Before we get to the details about the amazing growth factors found in Royal Velvet, we believe it is necessary to bring to your attention several facts.
#1. It is important to note that none of the antler velvet products on the market today can compare with Royal Velvet. It has the full amount of Growth Factors found in antler velvet AND enters your body with greater than 97% absorption, directly into your bloodstream within 45 seconds. Very few antler velvet products contain growth factors, let alone the full spectrum found in Royal Velvet. But of even greater importance, is the fact that that of the few products that do contain some growth factors, a vast majority of them do not allow for most or even all of the growth factors to be absorbed into your body.
#2. Due to government restrictions placed upon health-related companies such as ours, we are not permitted to tell the public the truth about the benefits of our products. Sadly, we are extremely restricted in providing you information about the growth factors (as well as other “nutrients”) found in Royal Velvet. However, you can do research on any of these nutrients/constituents and their benefits on the Internet. We have used information from Wikipedia, medical, government, scientific, and health websites as well as medical books, resources, and research papers for the information presented here.
#3. We have tried to keep this information as simple and easy to understand as possible. To be factual, we use scientific words and terms that you may not be familiar with. In these incidents, we have given definitions or elaborated on the term. The study of growth factors is nothing short of fascinating as well as mind boggling.
Therefore, after reading this, if you are fascinated and mind boggled, don’t be alarmed. This is how almost everyone reacts to this information, besides wanting to take copious amounts of Royal Velvet!
#4. There are recombinant and synthetic IGF-1 products that have nothing to do with antler velvet. Beware of the dangers and side effects of these genetically modified, man-made, chemicals. Most of them come from a genetically engineered e. coli. bacterium.
As stated above, as of this writing (July 2012), the dozen or so growth factors found naturally in parts of antler velvet during specific times of the growing cycle are only found in substantial amounts and delivered properly into your body in the antler velvet product Royal Velvet Pure and Royal Velvet. This is due to the way Royal Velvet is manufactured, including its delivery system, versus the way all other antler products are manufactured, whether they be capsules, tablets, liquids, or even ‘sublingual’s”. Also, one company that likes to promote itself as “the world’s top antler velvet” manipulates the IGF-1 content of antler velvet, causing (in our opinion and we are convinced can be proven scientifically) a harmful product to be created that you should certainly stay away from!
The following Growth Factors have been identified in Velvet Antler:
- Insulin like Growth Factor I (IGF-1)
- Insulin like Growth Factor II (IGF-2)
- Transforming Growth Factor Alpha
- Transforming Growth Factor Beta
- Erythropoietin (a stimulant for red blood cell growth)
- Nerve Growth Factors
- Bone Morphogenetic Protein
- Fibroblast Growth Factor (3 types)
- Luteinizing hormone stimulant
- Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)
- Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF)
- Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)
- Epidermal Growth Factor
- Related growth co-factors
First a word about Human Growth Hormone (hGH).
Human Growth Hormone, or hGH, is produced and secreted by the pituitary gland. It peaks at adolescence and at age 60 decreases to about 25 % of the levels at 20 years old (a 75% drop or decrease!) It enters the liver and is converted into IGF-1. IGF-1 is the primary beneficial factor derived from hGH.
hGH is usually administered by injection and can result in harmful side effects. There are hGH secretagogues, homeopathics, precusors, and other supposed products that either force the pituitary to release whatever amount of hGH it has, if any, or directly place into your body man-made or genetically modified hGH. Once you begin hGH therapy, you need to continue it to avoid a rapid decline in your condition.
Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1)
Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which was once called somatomedin C, is a polypeptide protein hormone similar in molecular structure to insulin. It plays an important role in childhood growth and continues to have anabolic effects in adults. IGF-1 consists of 70 amino acids in a single chain. Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 is a natural anabolic growth factor, is only one of several Growth Factors found in Velvet Antler. Growth Factors consist of peptides (small proteins) which stimulate nuclear DNA to create new proteins. IGF-1 is a primary mediator of the effects of growth hormone (GH). Growth Hormone is made in the pituitary gland, is released into the blood stream, and then stimulates the liver to produce IGF-1. IGF-1 then stimulates systemic body growth, and has growth-promoting effects on almost every cell in the body, especially skeletal muscle, cartilage, bone, liver, kidney, nerves, skin, hematopoietic cell, and lungs. In addition to the insulin-like effects, IGF-1 can also regulate cell growth and development, especially in nerve cells, as well as cellular DNA synthesis. Deficiency of IGF-1 therefore results in diminished stature, improper cellular function, lack of proper DNA integrity, rapid aging, organ and system inefficiency, weakened immune function, and many other negative affects on the human body to function properly. IGF-1 promotes proliferation of many cell types. IGF-I is the primary protein involved in responses of cells to human growth hormone (hGH): that is, IGF-I is produced in response to hGH and then induces subsequent cellular activities, particularly on bone and muscle growth. It also promotes tissue growth, organ health, and healthy blood sugar levels.
