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GH, its effects, and where the notion to take insulin and/or IGF1 with it came from


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Kilo Klub Member
Jun 19, 2013
I've been asked many times about the practice of combining insulin with GH, is it necessary ? how IGF1 may help here ?

The GH-IGF1 is possible the most complex hormonal axis in the human body. I'll try to offer some science based yet simple answers in a nutshell.
First how GH works in the human body -

GH has a direct and immediate anabolic effect in the body - it causes different tissues (above all muscle) to retain nitrogen which leads to a positive nitrogen balance = anabolism. It also causes the body to retain minerals (sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus) as part of its anabolic effect as well, which explains the quite noticeable and fast water retention many users experience with GH.

Having said and explained that many of the muscle building properties of GH are mediates by IGF1 which is considered the most anabolic hormone in the body. Even if we block somehow the IGF1 secretion which is induced by GH it'll still retain some of its anabolic and metabolic effects directly through GH receptors in different tissues, but big portion of the effect will be abolished, this is why in rare condition when short statue children don't respond well to GH treatment they're treated with IGF1. The GH causes IGF1 secretion from target organs such as the liver and kidneys, and the IGF1 travels in the serum to different tissues (endocrine effect). The GH also causes a local section of IGF1 (and other growth factors) on different tissues, mainly on muscle tissue, it's called autocrine effect, and it's responsible on the stimulation of cell division, and this explains some of the unique so desired effect of GH (and IGF1).

GH has another important effect - it directly triggers fibroblast activity, which means recuperation and creation of connective tissue, this of course enables optimal recuperation from injury, and better muscle functioning and strengthgains =muscle gains.

GH has some direct and immediate metabolic effects - it releases glucose and fatty acids to the circulation, meaning it takes stored energy and make it available for the different organs and tissues, this is how it increases metabolism and burns fat both directly (taking fat stored fat and turning it to free fatty acids) and indirectly by expending calories and energy consumption. Note that releasing glucose to the circulation requires the body to secrete insulin immediately in order to balance the glucose levels and lower them back to normal, this mechanism leads with time to decreased insulin sensitivity, as when taking superpharmacological levels of GH the body needs to secrete constantly high amounts of insulin. So GH increases insulin levels and decreases insulin sensitivity (which may bring to insulin resistance in extreme cases - diabetes). What some GH users do is incorporating exogenous insulin in order to help the body to cope with the high levels of glucose which are caused by the GH, the notion behind it is that the pancreas is a gland that if overwhelmed with demand to secrete constantly higher and higher insulin levels its functioning is harmed and deteriorate. I've seen some users raising the idea of eating high simple carbs meals instead of injecting insulin thinking it'll trigger the needed high insulin release from the pancreas, but this idea will only make things worst for the long run because it'll simply exhaust more the pancreas and impair its activity.

The ideal solution here is actually incorporating IGF1 to the equation. IGF1 directly increase insulin sensitivity, counter the insulogenic effect of GH, and more ever it directly add to the anabolic and anti catabolic effect of GH - as you may learn from the scientific literature below below the GH and IGF1 has a distinct synergistic effect, so combing them will enhance both the GH and the IGF1 effect by themselves -
"GH may exert metabolic effects either directly or indirectly through increased production of IGF-I. GH administration increases circulating IGF-I levels via stimulation of hepatic synthesis and secretion of IGF-I; it may also enhance local IGF-I synthesis, which exerts paracrine or autocrine effects. Figure 2 summarizes the metabolic effects of GH and IGF-I. Administration of GH and IGF-I in adult humans has been demonstrated to enhance protein anabolism. Combined administration of GH and IGF-I was observed to be more anabolic than either IGF-I or GH alone. Evidence is presented that protein accretion results mainly from direct effects of GH on tissues; additional indirect effects via IGF-I production are also likely. Administration of GH has been reported to produce carbohydrate intolerance with elevated plasma insulin levels, resulting from insulin resistance. in contrast, insulin sensitivity increased during administration of IGF-I, which exerts hypoglycaemic effects even with concomitant suppression of insulin secretion. A major direct metabolic effect of GH is to increase fat mobilization and oxidation, and thereby to reduce total body fat; there is no evidence that IGF-I acts directly on adipose tissue in vivo. GH administration results in sodium retention via stimulation of Na-K-ATPase. It is suggested that part of the effects of GH on tubular function (e.g. phosphate reabsorption) are mediated via IGF-I. Energy expenditure may be increased by administration of either GH or relatively high doses of IGF-I. One of the reasons for this phenomenon is an increase in lean body mass; GH may increase energy expenditure additionally be enhancing the production of T3 and by increasing lipid oxidation"

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