What are growth hormone and IGF One?


Growth hormone and Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) are critical hormones involved in various physiological processes.

Growth Hormone (GH)

Growth hormone is primarily secreted by the anterior pituitary gland and plays a pivotal role in bodily growth, metabolism, and tissue repair. It acts directly on tissues and also stimulates the liver to produce IGF-1. The production of growth hormone is especially significant during the first few hours of sleep, and it is influenced by factors such as meal timing before sleep and regular sleep patterns. Exercise can also trigger the release of growth hormone, which enhances its beneficial effects on memory, cognition, and physical health 1.

Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1)

IGF-1, mainly produced in the liver as a response to growth hormone stimulation, carries out many of growth hormone's effects at distant tissues. It is crucial for promoting normal bone and tissue growth and development. This hormone also has important roles in boosting memory and learning capabilities following exercise. The influence of IGF-1 extends to improving hair growth by prolonging the growth phase of hair cells 2.

Interaction and Effects

Both hormones are intricately involved in metabolism, muscle and tissue growth, and overall vitality. They stimulate cellular repair and energy production through increased ATP, enhancing feelings of well-being and energy. The distribution and effects of growth hormone and IGF-1 can differ between sexes, showing varying responses based on exercise patterns and hormonal interactions 1.

Despite the benefits, it's crucial to be cautious with external supplementation of these hormones due to potential side effects like increased risk of cancer from excessive growth of tissues, including small tumors 3.

Exercise and Hormones

Andrew explains how exercise triggers the release of growth hormone and IGF One, which have positive effects on memory and cognition. He also discusses the sex-dependent effects of exercise on the release of these hormones, with women accessing the biggest peak in the first 30 minutes and men in the last 60 minutes.

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In summary, both growth hormone and IGF-1 play critical roles in bodily functions, enhancing growth, metabolism, and healing, with their natural release patterns tightly linked to behaviors like sleep and exercise.