Unfortunately, IGF-1 blood levels decrease after the age of thirty, due to the decreases in human growth hormone (hGH). As we age and less human Growth Hormone is released from the pituitary gland, there is a corresponding drop in IGF-1 levels, yet the body’s demand for IGF-1 does not decrease. As IGF-1 levels decline, the vitality and physical exuberance of youth recedes, further contributing to the process and experience of aging.
As stated earlier, IGF-I is mainly secreted by the liver as a result of stimulation by human Growth Hormone (hGH). Almost every cell in the human body is affected by IGF-I, especially cells in muscle, cartilage, bone, liver, kidney, nerves, skin, and lungs. In addition to the insulin-like effects, IGF-I can also regulate cell growth and development, especially in nerve cells, as well as cellular DNA synthesis.
Scientific research has shown that IGF-1:
Stimulates muscle growth and has been shown to benefit the heart (a muscle).
Encourages the absorption of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine Sulfate (also found in Velvet Antler).
Regenerates nerve tissue.
Helps burn fat, increase protein transport into cells, and reduce protein breakdown.
Improves the production of white blood cells.
Decreases LDL Cholesterol.
Improves parathyroid Vitamin D interaction to produce dense bone matrix.
Dr. Ronald Klatz wrote the best-selling book, “Grow Young with HGH – The Amazing Medically Proven Plan to Reverse Aging”. On the back cover of this highly documented book is the following statement:
“Discover the age-reversing benefits of Human Growth Hormone: lose fat, gain muscle; increase energy levels; increase immune function; enhance sexual performance; increase cardiac output; improve skin elasticity; remove wrinkles; eliminate cellulite; improve vision; increase memory retention; improve quality of sleep; increase exercise performance; lower blood pressure; improve cholesterol profile; increase bone mass; quicken wound healing.”
On page 42 of this life-changing book is the eye-opening true statement that really gives the credit for all these incredible benefits to IGF-1, NOT hGH!
Klatz says, “Interestingly, [HGH] hangs around in the bloodstream for a very few minutes. But that is long enough to stimulate its uptake into the liver, where it is converted into growth factors. The most important of these is Insulinlike Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1), also know as somatomedin C. It is IGF-1, rather than growth hormone itself, which can vary widely throughout the day, that is used as a measurement of how much of the hormone is being secreted by the body. IGF-1 is directly responsible for most of the actions described in this book.”
The amazing admission is the fact that human growth hormone really does not do ANY of the things that people think it does. In fact, it is IGF-1 that helps you “lose fat, gain muscle; increase energy levels; increase immune function; enhance sexual performance; increase cardiac output; improve skin elasticity; remove wrinkles; eliminate cellulite; improve vision; increase memory retention; improve quality of sleep; increase exercise performance; lower blood pressure; improve cholesterol profile; increase bone mass; and quicken wound healing.”
It is a well-known fact that as we age our production of human growth hormone in the pituitary gland dramatically diminishes. Trying to “force” the pituitary to release the small amount of hGH that it does manufacture (after you have reached your 30’s) can “burn out” the pituitary.
Because of the notoriety hGH has received (much of it from Klatz’s book), there are now a plethora of companies selling secretagogues, drugs, and over-the-counter (OTC’s) medications that supposedly increase the amount of hGH released into the body. What most people do not know is that these products can “fry” the pituitary. Not only that, but unless the body has all the building materials it needs to manufacturer any hGH, as well as a properly functioning liver, all these products are useless at best and damaging at worst.
Even the hGH secretagogues, which supposedly provide the pituitary the raw materials it needs to manufacture hGH, don’t work efficiently for many reasons. Most people have poor absorption, hindering the ability to absorb the needed amino acids and other nutrients. Once the pituitary has started aging, it simply does not function as well; no matter how much “building material” it is supplied. Also, one of the most important factors overlooked is the fact that IGF-1 (the whole purpose and end result of having hGH) NEEDS and WORKS WITH other growth factors in order to ACCOMPLISH its dramatic affects on the human body. IGF-1 alone, all by itself, is like having an architect with the master plans, try to build a 100 story building by himself, without the aid of construction workers. The synergy of all the growth factors WORKING TOGETHER is what makes having a youthful amount of IGF-1 in your body so effective.
