The growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) is the primary regulator of growth and development. Low levels of IGF-1 can cause short stature in childhood. Children with the growth deficiency indicate signs of normal IGF-1 levels, but in other cases, the IGF-1 levels can be lower than the usual. Children with short stature disorder receive growth hormone treatment to correct the growth disorder. IGF-1 is popularly known as a fat-burning hormone. Insulin and IGF-1 are fuel nozzles that feed your cells, and their roles are critical to your health and fat loss.  Increased intake of insulin into your body makes you fatter, which is not suitable for your health and the functioning of IGF-1.
What is the Insulin-Like Growth Factor?
IGF-1 is a hormone that the body naturally produces. The hormone is similar to the structure of insulin, and it functions with the growth hormone to regenerate and reproduce body cells. The pituitary gland produces growth hormone, and ultimately stimulates the liver to secrete IGF-1. Consequently, IGF-1 promotes the growth of cells throughout the body, causing growth and development, healing of skin and gut lining, and strengthening of tissues like muscle building and enhancing bone density based on what your body needs.
IGF-1 is vital in the body development, and when it is insufficient during child development, short stature develops. IGF-1 helps with muscle building. It also plays an essential role in healing and lowers the effects of chronic inflammation. When individuals are born, they already have high amounts of IGF-1 running through their bodies, explaining why people grow so much and quickly when young.
IGF-1 plays an integral role in massive body changes that happen during puberty. The hormone aids in increasing the growth rate of cells, bones, and muscles. But, the hormone levels reduce as you grow old, which slows down your growth rate. Reduced levels can cause weakened muscle mass, fatigue, and reduced bone density. Unfortunately, most people view the symptoms as a natural byproduct of aging. You don’t have to undergo the effects of getting weaker. IGF-1 has several benefits for people of all ages, including people who are at the age where the levels of IGF-1 decrease.
Insulin and IGF-1
People with diabetes don’t produce enough insulin, or their bodies don’t use it properly. Insulin is essential in processing glucose for energy. Lower levels of IGF-1 are linked to type 1 diabetes.  Also, abnormal levels of growth hormones and IGF-1 play a significant role in diabetes complications. Health benefits of IGF-1 include:
- Increasing stamina
- Boost energy levels
- Reduce the visible effects of aging
- Burn fat naturally
- Enhanced sleep
- Promote hair growth
- Boost immune system
Effects of IGF-1
Research shows that IGF-1 correlates with greater telomere length in people of all ages, especially in older men. Higher levels of IGF-1 can reduce the risks of dying. It also helps to prevent age-related cognitive reduction and stimulates the growth of new cells in the brain. The effects of aging, such as slower walking, reduced muscle strength, and reduced mobility is common in older women. Also, sick patients have lower levels of IGF-1
2. Autoimmunity and Inflammation
Studies reveal that inflammation is high when the IGF-1 levels are low. Also, patients with HIV have low IGF-1 levels and inflammatory bowel diseases.  People with chronic inflammatory diseases, such as Lupus have lower levels of IGF-1. Thus, such patients require a boost of their IGF-1 levels to combat autoimmunity by increasing T Regulatory cells.
IGF-1 is vital in increasing glutathione peroxidase. It is an essential antioxidant enzyme. Therefore, IGF-1 protects the cells exposed to radiation by avoiding the death of cells and increasing the antioxidant status.
Tips for Naturally Increasing IGF-1 levels
People struggling with low levels of IGF-1 can increase through supplements. However, some studies link the synthetic version of IGF-1 to some adverse negative. Thus, it would be safer to use natural ways of boosting IGF-1 levels than the synthetic version. You can consider the following options to increase your levels of IGF-1 without harming your body naturally.
1. Get Enough Sleep
One of the most efficient ways of increasing the anabolic hormones in your body is getting quality sleep. Enough rest is essential in increasing muscle production and fat loss. You can increase IGF-1 levels by getting at least six hours of sleep to increase the ability of your body to store more fat.
2. Avoid Night Snacking
The human growth hormone and IGF-1 function together. Therefore, maintaining high levels of human growth hormone can significantly help you to increase your IGF-1 levels naturally. The human growth hormone is at its peak during the first few hours at night when you are asleep.  Thus, when you snack on sugary foods before going to bed, you spike HGH levels. The two growth hormones cannot function when they are both high at the same time. Therefore, snacks at night lower your Insulin-like Growth Factor -1 levels.
Synthetic versions of IGF-1 are dangerous. However, supplement natural Insulin-like Growth Factor -1 can assist your body to build muscles and promote growth and development. Your body recognizes IGF-1 supplements because it is similar to the hormone produced in the body. The body then absorbs what it requires and filters out the excess contents through the kidneys. Thus, using IGF-1 natural supplements gives you confidence that your levels are at their maximum. You can consider incorporating foods that can increase levels of IGF-1 into your diet.  For instance, you can adopt a low-carb diet to reduce insulin levels and boost IGF-1 levels.
4. Strength Training
Exercises are vital in increasing anabolic hormones in your body. Also, strengthening some strong muscles can help maintain optimum levels of IGF-1. Some of the activities that can help in growing IGF-1 levels include squats, bench presses, and deadlifts.
Studies reveal a correlation between vitamins and IGF-1. Vitamin D is said to increase IGF and IGF-1 circulating proteins. The vitamin stimulates the liver to produce IGF-1 by directly the production of relevant genes and stimulation of growth hormone. Studies also reveal that animal protein increases IGF-1 levels.
The body naturally secrets Insulin-like Growth Factor 1. However, the levels change over time, depending on factors, such as medical conditions and age. People who are deficient of IGF-1 experience symptoms, such as lower workout recovery times, higher than usual body fat percentage, and less energy. Consequently, you may need to increase the levels of IGF-1 in your body for normal functioning. You can consider natural ways of growing IGF-1, such as getting enough rest and strength training.