December 10, 2013
Created by Novex Biotech, Growth Factor-9 is a recently released HGH secretagogue designed to maximize your physical performance.
Advertisements promise this “complex hormone antecedent” is strong enough to “unleash your total performance and anti-aging potential.” This is supposed to give you the ultimate body you deserve.
Recent press releases go so far as to claim that “Growth Factor-9 is too good to be true.”
And is it?
To find out if Growth Factor-9 is as good as manufacturers would have us believe, I took a closer look at what this tiny pill could really do. . .
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What’s the Connection Between SeroVital and GF-9?
The first thing that caught my eye when I looked at the ingredient label was SeroVital plastered across the proprietary blend.
SeroVital, an anti-aging supplement, is sold by SanMedica and backed by the Sierra Research Group. So why is SeroVital making an appearance in a sports product?
Kerry Pack, a communications specialist with Sierra Research Group explains the connection between the two companies:
“With all the recent media coverage, sales have gone through the roof and our suppliers have been having trouble keeping up . . . So we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve recently issued a … license to sports supplement company Novex Biotech, which will sell the compound as Growth Factor-9 exclusively at GNC. . .This will give consumers an extra avenue to get their hands on our proprietary formula.” 
SierraResearchGroup.com goes on to state, “SanMedica is in the final stages of ramping up production of its SeroVital-hgh, the first of the officially licensed brands to hit the market. Novex Biotech, a leader in the fitness and bodybuilding arena, is not behind with its offering, Growth Factor-9, which will be available in GNC Stores October 2012.”
Growth Factor-9 offers 2.9 grams of SeroVital-hgh. Essentially it’s the same product, but with a different name to attract a larger market.
So what’s inside this oh-so-popular blend?
L-Arginine. Arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes blood vessels and improves circulation. Many body builders turn to arginine to improve performance and accelerate muscle growth.
However, studies show arginine is also an effective HGH releaser. When taken in 5 to 9 g doses, arginine increases HGH production by as much as 100%. And when combined with exercise, that percentage nearly doubles! 
Unfortunately, Growth Factor-9 only contains 2.9 g of the SeroVital formula, which is only a fraction of the recommended arginine dosage. Consequently, arginine must be combined with an equally effective amino acid to provide any benefits.
L-Lysine. Many experts believe lysine combined with arginine is the perfect option. One study shows 1200 mg lysine combined with 1200 mg arginine is enough to increase HGH production and optimize insulin efficiency. 
Added together, this totals to 2.4 g out of the 2.9 grams in Growth Factor-9, assuming the product contains the clinically proven amount.
However, this only leaves .5 grams to divide among the remaining ingredients, which makes me question the effectiveness of the ingredient concentrations. Did Growth Factor-9 divvy the ingredients out evenly and use lower, slightly ineffective concentrations for everything? Or did Growth Factor-9 use two effective concentrations and skimped out on the remaining ingredient concentrations?
Due to the nature of the proprietary blend, it’s impossible to tell. . .
Furthermore, lysine studies are fairly mixed. While the above lysine-arginine combination offered positive results, some studies revealed lysine supplementation to have no effect on HGH at all. . 
N-Acetyl L-Cysteine. NAC is a modified cysteine molecule which acts as a powerful antioxidant. It eliminates free radicals, reduces oxidative stress on cells, and protects against cardiovascular disease.
This molecule metabolizes into glutathione and glutathionine peroxidase.
Rob Keller, MD, believes glutathione is clinically proven to increase Human Growth Hormone markers DHEA and IGF-1.  But, “Dr” Keller is selling glutathione products and there is no clinical information validating this claim.
L-Glutamine. Glutamine is the most common amino acid found in muscle tissue. It is essential for nitrogen transportation and protein synthesis. Experts agree glutamine supplementation minimizes muscle breakdown and improves protein metabolism.
Additionally, studies show glutamine supplementation significantly increases circulating HGH levels within 90 minutes after ingestion. 
On the other hand, these studies often involved 2 g glutamine, and I doubt Growth Factor-9 has this much.
OxoProline. Not a lot of information is available on oxoproline. This molecule is a glutamic acid derivative that may exhibit antioxidant properties. However, there are no clinical studies linking oxoproline to HGH production.
Schizonepeta. Like oxoproline, not a lot of clinical trials have been conducted on schizonepeta. This herb is traditionally used to treat inflammation and contains compounds which may inhibit cytokine release. There are no studies on Schizonepeta’s potential effects on HGH.
Should You Trust the Study?
Novex Biotech and SanMedica both reference a study conducted on SeroVital. In this study, researchers found SeroVital increased HGH production by as much as 682% within 120 minutes after ingestion.
Additionally, manufacturers point out that the “study’s findings have been reviewed by the Obesity Society and were accepted for public presentation at the Obesity Society’s prestigious 30th Annual Scientific Meeting.”