Note: Of all the growth factors found in Royal Velvet, IGF-1 is the most famous and most studied. None of the other growth factors come close (except for nerve growth factors). This is due for the most part because IGF-1 has such a dramatic effect on the human body, especially in areas that people think are important, such as slowing down or even reversing the aging process, increased musculature, elimination of body fat, improved libido, increased brain function, better sleep, etc.
FYI: A recombinant form of IGF-1 has been made in a laboratory using e. coli. Recombinant means genetically manipulated or made. Of course, e. coli is the deadly bacterium. This is not to suggest that taking the recombinant IGF-1 drug will cause an outbreak of e. coli, but to simply let you know where and how the recombinant form of IGF-1 is made.
Insulin-like Growth Factor 2 (IGF-2)
Insulin-like Growth Factor 2 (IGF-2) promotes proliferation of many cell types primarily of fetal origin. IGF-2 is almost exclusively expressed in embryonic and neonatal tissues. Following birth, the level of detectable IGF-2 protein falls significantly. While IGF-2 may be primarily fetal in action it is also essential for development and function of organs such as the brain, liver and kidney. It also promotes tissue growth. IGF-2 is secreted by the brain, kidney, pancreas and kidney in mammals. It is more specific in action than IGF-1.
Transforming Growth Factor Alpha (TGF-A)
Transforming Growth Factor Alpha is produced in macrophages, brain cells, and keratinocytes, and induces epithelial development. It is closely related to EGF (see below), and can also bind to the EGF receptor with similar effects. TGF-A stimulates neural cell proliferation in the adult injured brain. TGF-A was cited in the 2001 NIH Stem Cell report to the U.S. Congress as promising evidence for the ability of adult stem cells to restore function in neurodegenerative disorders. Transforming Growth Factor Alpha is many found many times in large amounts in tumors. This may cause the average reader alarm, thinking that TGF-A is in someway causing or is responsible for the tumor or cancer. The opposite is the case.
The immune system works to keep the body in balance (homeostasis) through a vast array of methods and means. When a tumor has been targeted by the immune system for elimination, it sends in substances, such as members of the transforming growth factor family to “mark” the tumor cells for apoptosis, or programmed cellular death.
Since cancer cells replicate non-stop, unlike all other replicating cells in the body which have a Hayflick limit of approximately 50 to 60 replications, it is this mutation of systematic cellular replication that distinguishes it from other “normal” cells in the body. To cause apoptosis, or death, to a cancer or tumor cell is the best way to rid the body of the malignancy. Therefore, this is why a substantial amount of transforming growth factors can be found in human cancers and tumors. They are sent by the immune system in substantial numbers to target the cancer or tumor cells for apoptosis, or programmed death.
A significant volume of research is being done using TGF-A especially in the areas of stroke and brain injuries, as well as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other dementias, with very positive results. Much of this research is easily accessible on the Internet.
Transforming Growth Factor beta (TGF-B)
Transforming Growth Factor Beta is part of a superfamily of proteins known as the transforming growth factor beta superfamily, which includes inhibins, activin, anti-müllerian hormone, bone morphogenetic protein, decapentaplegic and Vg-1.
Transforming Growth Factor Beta is a protein that controls proliferation, cellular differentiation, and other functions in most cells. It plays a role in immunity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Marfan syndrome. TGF-beta acts as an antiproliferative factor in normal epithelial cells and at early stages of oncogenesis.
