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Growth Factor-9 Review

Growth Factor-9 is attracting a lot of attention in the muscle-building world due to recent advertisements found in Men’s Fitness.

According to Men’s Fitness editors, Growth Factor 9 is the first, “non-RX, OTC supplement capable of increasing blood serum hormone levels through oral dosing . . . without wacky side effects. Rather than replacing natural HGH (something no pill can do), the product uses an amino acid blend to stimulate the body’s own production of human growth hormone.” [1]

Jim Stopanni, PhD also adds, “The proprietary combination of these ingredients in their unique ratios, as found in GF-9, was responsible for the 682% increase in GH levels reported in a recent clinical study.” [2]

With such high praise, it would be easy to think Growth Factor-9 is the ultimate solution for optimizing strength and physical performance. But before we give in to the hype, let’s investigate Growth Factor-9’s ingredients to determine its true potential. . .

Key Ingredients

Unlike injectable HGH supplements, Growth Factor-9’s formula depends on amino acids that trigger HGH release rather than synthetic hormones. This enables the body to produce more HGH without the risk of using a steroid.

L-Arginine. Arginine is an amino acid that acts as a precursor to nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide relaxes blood vessels to improve blood flow and circulation, which in turn improves muscle strength and performance.

However, that’s not all arginine is good for.

Research shows arginine supplementation increases resting growth hormone production by 100%. When combined with exercise, it increases HGH by as much as 200%. [3]

Unfortunately, Growth Factor-9 only provides a 2.9 g proprietary blend, while the study features at least 5 to 9 g. This is not enough to increase HGH production on its own.

L-Lysine. Lysine is an amino acid essential for muscle building and growth. When combined with arginine, it stimulates the release of somatotropin and insulin [4]. These two hormones regulate HGH levels.

The study featured 1200 mg arginine with 1200 mg lysine as an effective dose. While this amount just barely fits in Growth Factor-9’s proprietary blend, I’m not positive that this formula contains the same concentrations as the study. Consequently, I doubt Growth Factor-9 will provide the same results.

N-Acetyl L-Cysteine. Often abbreviated to NAC, this modified cysteine molecule is more stable than ordinary cysteine. This amino acid eliminates toxins and reduces oxidative stress on cells. It metabolizes into glutathione and glutathionine peroxidase.

Some experts believe low glutathione levels interfere with HGH utilization in the body, but there is not enough research to confirm this.

L-Glutamine. Glutamine is concentrated in muscle tissue due to its ability to act as a buffer during intense physical exercise. In addition, it plays a key role in protein synthesis, immunity, and brain function.

Studies show glutamine supplementation significantly increases circulating HGH levels, but only in doses of 2 grams or more. [5]

growth factor 9 supplement factsOxoProline. Oxoproline, or pyroglutamate, is derived from glutamic acid. Animal studies suggest Oxoproline protects against oxidative stress [6], but there is not enough human research to suggest Oxoproline has any effect on human growth hormone concentrations.

Schizonepeta. Growth Factor-9 utilizes the aerial parts (parts that grow above ground) of the Japanese Catnip herb. Animal studies suggest schizonepeta may be an effective treatment for allergic reactions due to its ability to inhibit histamine and cytokine release. [7]

However, there are not enough studies demonstrating its effects on HGH to determine how it will interact with Growth Factor-9 ingredients.

Is Growth Factor-9 Clinically Proven?

The manufacturers at Novex Biotech reference a clinical study that supposedly verifies Growth Factor-9’s abilities to improve HGH production.

According to the product page at NovexBiotech.com:

“This cross-over, placebo-controlled, double-blind study involved healthy subjects [males and females; mean age=32±14 years; body mass index=26.4±5.0 ranging from 19.1 to 36.8kg/m2] (Study ID Number: PBRC10043). . . After 120 minutes, mean GH levels had increased 682% from baseline (0.17 to 1.33ng/ml) and were significantly higher than placebo (P=0.01).”

This study may look convincing, but I have yet to find the trial published in a peer reviewed journal or database.

Searching for the study id number brings up clinical trials sponsored by Biomedical Research center, but the study does not specify whether this supplement is Growth Factor-9.

According to ClinicalTrials.gov, the study was estimated to be completed by April 2012, but no study results were posted. [8]

While this could be the same study, I’m not entirely convinced Growth Factor-9 is capable of such extreme results, especially after reading consumer reviews. . .

What Users are Saying

Many Growth Factor-9 consumer reviews are fairly positive, often describing amazing increases in energy and faster recovery times.

According bridgemecham1 at GNC.com, “I take this first thing every morning, even before my pre-workout on lifting days. After about 3 days, I felt more energy and had a lot less aches & pains from lifting. My recovery times were a lot quicker and my energy sustained at levels I have never felt before. Love this product, want more products from Novex (pre-workout please!). Absolutely worth the price for the feel it gives.”

And Fredc at the same site writes, “This product is great. It really works. I am not really one that works out but I know a few that do. For me it helped me concentrate and survive some long hours at work. I also got smoother skin and more muscle tone.”

Sounds pretty convincing doesn’t it?

However, a closer look at the reviewers makes me question whether Growth Factor-9 really provides these amazing results. Bridgemecham1, for example, only reviewed Growth Factor-9 – he (or she) has never tried any other GNC products. FredC at the end of his review wrote, “I liked it so much I started selling it.”

I’m not trying to completely discredit their reviews. But when reviewers write an extremely positive review without trying additional products, it’s possible the manufacturers paid them to do so. This lends credibility to the product and attracts additional customers. In the case of FredC, he became a seller and is trying to bring in his own clientele through the review.

