Somatopause – The Decline of Growth Hormone and IGF-1 Levels With Age
How To Build Your Strength2. Many are familiar with menopause in females and andropause in males, but few are familiar with somatopause, a condition affecting both males and females. Somatopause is characterized by declining or deficient growth hormone (GH) and Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels as you age.
Growth hormone levels peak in adolescence, and somatopause usually begins between the ages of 25 and 50, with growth hormone levels decreasing by 14% every ten years of adult life. Some men may even experience a growth hormone level decline of 50% every seven years.
Such a rapid decline of growth hormone levels can quickly lead to clinical GH deficiency. Declining or deficient growth hormone and IGF-1 levels are accompanied by cognitive decline, increased fat mass and cardiovascular risk, as well as decreased muscle mass and aerobic capacity.
What Causes Somatopause
How To Build Your Strength2. Somatopause can occur in otherwise healthy individuals as a result of the normal ageing process. The liver converts growth hormone into IGF-1, which plays a significant role in muscle, bone, and cartilage building, as well as fat burning. Furthermore, the neural control of somatotropic cells, growth hormone-producing cells in the pituitary gland, decreases in activity and as a result, IGF-1 levels further drop.
The Dangers of Somatopause
How To Build Your Strength2. If undetected or left untreated, somatopause can significantly impact your mental health, cardiovascular system, body composition, and metabolism. Somatopause may also influence mortality rates. IGF-1, locally synthesized in the brain, protects against oxidative stress and excessive beta-amyloid production, as well as encourages neuron generation, blood flow, and the complex formation of brain synapses.
A large body of research suggests that excessive beta-amyloid production is a primary driver for the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Those with low IGF-1 blood levels experience impaired motor function, fluid intelligence, processing speed, short-term memory, and cognitive control. Decreased quality of life accompanies an alarmingly rapid cognitive decline.
Researchers tie numerous physical issues to somatopause. Decreased GH secretion and circulating IGF-1 levels decrease lean mass, increase fat mass, and increase cardiovascular risk indicators like low-density lipoprotein (LDL/Bad Cholesterol).
Low HGH and IGF 1 Blood Levels
How To Build Your Strength2. Those with low IGF-1 blood levels experience impaired motor function, fluid intelligence, processing speed, short-term memory, and cognitive control. Low growth hormone levels decrease bone turnover and formation in both young and old individuals. This decreased bone mass and mineral density increases the risk for osteoporosis in elderly men and women as well as significantly increases the likelihood of falls and fractures.
IGF-1 plays a critical role in muscle protein synthesis, shuttling amino acids to muscles, and rebuilding muscle tissue after serious damage or injury. Somatopause not only slows or halts muscle growth it also encourages muscle-wasting through decreased repair rates. Growth hormone-deficient individuals release let free fatty acids and have higher triglyceride levels. This slows or completely stops fat-burning while simultaneously encouraging fat storage.
Those with low growth hormone and IGF-1 levels have higher concentrations of inflammatory cytokines and homocysteine, an effective indicator of cardiovascular risk. Low levels decrease blood flow and increase the likelihood of stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, and coronary heart disease. Growth hormone and IGF-1 play critical roles in heart and artery health. Adequate levels may significantly decrease your cardiovascular risk.
Exercise to build strength has so many benefits for ageing bodies, so exercise to enjoy your golden years. I know it is hard to start but if you persevere you will reap the benefits. So train strong and get the human growth hormone flowing, build strength and get added goodness that it brings.
Important Note *
Remember that everyone is different, it is ultimately YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to find what your body responds to. So please do your due diligence before trying anything new, including getting Medical Advice to ensure your safety and peace of mind.
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