There are three members of the Transforming Growth Factor Beta family. The peptide structures of the three members of the TGF-Beta family are highly similar. They are all encoded as large protein precursors; TGF-Beta1 contains 390 amino acids and TGF-Beta2 and TGF-Beta3 each contain 412 amino acids. The average adult loses between 150 billion and 250 billion cells per day through apoptosis, or programmed cell death, or being “killed” though various harmful chemical or toxic substances in the body. Therefore, cells can die in two ways: Through programmed cell death (including apoptosis and autophagy), when the cell self-destructs as a result of “death signals”, and also through necrosis, which is death from other causes, such as lack of oxygen or toxins. Transforming Growth Factor Beta induces apoptosis in numerous cell types. (This is a good thing.) As cells “wear out” they are not able to function properly. “Death signals” causing the death (apoptosis) of cells is a very positive and necessary part of the human body maintaining homeostasis and health. Apoptosis occurs when a cell is damaged beyond repair, infected with a virus, or undergoing stressful conditions such as starvation. Damage to DNA from ionizing radiation or toxic chemicals can also induce apoptosis via the actions of the tumor-suppressing gene p53. The “decision” for apoptosis can come from the cell itself, from the surrounding tissue, or from a cell that is part of the immune system, such as Transforming Growth Factor Beta. In these cases apoptosis functions to remove the damaged cell, preventing it from sapping further nutrients from the organism, or halting further spread of viral infection, or mutating into a tumor. Apoptosis also plays a role in preventing cancer. If a cell is unable to undergo apoptosis because of mutation or biochemical inhibition, it continues to divide and develop into a tumor. Therefore, Transforming Growth Factor Beta is a very beneficial and important part of the immune system. TGF beta also stimulates significant collagen and elastin production, as well as giving supplemental support to healing factors enabling wounds to heal markedly faster. Anti-inflammatory factors also appear to be beneficially affected. Collective scientific opinion views TGF Beta as a major tool in helping to reverse the visible signs of aging.
Erythropoietin is a glycoprotein hormone that controls erythropoiesis, or red blood cell production. It is a cytokine for erythrocyte (red blood cell) precursors in the bone marrow.
Erythropoietin, simply put, is a red blood cell growth stimulant, that stimulates stem cells in the bone marrow to increase production of erythrocytes (red blood cells). It has a range of actions including vasoconstriction-dependent hypertension, stimulating angiogenesis, and inducing proliferation of smooth muscle fibers. Also called hematopoietin or hemopoietin, it is produced by the peritubular capillary endothelial cells in the kidney, and is the hormone that regulates red blood cell production. It also has other known biological functions. For example, erythropoietin plays an important role in the brain’s response to neuronal injury. EPO is also involved in the wound healing process. Erythropoietin has its primary effect on red blood cells by promoting red blood cell survival through protecting these cells from apoptosis (cellular death). It also cooperates with various growth factors involved in the development of precursor red cells. Specifically, the colony forming unit-erythroid (CFU-E) is completely dependent on erythropoietin. The burst forming unit-erythroid (BFU-E) is also responsive to erythropoietin. Red blood cells (also referred to as erythrocytes) are the most common type of blood cell and the principal means of delivering oxygen to body tissues via blood flow of the circulatory system. They take up oxygen in the lungs and release it while squeezing through the body’s capillaries.
In humans, mature red blood cells are flexible biconcave disks that lack a cell nucleus and most organelles. The cells develop in the bone marrow and circulate for about 100–120 days in the body before their components are recycled by macrophages. Each circulation takes about 20 seconds. Approximately a quarter (one fourth) of the cells in the human body are red blood cells. Under hypoxic (low oxygen) conditions, the kidneys will produce and secrete erythropoietin to increase the production of red blood cells. This is because red blood cells are the primary delivery system of oxygen to the entire body. When a person has a low red blood cell count, they can suffer from of host of anemias or even die from extreme hypoxia or anoxia. The only reason athletes do blood doping (take blood out of the body and replace it before competition) is to increase the erythropoietin levels which helps increase oxygen levels in their blood.
Nerve Growth Factors (NGFs)
Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a small secreted protein which is important for the growth, maintenance, and survival of certain target neurons (nerve cells). It also functions as a signaling molecule. It is perhaps the prototypical growth factor, in that it is one of the first to be described. While “nerve growth factor” refers to a single factor, “nerve growth factors” refers to a family of factors also known as neurotrophins. Other members of the neurotrophin family that are well recognized include Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and Neurotrophin 4/5 (NT-4/5).
NGFs are critical for the survival and maintenance of sympathetic and sensory neurons. Without them, these neurons undergo apoptosis (cellular death). Nerve growth factor causes axonal growth.
There is scientific evidence that NGF circulates throughout the entire body and is important for maintaining homeostasis.
As one of the most important molecules in the nervous system, nerve growth factor and its other neurotrophin family members control the development of the nervous system in the embryo and the maintenance of nervous tissue and neural transmission in adults.
