The evidence is mounting that it could be. It’s no secret that people are living longer than ever before. In fact, life expectancy has increased by more than 30 years since 1900. But as we live longer, our health often deteriorates along with our bodies.
Now, a growing body of evidence suggests that the hormone IGF-1 could be the key to not only living longer but also staying healthier as we age.
What is IGF-1 and why it’s important?
Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a hormone that plays an important role in growth and development. Your body produces IGF-1 in response to growth hormone (GH). GH is released by the pituitary gland and stimulates the liver to produce IGF-1. IGF-1 then enters the bloodstream and helps to promote growth in children and adolescents.
In adults, IGF-1 levels remain relatively constant. However, you should check optimal IGF-1 levels by age to make sure your levels are in reference ranges. For example, research suggests that adults over the age of 60 may benefit from higher IGF-1 levels.
Normal IGF-1 levels are important for maintaining health and preventing disease. IGF-1 promotes cell growth and regeneration, which is essential for wound healing and tissue repair. Additionally, IGF-1 helps to regulate metabolism and maintain bone density.
Low IGF-1 levels have been linked with a number of health conditions, including osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your IGF-1 levels remain within the normal range. You can talk to your doctor about ways to optimize your IGF-1 levels if necessary.
How can IGF-1 affect longevity?
There is growing evidence that IGF-1 could play a role in longevity. One study found that people with higher IGF-1 levels were more likely to live longer and stay healthy as they age. The study followed 1,104 individuals over the age of 20 for a period of 20 years, the researchers found that people with higher IGF-1 levels were more likely to live longer and experience less disability as they age.
Similarly, another study found that IGF-1 could help to prevent age-related diseases. The researchers found that people with higher IGF-1 levels were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, or heart disease.
What makes IGF-1 so beneficial for longevity?
IGF-1 could help to protect against age-related diseases by promoting cell growth and regeneration. As we age, our cells gradually become damaged and stop functioning as well. This can lead to the development of chronic diseases.
However, IGF-1 can help to repair and replenish damaged cells, which could reduce the risk of age-related diseases.
IGF-1 could also help to boost the immune system and fight inflammation. Inflammation is a major contributing factor to many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. By reducing inflammation, IGF-1 could help to protect against these diseases.
Additionally, IGF-1 could help to improve cognitive function and protect against age-related cognitive decline. One study found that IGF-1 could help to improve memory and learning in rats. The study found that rats treated with IGF-1 had increased levels of a protein that is important for memory and learning.
3 easy ways to increase your IGF-1 levels
IGF-1 levels can be affected by diet, supplements, and lifestyle habits. Here are some ways to increase IGF-1 levels.
Diet: Foods that contain protein and vitamin D may help increase IGF-1 levels. Protein is essential for the production of IGF-1, and vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is necessary for bone growth. Good sources of protein include lean beef, chicken, fish, tofu, legumes, and eggs. Vitamin D can be found in fortified milk and orange juice, fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, and mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet light.
Supplements: Some supplements may help increase IGF-1 levels. These include zinc, magnesium, copper, selenium, and vitamins B6 and B12. It’s important to speak with a doctor before taking any supplements, as they can interact with medications and have side effects.
Lifestyle habits: Exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress may help improve IGF-1 levels. Exercise helps to build muscle mass, which can increase IGF-1 levels. Getting enough sleep is important for overall health and can help the body recover from exercise. Reducing stress may also help, as stress has been linked to decreased IGF-1 levels.
By making these simple lifestyle changes, adults can help to keep their IGF-1 levels high and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.
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