What is IGF-1 and is it banned by the military?
IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor type 1) is a hormone primarily produced in the human body in the liver. It circulates in the blood and is involved in the body’s growth and development. It is present in its highest concentrations in the human body during childhood and adolescence. IGF-1 is present in colostrum, which is the milk produced by mammals (including humans and cows) the first few days after giving birth. The highest concentrations of IGF-1 in the human body occur during childhood and adolescence. Synthetic IGF-1 is a drug, so it is not a dietary supplement and cannot be obtained or used legally without a prescription. The United States Anti-doping Agency, World Anti-doping Agency, and most professional sports organizations specifically ban products with IGF-1.
Some products promoted as dietary supplements include IGF-1 as an ingredient in oral sprays, lozenges, and other forms; sometimes IGF-1 is represented as “deer velvet extract” (see OPSS FAQ on deer velvet). In addition, dietary supplements with “IGF” in their name may or may not actually contain IGF-1, so it is important to read all labels carefully.
With regard to the military stance, please see the OPSS FAQ on banned supplements.