Nerve Growth Factors have been researched, studied, and used in clinical trials and studies for the treatment of ailments more than any other growth factor outside of IGF-1. Therefore, there is voluminous information available about NGFs and disease. However, as we have stated above, we are limited in what we can say and present in this document.
Here is a basic overview of NGFs and how they are being used in medical science.
According to medical literature, NGF has the potential to help treat several diseases of the nervous system. This has been proven through numerous clinical trials. It has been shown to reduce neural degeneration. It has also been shown to promote peripheral nerve regeneration in rats. Studies have been done using NGFs for myelin repair. There is much antidotal information that correlates NGFs for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases.
Also, NGF has been shown to play a role in a number of cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary atherosclerosis, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Reduced plasma levels of NGF have been associated with acute coronary syndromes and metabolic syndromes.
NGF could also be related to various psychiatric disorders, such as dementia, depression, schizophrenia, autism, Rett syndrome, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia nervosa. NGF has also been shown to accelerate wound healing. There is evidence that it could be useful in the treatment of skin and cornea ulcers.
NGF is known to have insulinotropic, angiogenic, and antioxidant properties. NGF suppresses food intake. It has also been tied to Alzheimer’s disease.
One of the more fascinating things about Nerve Growth Factors and their relationship to neurons may be the key to life and longevity.
Your body has 75 trillion (with a “t”) cells. Amazingly, 99% of these cells replicate. This aids the body in replacing old, non-functioning cells with new ones. You create, on average, 150 billion new cells every day.
Neurons, the cells that make up the brain and the nervous system, do NOT replicate. Once lost, they are nearly irreplaceable. The loss of these cells is considered to be one of the main reasons we age. Creating more cells than we lose daily, such as from the time of conception until we are in our early twenties, allows us to grow and stay young. Once we begin losing more cells than we create daily, such as in our late twenties and onward (when we lose on average 150 to 250 billion – with a “b” – cells daily), we begin to age. The older we are, the more cells we lose daily and the fewer we create.
Neurons are the basic functional unit of the nervous system. They are specialized cells responsible for all sensation and direction of movement in the body. Neurons are stimulated by NGF. Each of these nerve cells extends an axon or dendrite projection that connects it to other neurons, muscle, or skin, and these projections provide the wiring for information sent between the brain and the spinal cord. Many of these connections between neurons and other tissues are also necessary for the continued survival of these cells. Neurons that are lost through aging, disease, or injury are unable to be replaced because most neurons are not able to divide to produce new neurons.
Enter Nerve Growth Factors. As stated already, it is these growth factors that stimulate, repair, and aid in the proper function of neurons. Instead of dying off “normally”, simply imagine your neurons constantly being repaired, being stimulated to function optimally, as well as living much longer.
Get the picture?
This brings us to Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini.
No article on Nerve Growth Factors would truly be complete without mentioning Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini, a 100 year old (as of 2009) Italian scientist who claims that NGFs are the reason she is still alive and claims that her brain is more vigorous today than it was 40 years ago, BEFORE she began using NGFs.
Most centenarians attribute their great age to some magic elixir or other thing. The longevity of the Italian scientist Rita Levi-Montalcini, who became the first Nobel Prize-winner to reach the age of 100, is claimed to be the result of Nerve Growth Factors.
Professor Levi-Montalcini, it is said, puts her undiminished mental vigor down to regular doses of nerve growth factor (NGF) – the discovery that made her famous.
She was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize for Medicine jointly with an American, Stanley Cohen, for her research into NGF: the proteins and amino-acids that enable the cells of the nervous system to grow and take on specialized tasks.
Despite her age, Dr Levi-Montalcini, a neurologist and development biologist, still works every day at the European Brain Research Institute, which she founded in Rome.
According to Pietro Calissano, who collaborated with the professor on an article for “Scientific American” in which she announced her discovery in 1979, NGFs may have played a direct role in her amazing vitality.
He stated, “Every day, she takes NGF in the form of eye drops. But I can’t say for sure if this is her secret. At the start, it seemed this molecule’s effect was restricted to acting on the peripheral nervous system, but then it emerged that it has a very important role in the brain. Contrary to what was believed, the brain does not have a rigid structure but is in continuous movement, and NGF helps neurons – which we begin to lose between 10 and 15 years old – survive.”
Whether or not Dr. Levi-Montalcini has discovered the fountain of youth remains to be seen. However, like we said, there is a lot of scientific and antidotal information about NGFs – almost all of it prodigious.