So how do you know if a product review is genuine?

You can’t.

Typically speaking, however, if a reviewer leaves a mix of both pros and cons about a product as well as additional details of its use, then you can assume the reviewer is genuine.

For example, ejlib (also at GNC.com) wrote, “Keep in mind I am a “hard-gainer,” but I had no results from this product. As directed, I took 4 capsules on an empty stomach every night before bed for 30 days straight (the entire bottle) while following a 4-day/week lifting program and noticed no change whatsoever in weight or muscle measurements. I would be frustrated enough that I had no tangible results from the weight-lifting and nutrition/protein but the fact I had spent the money on this as well made it worse.”

And Mrclean9940 adds, “I have not seen the results from this product. I know Nothing compares to the real HGH. I took 4 every morning as instructed. I also take a protein and other amino acids. I dont think it’s worth the money. I work out 5 days a week and try to eat right, not perfect.”

So is Growth Factor-9 effective?

Until more users have tried it, I’ll remain skeptical.

Potential Side Effects

Growth Factor-9 doesn’t rely on harsh stimulants or unnatural chemicals to improve your performance. This significantly reduces negative side effect risk – but it doesn’t eliminate it entirely.

Because Growth Factor-9 lists its formula as a proprietary blend, it is impossible to tell if the ingredients concentrations are high enough to be effective or low enough to be safe.

For example, arginine is an effective performance enhancer when used correctly. High doses, however, may cause abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, gout, blood abnormalities, and low blood pressure.

Recommended Usage

For the best results, take 4 capsules on an empty stomach, 2 hours before breakfast or 2 hours after dinner prior to bedtime.

Take all 4 capsules at once, and do not divide the formula into 2 separate doses. Also, do not take more than 4 capsules in a day.

Is Growth Factor-9 Affordable?

HGH injections are pricey and difficult to obtain. When compared to synthetic HGH, Growth Factor-9 seems like an affordable deal.

However, this supplement is still fairly expensive compared to similar supplements. Even if you shop around, it can be difficult to find Growth Factor-9 for less than $90 a bottle.

After shopping around, I found these sites sold Growth Factor-9 for the following prices:
Growth Factor 9 can be purchased from the following sites:

• NovexBiotech.com: $99 (+$6.95 in shipping)
• GNC.com: $99.99
• eVitamins.com: $99.99
• LuckyVitamin.com: $99.99

What If Growth Factor-9 Doesn’t Work?

Supposedly Novex Biotech offers a 100% money-back guarantee, or that’s what I assume from the logo at the corner of the page. However, there are no terms or conditions verifying how this guarantee works. It could cover unopened products and charge a restocking fee, or it could be a lifetime guarantee on all products – used or unused.

Consequently, you may find it easier to order from a different site such as GNC.com. GNC offers a money-back guarantee on all of its products returned within 30 days. This includes partially used products that you’ve tried but were unsatisfied with your results.

As with any diet pill site, it’s always important to read and reread the fine print before you making your purchase.

Pick It or Pitch It?

Growth Factor-9 has some potential for boosting HGH production. The ingredients are backed with research and there are a few positive consumer reviews to justify manufacturer’s claims.

However, I don’t feel comfortable recommending Growth Factor-9 because there are too many risks involved. The ingredient concentrations are unknown. A few ingredients have not been thoroughly studied. The potential side effects make Growth Factor-9’s hefty price tag too much to be worth the investment.

References

[1]MF Editors. “HGH Supplement: Growth Factor 9.” Men’s Fitness. Available from: http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/supplements/hgh-supplement-growth-factor-9

[2] Stopanni, Jim. “Featured Supplement: Novex Biotech’s Growth Factor-9.” Muscle & Fitness. Available from: http://www.muscleandfitness.com/supplements/build-muscle/featured-supplement-novex-biotechs-growth-factor-9

[3] Kanaley JA. “Growth hormone, arginine and exercise.” Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care. 2008 Jan;11(1):50-4. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18090659

[4] Isidori A, Lo Mocao, Cappa M. “A study of growth hormone release in man after oral administration of amino acids.” Current Medical Research & Opnion. 1981;7(7):475-81.

[5] Welbourne TC. “Increased plasma bicarbonate and growth hormone after an oral glutamine load.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1995 May;61(5):1058-61. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7733028

[6] Carolina D Pederzolli, Angela M Sgaravatti, César A Braum, Cristina C Prestes, Giovanni K Zorzi, Mirian B Sgarbi, Angela T S Wyse, Clóvis M D Wannmacher, Moacir Wajner, Carlos S Dutra-Filho. “5-Oxoproline reduces non-enzymatic antioxidant defenses in vitro in rat brain.” Metabolic Brain Disease. 04/2007; 22(1):51-65. DOI:10.1007/s11011-006-9041-2. Available from: http://www.researchgate.net/publication/6565054_5-Oxoproline_reduces_non-enzymatic_antioxidant_defenses_in_vitro_in_rat_brain

[7] ] Kang, H; Oh, YJ; Choi, HY; Ham, IH; Bae, HS; Kim, SH; Ahn, KS (2008). “Immunomodulatory effect of Schizonepeta tenuifolia water extract on mouse Th1/Th2 cytokine production in-vivo and in-vitro”. The Journal of pharmacy and pharmacology 60 (7): 901–7. doi:10.1211/jpp.60.7.0012. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18549677

[8] “Supplement Amino Acid.” ClinicalTrials.gov. Available from: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT01540773

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