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GF9 Review: Can It Increase Growth Hormone By 680%?

GF9 Review: Can It Increase Growth Hormone By 680%?


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Illuminate Labs GF9 Review header image

There’s been a lot of consumer interest recently in a new supplement brand called Novex Biotech, which released a product called GF9 which claims to increase growth hormone (GH) levels by up to 682%. The claim seems unlikely to most logical consumers, so we wanted to conduct a research-based analysis to assess whether there's research backing for such a significant GH increase from taking this supplement.

In this article we’ll investigate the team’s credentials (or lack thereof), the product formulation, and medical studies on some of the ingredients conclude whether we believe that consumers can reasonably expect to achieve such a massive increase in GH levels by regularly supplementing with GF9.

No Public Team

The first red flag about the Novex Biotech site is they have no public team page. Where are all of the scientists working on these formulations? Where is the information about the founder(s)? 

When a supplement company has credentialed experts on their team, they're incentivized to feature this information somewhere on their site as it increases consumer trust, so we generally assume a supplement brand without any public team page has no scientists or medical experts on staff.

We would rather see a team of scientists backing a medical claim of a 600% GH increase rather than photos of their brand ambassador Shaq, who is a great marketer but has no medical background.

Prop Blend Issues

GF9 Supplement Facts panel

GF-9’s Supplement Facts panel contains a proprietary (prop) blend totalling 2.9 grams (g). This is another red flag. Companies that are transparent about their ingredients will list the exact dose of each active ingredient in their formulation. Without listed doses for each active ingredient, consumers (and researchers like us) cannot independently verify whether the ingredients are effectively and safely dosed.

Because prop blends don’t require publication of dose amounts, companies will often include minuscule amounts of exotic ingredients to make their Supplement Facts label look more impressive. We're not suggesting Novex Biotech did this for GF9, but there's no way to know without the individual doses listed.

As an example, a supplement company could release a pre-workout supplement with a prop blend containing 5 g of creatine monohydrate (effective dose), 200 milligrams (mg) of caffeine (effective dose), 0.1 mg of saffron extract (significantly underdosed) and 0.1 mg of blueberry powder extract (significantly underdosed). The supplement facts panel wouldn’t show how miniscule the secondary ingredient doses are, or that those two “exotic” ingredients have no impact on sports performance, so consumers would be misled into believing they were important to the overall formulation, when in reality the creatine and caffeine caused all of the performance benefits.

Novex Biotech’s inclusion of schizonepeta powder in the GF9 formulation seems to us to be a perfect example of this sort of behavior. It's an exotic herbal ingredient that can justify a high-priced product, and we cannot locate any medical studies suggesting that this compound in isolation improves GH levels in humans. Nor does the manufacturer link out to any.

We recommend that consumers avoid products with prop blends generally.

Medical Study on GF9

Novex Biotech’s claim that their supplement increases growth hormone by upwards of 700% seems to come from one study referenced on their website, which was published in in the American Journal of Therapeutics. This study was funded by a company in Salt Lake City, Utah called Sierra Research Group LLC. Novex Biotech is also based in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

We find it to be questionable that an LLC with seemingly no public website, which is presumably a for-profit corporation, would fund a study with favorable results for a supplement company in their same city. We consider the potential for economic bias here to be significant, and our opinion is that the results of this study aren't very valuable due to the potential bias.

The study itself only includes 16 participants which is a small sample size, and these results don't appear to have been replicated in other clinical trials which were not funded by Sierra Research Group.

While it's a good sign that GF9 has research backing from a study published in a legitimate medical journal, we don't consider the quality of data to be high, and wouldn't recommend the supplement based on this research alone.

Ingredient Review

The majority of ingredients in GF9 are amino acids or amino acid derivatives. There do exist medical studies that have investigated amino acid supplementation and its short-term effects on GH, and they’ve shown mixed results. 

One medical trial documented no effect on GH during exercise with amino acid supplementation, but a transient increase (of around 50%) on GH in resting subjects. 

Another study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, found that l-arginine supplementation increased GH levels by around 100% at rest, but actually decreased GH levels compared to placebo when the trial participants were exercising. The arginine dosage in this study was nearly 300% higher  than the entire GF9 prop blend dosage, of which arginine is only a small part. 

A clinical trial found that arginine supplementation at a dosage many multiples higher than the entire GF9 prop blend dosage led to an average increase in GH of 60% during sleep.

It appears from clinical research that amino acids can increase GH levels at rest, but may decrease GH levels during exercise. None of the studies we analyzed found GH increases as high as that reported by Novex Biotech, so we will consider this supplement underdosed and ineffective.

YouTube Review

One of the most popular YouTube reviews of GF9 is published by a channel called "More Plates More Dates" which frequently publishes formulation reviews. The creator doesn't reference any medical credentials, but their research seems well-cited and they come to the same conclusion as us on many points:

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

We do not recommend GF9 or any Novex Biotech supplements.

Amino acid supplementation can potentially cause a transient increase in GH at rest, but there doesn't appear to be any medical evidence to indicate that this increase is sustained. Novex Biotech even admits this on the Science page of their website: "Whether these GH changes persist over a longer duration or have other positive effects is being further examined."

We don't believe it's logical or beneficial to pay for a dietary supplement that may briefly and transiently increase GH levels, but even if a consumer was interested in doing so it would likely be more cost-effective to take a single amino acid like l-arginine at an effective dose rather than GF9.

Most research on amino acids for exercise performance benefits involve their capacity to increase nitric oxide production, as we covered in our review of citrulline malate benefits, and this performance benefit of amino acids has more research backing in our opinion than the GH benefit.

Because the 682% increase in GH reported in the one study that GF9 cites has not been replicated in other studies, we don't trust this data or believe that this supplement will even transiently increase GH levels by that much.




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