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs)
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs) are a group of growth factors and cytokines known for their ability to induce the formation of bone and cartilage. Originally, seven such proteins were discovered. Of these, six (BMP2 through BMP7) belong to the transforming growth factor beta superfamily of proteins. However, since then, thirteen more BMPs have been discovered, bringing the total to twenty. For example, BMP4 regulates the formation of teeth, limbs and bone. It also plays a role in fracture repair. BMPs not only have a direct affect on bone and cartilage, but other body tissues as well. Recently discovered BMP10 has been found to play a role in the trabeculation of the embryonic heart. Trabeculation is the process of forming trabeculae, which in the case of the heart, are the muscular bundles on the lining walls of the ventricles of the heart. NOTE: A genetically engineered (artificially created) recombinant BMP drug has been created for use in clinical research. The cost of a treatment runs upward of $10,000, making it nearly prohibitive for sale on the market, let alone for clinical research.
Fibroblast Growth Factors (FGF)
Fibroblast Growth Factors (FGFs) are essential for the development of the skeletal system and nervous system in humans (and all mammals). FGFs help nourish nerve cells of both the peripheral and central nervous system, aid in wound healing, and tissue growth. Fibroblast growth factors, or FGFs, are a family of growth factors involved in angiogenesis (a physiological process involving the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels), wound healing, and embryonic development. FGFs are key players in the processes of proliferation and differentiation of a wide variety of cells and tissues. FGFs are multifunctional proteins with a wide variety of effects; they are most commonly mitogens (a substance that encourages a cell to commence cell division, triggering mitosis) but also have regulatory, morphological, and endocrine effects. They have been alternately referred to as “pluripotent” growth factors and as “promiscuous” growth factors due to their multiple actions on multiple cell types. Promiscuous refers to the biochemistry and pharmacology concept of how a variety of molecules can bind to and elicit a response from single receptor. In the case of FGF, four receptor subtypes can be activated by more than twenty different FGF ligands. Thus, the functions of FGFs in developmental processes include limb development, neural induction and neural development, and in mature tissues/systems angiogenesis (see above), and wound healing processes. As well as stimulating blood vessel growth, FGFs are important players in wound healing. FGF1 and FGF2 stimulate angiogenesis and the proliferation of fibroblasts that give rise to granulation tissue, which fills up a wound space/cavity early in the wound healing process. FGF7 and FGF10 (also known as Keratinocyte Growth Factors KGF and KGF2, respectively) stimulate the repair of injured skin and mucosal tissues by stimulating the proliferation, migration and differentiation of epithelial cells, and they have direct chemotactic effects on tissue remodeling. Most FGFs are secreted proteins that have ligand binding action. This action helps balance hormones as well as keeping cells from over proliferation or under production. This balance, called homeostasis, is the ideal function of the human body.
For example, one FGF that is produced in bones, helps express kidney cells to regulate the synthesis of vitamin D, and in turn, affect calcium homeostasis. Another FGF that is produced in the intestines helps express liver cells to down regulate key genes in the bile acid synthase pathway. This incredible balancing act is found throughout the entire human body. Growth factors in general, as well as fibroblast growth factors specifically, help bring the body towards a proper balance – or homeostasis.
Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
NOTE: In men it is sometimes called Interstitial Cell Stimulating Hormone (ICSH).
Luteinizing Hormone (LH) is one of two gonadotropic hormones (hormones which regulate the gonads or sex glands). Without LH, women could not become pregnant. Without LH in men, they could not impregnate a woman to conceive children. Therefore, LH is sometimes referred to as the “sex hormone”, for without it, there would be no reproduction.
The more LH in women and in men, the more fertile and virile they are. Though like all hormones, they must maintain a proper balance between not too much and not too little in order for the body to be in homeostasis, or ideal health.
LH is produced by the pituitary gland and is a glycoprotein, operating in conjunction with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in women. In females, LH promotes the transformation of the Graafian follicle (a small egg-containing vesicle in the ovary) into the corpus luteum, an endocrine gland that secretes progesterone. Simply put, in females, Luteinizing Hormone is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that regulates the menstrual cycle and triggers ovulation in females.
In males, LH acts on Leydig cells of the testes to increase testosterone synthesis and its release. LH also increases interstitial cell development. Simply put, in males, Luteinizing Hormone stimulates the testes to produce testosterone.