Sounds pretty impressive, doesn’t it?
Dr. Peter Griffiths, author of How to Burn More Fat 24 Hours a Day. . .Without Diet or Exercise, has a contradictory opinion:
“The studies behind it are not solid. In fact there is only one study. This was presented as an abstract at a conference meaning it has never been published in any scientific journal or subjected to any scrutiny by medical professionals. This is a common tactic among supplement companies who want to give pseudo-scientific backing to their product.
“Secondly even if this product works as claimed, their own study admits it is equivalent to 0.06iu of injected GH, a dose which anyone who has used real injected GH will tell you has virtually no fat loss effects.” 
Does Dr. Oz Endorse Growth Factor-9?
Dr. Oz does not promote or endorse any specific products. Despites this, many advertisements claim Dr. Oz was excited about the research behind SeroVital’s (and Growth Factor-9’s) ability to boost HGH.
On his show, Dr. Oz states, “A recent study showed that patients given a special blend of amino acids saw their HGH levels spike more than 6x the levels they had at the beginning of the study.” 
While this study seemed to provide similar results to the ones advertised by Growth Factor-9, Dr. Oz did not provide specific references to confirm the product was the same.
Potential Side Effects and Risks
As far as I can tell, Growth Factor-9 does not result in any severe negative side effects when used correctly. The ingredients are safe to use on a regular basis.
However, consumers should not take more than 4 capsules daily. Exceeding the recommended dosage increases your risk of negative side effects.
Although amino acids such as arginine are safe to use in small amounts, taking too much at once may result in abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Furthermore, Growth Factor-9 may interact negatively with certain medications. To ensure safety, consult your doctor before making any changes to your current diet or exercise program.
How to Get the Best Results
According to NovexBiotech.com, Growth Factor-9 has a few catches:
1. Growth Factor-9 must be part of a total program – it won’t help you lose weight if you don’t eat right and work out
2. Growth Factor-9 must be taken on an empty stomach. You can take 4 capsules first thing in the morning and then not eat anything for two hours, or take it at night, at least two hours after your last meal before you go to bed.
Best Places to Buy Online
The third “catch” listed on NovexBiotech.com involves the hefty price.
“Last but not least, while Growth Factor-9 is far less expensive than prescription HGH injections, it’s still not cheap. . .GF9 will cost you about $100 a month.”
Even shopping through different distributors, I couldn’t find Growth Factor-9 for less than $90. If you can afford it, you may want to buy Growth Factor-9 from the following sites:
• NovexBiotech.com: $99 (+$6.95 in shipping)
• GNC.com: $99.99
• eVitamins.com: $99.99
• LuckyVitamin.com: $99.99
Return Policies and Customer Service
Supposedly Novex Biotech offers a 100% money back guarantee, but the website doesn’t provide any additional specifics on their return policies.
I sent an email to customer service asking about how to make a return, and I’ve yet to receive a response to my inquiry.
Pick It or Pitch It?
Growth Factor-9 does have a few good amino acids, but they’re not used effectively to provide you the age-defying results you’re looking for.
HGH supplements like Growth Factor-9 are severely overhyped. Also, I don’t entirely trust the manufacturers to follow through with their promises (or their guarantee).
Consequently, I don’t feel comfortable recommending Growth Factor-9. There are more reliable, more affordable supplements available that offer better results.
 “Is There a Sports Growth Hormone Conspiracy, asks Novex Biotech?” PR Newswire.com. Jan 11, 2013. Available from: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/is-there-a-pro-sports-growth-hormone-conspiracy-asks-novex-biotech-186426391.html
 Johnsen, Michael. “Sierra Ressarch Labs licenses distribution of SeroVital-hgh through GNC to Novex Biotech.” Drug Store News. Dec 27, 2012. Available from: http://drugstorenews.com/article/sierra-research-labs-licenses-distribution-serovital-hgh-through-gnc-novex-biotech
 “Sierra Research Group Officially Licenses New “Youth Pill.” Sierra Research Group LLC. Sept. 21, 2012. Available from: http://sierraresearchgroup.com/press/sierra-research-group-officially-licenses-new-youth-pill/
 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
 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. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6790230
 Corpas E, Blackman MR, Roberson R, Scholfield D, Harman SM. Oral arginine-lysine does not increase growth hormone or insulin-like growth factor-I in old men. J Gerontol. 1993;48(4):M128-33. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8315224
 Keller, Rob. “Glutathione.” Max Health for Life. Available from: http://maxhealthforlife.net/
 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
 “New Serovital HGH Product?” Iron Magazine. Nov. 11, 2012. Available from: http://www.ironmagazineforums.com/supplements/170890-new-serovital-hgh-product.html
 Oz, Mehmet. “Recharge Your Body in 5 Ways in 5 Days!” The Dr. Oz Show. Available from: http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/recharge-your-body-5-ways-5-days?video=15367