diseases, such as pituitary tumours, which cause one’s body to make an abundance of the growth hormone.
Circulating IGF-1 is almost 100% bound to IGF binding proteins (IGFBP), the most abundant of these being IGFBP-3. These binding proteins stabilise IGF-1, prolonging its half-life in the bloodstream. Blood levels of IGF-1 are low in young children, peaking during the pubertal growth spurt and then declining steadily with age.
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