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group. Testosterone is primarily secreted in the testes of males and the ovaries of females, although small amounts are also secreted by the adrenal glands. It is the principal male sex hormone and an anabolic steroid. In men, testosterone plays a key role in health and well-being as well as preventing osteoporosis. On average, an adult human male body produces about forty to sixty times more testosterone than an adult human female body, but females are, from a behavioral perspective (rather than from an anatomical or biological perspective), more sensitive to the hormone. In general, since testosterone is an androgen, it promotes protein synthesis and growth of those tissues with androgen receptors. Testosterone effects can be classified as virilizing and anabolic. Testosterone is anabolic, meaning it builds up bone and muscle mass. Anabolic effects include growth of muscle mass and strength, increased bone density and strength, and stimulation of linear growth and bone maturation. Androgenic effects include maturation of the sex organs, particularly the penis and the formation of the scrotum in the fetus, and after birth (usually at puberty) a deepening of the voice, growth of the beard and axillary hair. Testosterone is necessary for normal sperm development. It activates genes in Sertoli cells, which promote differentiation of spermatogonia. Scientific literature suggests that attention, memory, and spatial ability are key cognitive functions affected by testosterone in humans. Preliminary evidence suggests that low testosterone levels may be a risk factor for cognitive decline and possibly for dementia and Alzheimer’s. Testosterone strongly reduces insulin resistance. Low testosterone levels in woman are linked to low libido, muscle loss, bone loss, depression, and low energy levels.
Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor (G-CSF)
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a colony-stimulating factor hormone. It is a glycoprotein, growth factor or cytokine produced by a number of different tissues to stimulate the bone marrow to produce granulocytes and stem cells. G-CSF then stimulates the bone marrow to release them into the blood. Stem cells are the amazing cells found in humans that have the incredible ability to turn into nearly any type of cell that is needed by the human body. They are characterized by the ability to renew themselves through cell division and differentiating into a diverse range of specialized cell types. The benefits of stem cell production in the human body is amazing as well as dramatic for people with injuries and various ailments. Again, as stated at the beginning of this report, due to government restrictions on health related companies not being able to tell the public the truth about the benefits their products have, we cannot give you any more information on the benefits of stem cells, but you can research this subject through the Internet. Granulocytes are white blood cells that GCSF stimulates the bone marrow to produce. There are three types of granulocytes: Neutrophil granulocytes, Eosinophil granulocytes, and Basophil granulocytes.
Neutrophils are normally found in the bloodstream and are the most abundant type of phagocyte, constituting 50% to 60% of the total circulating white blood cells. Neutrophils live approximately five days. Once neutrophils have received the appropriate signals, it takes them about thirty minutes to leave the blood and reach the site of an infection. Neutrophils are ferocious eaters and rapidly engulf invaders, as well as damaged cells and cellular debris. G-CSF stimulates the survival, proliferation, differentiation, and function of neutrophil precursors and mature neutrophils. Neutrophils are considered a first line of defense against bacterial or fungal infection and are usually the first responders to microbial infection.
Eosinophils play a crucial part in the killing of parasites because their granules contain a unique, toxic basic protein and cationic protein receptors that are used to help destroy an invasion of parasites. These cells also have a limited ability to participate in phagocytosis, which is the removal of pathogens and cell debris. Bacteria, dead tissue cells, and small mineral particles are all examples of objects that may be phagocytosed. Eosinophils are professional antigen presenting cells, they regulate other immune cell functions (e.g. CD4+ T cell, dendritic cell, B cell, mast cell, neutrophil, and basophil functions), as well as being involved in the destruction of tumor cells. They promote the repair of damaged tissue. A chemical called interleukin-5 interacts with eosinophils and causes them to grow and differentiate; this chemical is produced by basophils. Basophils are one of the least abundant cells accounting for less than two percent of all cells. When an infection occurs, mature basophils will be released from the bone marrow and travel to the site of infection. When basophils are injured they release a substance that helps fight invading organisms. This causes dilation and increased permeability of capillaries close to the basophil. Injured basophils will release another substance called prostaglandins that contributes to an increased blood flow to the site of infection. Both of these mechanisms allow blood clotting elements to be delivered to the infected area (this begins the recovery process and blocks the travel of microbes to other parts of the body). Increased permeability of the blood also allows for more phagocyte migration (as described above with Eosinophils) to the site of infection so that they can consume microbes. As you can see from this information, the ability of Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) to stimulate the bone marrow to produce and then release stems cells, and the three types of granulocytes (Neutrophils, Eosinophils, and Basophils) into the blood – is VERY beneficial for the human body!
