May 13, 2020


With the development of the testing mechanisms used for recognizing performance-enhancing drugs in the organism of athletes, the supplement industry focused on developing the variations which will be difficult to detect. One of the most common types of testing conducted by the World Anti-Doping agency is urinal test. Therefore, many substances with anabolic properties appeared on the market, which cannot be verified in this type of test. Although, it is rarely possible to completely conceal the fact that you are using supplements, you can make it more difficult to discover it. One of such substances is Igf-1 or Insulin-like growth factor 1.

What is Igf-1?

Insulin-like growth factor 1 is also known under the name somatomedin C. The name is quite self-explanatory, as the structure of this hormone is structurally similar to insulin. This substance is naturally produced in our organism by liver, and triggered by the growth hormone. It is very important for normal development of our body. It is at its peak in the teenage period, when it significantly contributes to our growth. Its levels are considerably lower in infants and older people. Apart from assisting in growing, this substance is also important for fetal development and tissue homeostasis in adult people. It also maintains skeletal metabolism and contributes to regeneration of our muscle tissue.

The substance is approved by the FDA, and can be bought legally with prescription. It is used for treating conditions such as growth failure in children and teenagers. This condition is frequently caused by Igf-1 deficiency. Children suffering from this condition are short, and their bones are undeveloped. Injecting the synthetic version of this important substance can improve their body development.

Igf-1 Use among Athletes

Igf-1 supplement became very popular among elite athletes in the recent years. The substance has been banned by WADA for some time. However, the issue with using this supplement is the fact that it cannot be detected in urine but only in the bloodstream, which makes testing for it more complex and time-consuming. Igf-1 works similarly to growth hormone, but it is even more difficult to detect it in the organism than the later. Two tests are used to check the presence of synthetic HGH. One of them is marker test, wich does not detect the the substance itself, but the expected effects of HGH and Igf-1 in the organism. If they are present, the tests show that the athlete is positive for one of the two substances. The other one is growth hormone test which target particularly this hormone. Because GH and Igf-1 are not the same, it cannot recognize if the athlete is positive for Igf-1. Apart from Deer Antler Spray produced by the company Sports With Alternatives to Steroids, or S.W.A.T.S., another popular brand used by sportsmen is "The Ultimate Spray". It is also confirmed that it contains Igf-1 and several NFL players were caught using it. Even though, they have been some players who were caught red-handed, Igf-1 poses a great challenge for anti-doping agencies.

The reason why so many athletes opt for this supplement is that it has similar effects to HGH. Due to its anabolic effects in adults, it can improve performance and endurance and enhance the development of muscle mass. Many athletes consider it an almost perfect product. It actually triggers the same receptors in our organism as HGH which is why it is so effective.

However, it is important to mention that this substance doesn’t come without side effects. Taking it for a prolonged period of time and in large quantities can cause conditions such as hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. You can also experience heart issues, enlarged heart condition and cause damage to your eyes. On top of this, if you get a cancer, high levels of this substance can lead to quick spread of the cancerous cells and their preservation, which can put your life at risk.

Popular Forms of Igf-1

In order to be even more effective and have greater anabolic effects, the supplement industry came up with some modifications, leading to other forms of Igf-1. We will now present you with some of the most popular modified forms of this substance.

Igf-1 lr3

IGF-1 Long R3 is the version with some structural modification of Igf-1. While regular Igf-1 has 70 amino acids, Igf-1 lr3 has 83 a substation of Arg(R) for the Glu(E) at position three which is how it got R3 in the name. The main difference is that this alternative has a longer half-life. This means that it will exist longer in your organism, but because of this feature it will be more potent and give you more significant effects. This supplement stirs the activity of Igf and limits the binding ability to Igf proteins. Its anabolic properties lead to quick fat burning process, and the increase of lean muscle mass and great body shape.

Igf-1 des

Igf-1 des consists of a shorter chain of amino acids than Igf-1, it has 67 of them. Des is a version variant of IGF1 where tripeptide Gly-Pro-Glu is eliminated. Its half-life is short and lasts up to half an hour. This version is used for more specific muscle growth. It should be injected directly into the muscle and particularly in the place where we want the muscles to grow. For overall muscle growth, some other version of Igf-1 should be used. However it will be around five times more potent than regular Igf-1 in the area where it is injected. It is also more effective than Igf-1 lr3 as it has greater ability to trigger hyperplasia in the muscles. Another benefit of this version is the fact that due to its focused activity and short half-life, it can be used for a longer period of time and more often than the other versions of Igf-1.


Igf-1 is a very powerful substance naturally produced in our organism. It contributes to the normal development and growth of our body, muscle and bone mass. In healthy adults it has significant anabolic effects which enhance our performance, give us more stamina to endure highly intense workouts, and improve the process of muscle building and formation. One of the most important benefit is the fact that it is difficult to detect it in testing, which makes it even more appealing to professional athletes. Because of its growing popularity, many variations of Igf-1 appeared. Their effects are a bit different, and your choice will depend on the goal you want to accomplish. As they don’t come without side effects, you should do a research and test your body’s reaction to it before starting to use it regularly.

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