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Growth Horm IGF Res. 2009 Aug;19(4):408-11. doi: 10.1016/j.ghir.2009.04.017. Epub 2009 May 24.

IGF-I abuse in sport: current knowledge and future prospects for detection.

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Endocrinology and Metabolism Sub-Division, Developmental Origins of Adult Health and Disease Division, School of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK.


As the tests for detecting growth hormone (GH) abuse develop further, it is likely that athletes will turn to doping with insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I). IGF-I mediates many of the anabolic actions of growth hormone. It stimulates muscle protein synthesis, promotes glycogen storage and enhances lipolysis, all of which make IGF-I attractive as a potential performance-enhancing agent. Pharmaceutical companies have developed commercial preparations of recombinant human IGF-I (rhIGF-I) for use in disorders of growth. The increased availability of rhIGF-I increases the opportunity for athletes to acquire supplies of the drug on the black market. The long-term effects of IGF-I administration are currently unknown but it is likely that these will be similar to the adverse effects of chronic GH abuse. The detection of IGF-I abuse is a challenge for anti-doping organisations. Research has commenced into the development of a test for IGF-I abuse based on the measurement of markers of GH action. Simultaneously, the effects of rhIGF-I on physical fitness, body composition and substrate utilisation in healthy volunteers are being investigated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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