Granulocyte Macrophage – Colony Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF)
Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor is a protein secreted by macrophages, T cells, mast cells, endothelial cells and fibroblasts. GM-CSF is a cytokine that functions as a white blood cell growth factor. GM-CSF stimulates stem cells to produce granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils) and monocytes. Monocytes exit the circulation and migrate into tissue, whereupon they mature into macrophages. It is thus part of the immune/inflammatory cascade, by which activation of a small number of macrophages can rapidly lead to an increase in their numbers, a process crucial for fighting infection. Macrophages (Greek: big eaters, from makros “large” + phagein “eat”; abbr. MΦ) are white blood cells within tissues, produced by the division of monocytes. Monocytes and macrophages are phagocytes, acting in both non-specific defense (innate immunity) as well as to help initiate specific defense mechanisms (adaptive immunity). Their role is to phagocytose (engulf and then digest) cellular debris and pathogens either as stationary or as mobile cells, and to stimulate lymphocytes and other immune cells to respond to the pathogen. NOTE: A man-made form of GM-CSF has been made into a drug. This drug is used as a medication to stimulate the production of white blood cells following chemotherapy. It has also recently been evaluated in clinical trials for its potential as a vaccine adjuvant in HIV-infected patients. The preliminary results have been promising but GM-CSF is not presently FDA-approved for this purpose. A recombinant yeast derived GM-CSF is another drug that was approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration for acceleration of white blood cell recovery following bone marrow transplantation in patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, acute lymphocytic leukemia, or Hodgkin’s disease in March 1991. In November 1996, the FDA also approved it for treatment of fungal infections and replenishment of white blood cells following chemotherapy.
Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF)
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is sometimes called Scatter Factor or SF. HGF is a paracrine (how cells signal each other) cellular growth, motility and morphogenic factor (helps cells divide properly into the tissues and organs they are a part of). They target and act primarily upon epithelial cells and endothelial cells, but also act on haemopoietic progenitor cells. It has been shown to have a major role in embryonic organ development, in adult organ regeneration and in wound healing. Hepatocyte growth factor regulates cell growth, cell motility, and morphogenesis. Its ability to stimulate mitogenesis, cell motility, and matrix invasion gives it a central role in tissue regeneration. NOTE: Should you research HGF, you will discover that there are many ongoing clinical trials, laboratory studies and medical research using HGF. Some of these include research on autism, nephropathy (any form of kidney disease), myocardial infarction (heart attack), ischemia (insufficient blood flow), pulmonary diseases (of the lung), gastrointestinal disorders, and others.
Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)
Epidermal growth factor is a growth factor that plays an important role in the regulation of cell growth, proliferation, and differentiation. This regulation not only aids in proper cell growth but helps in wound healing. EGF results in cellular proliferation, differentiation, and survival. For an example, in the gastrointestinal tract, EGF plays an important physiological role in the maintenance of oro-esophageal and gastric tissue integrity. The EGF in saliva has been found to have biological effects that include healing of oral and gastroesophageal ulcers, inhibition of gastric acid secretion, stimulation of DNA synthesis as well as mucosal protection from intraluminal injurious factors such as gastric acid, bile acids, pepsin, and trypsin and to physical, chemical and bacterial agents. This may sound like a mouth full (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun), but it shows the incredible array of benefits that EGF has in just one area of the body. Epidermal growth factor EGF is a ligand (a substance that binds with another molecule for a specific purpose). EGF binds to epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR). Science has proven that without EGF, and to some extent another growth factor called transforming growth factor alpha (TFGa), epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) would cause an improper proliferation of certain epidermal cells that would result in tumor growth and cancer. Insufficient EGFR signaling in humans is associated with the development of neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that in mice, loss of signaling by EGFR results in embryonic lethality with defects in organs including the lungs, skin, heart and brain. Excessive EGFR signaling is associated with the development of a wide variety of types of solid tumor. It is found in many human cancers and research shows that their excessive signaling may be critical factors in the development and malignancy of these tumors. As we continue to point out, a proper balance in all areas of the body (homeostasis), especially with hormones and growth factors, is the key to health and being devoid of disease and illness. Therefore, if you do research into the importance of Epidermal growth factor (EGF), you will discover clinical studies being done with (EGF) relating to the negative growth effects on certain carcinomas (cancers) as well as ulcerative colitis and other GI diseases.