Firstly, lets look at Insulin Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) and how raising this factor enhances cancer growth. Key signal IGF-1 is a growth factor or a growth hormone which helps things grow, which can also determine our risk for cancer, as the more IGF-1 our body produces the more our cells proliferate, grow, spread or metastasize.
With cancer being an out of control proliferation of malignant cells, by redirecting energy from proliferation to repair and maintenance, cancer growth is impeded. Physiologically, IGF-1 is the major mediator of the effects of the growth hormone; it thus has a strong influence on cell proliferation and differentiation and is a ‘potent inhibitor‘ of apoptosis or programmed cell death.
“Protein is important for muscle maintenance and growth, so there’s definitely a fine balance that needs to be struck”
IGF is a key player when it comes to longevity. It appears that by inhibiting IGF you can boost lifespan and reduce your risk of cancer. ‘Put simply, higher protein intake elevates IGF, and lower intake decreases it.’
Insulin-like growth factor is a natural human growth hormone instrumental in normal growth during childhood, but in adulthood can promote abnormal growth—therefore the more IGF-1 the more potential for cancer as IGF-1 helps transform normal cells into cancer cells, meaning too much growth can equal cancer.