Human Growth Factors
This is a topic that continually comes up and it is my genuine concern and frustration with the misinformed sales staff who encourage you to purchase HGF ( Human growth Factor) products (claiming they work) that encouraged me to write this article.
The research into HGFs is without question intriguing, but much remains unknown at this time, especially in terms of long-term risk or stability when they are used in cosmetics and applied to skin. In this arena, if cosmetics companies continue to use HGFs, it is you, the consumer who will be the guinea pig. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone undercover and asked sales staff in retail/Spa establishments about the products they have with HGF. They assured me that it has been proven scientifically that the products work. Well, this is a downright UNTRUTH.
It is not the fault of the sales staff but the information that they have been told is true by reps. The ( HGF ) that is injected into targeted areas is what scientists are referring to, not the ones applied topically. There is absolutely NOT enough proof to make any claims at this point that the topical products are effective.
Although the FDA has set their guidance, the personal care and dietary supplement industry is not regulated heavily. Many companies take advantage of this and walk over that fine line. The FDA has been more proactive recently and companies who are in the spotlight pay for being out of compliance. The fine is MUCH LESS than their profit so they keep marketing and selling to YOU though they should not. Smaller companies will be heavily fined in the near future.
Our science team at LAFACE Laboratories is made up of pharmacists and scientists with over 60 years of combined experience. We are not motivated by the dollar and the fact is Human growth factors can stimulate collagen production. The only research done on human growth factors for skin has looked primarily at the issue of wound healing, and at their short-term use. In addition, their use in personal care is quite risky because their application so far has been in research only.
HGFs consist of a complex hormones that are produced by the body to control cell growth and cell division in skin, blood, bone, and nerve tissue. HGFs regulate the division and reproduction of cells, and they also can influence the growth rate of some cancers. HGFs occur naturally in the body and they also are synthesized and used in medicine for a range of applications. Including wound healing and immune-system stimulation. HGFs are chemical messengers that bind to receptor sites on the cell surface. (Receptor sites are places where cells communicate with a substance to let them know what or what not to do). HGFs must communicate with cells to instruct them to activate the production of new cells, or to instruct a cell to create new cells that have different functions.
Think of HGFs as messages designed to be received or “heard” by specific receptor sites or “ears” on the cell. HGFs, such as transforming growth factor (TGF, stimulates collagen production) or epidermal growth factor (EGF, stimulates skin-cell production), play a significant role in healing surgical wounds. The main task of HGFs is to cause cell division, which is helpful; however, at certain concentrations and over certain duration of application they can cause cells to over proliferate, which can cause cancer or other health problems. I hope you find this informative and educational. Facts are facts and wanting to believe is just not enough.
(Sources: Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, June 2008, pages 104–109; Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation, March–April 2002, pages 116–125; Journal of Dermatological Surgery and Oncology, July 1992, pages 604–606; Journal of Anatomy, July 2005, pages 67–78; International Wound Journal, June 2006, pages 123–130;Tissue Engineering, January 2007, pages 21–28; Wounds, 2001, volume 13, number 2, pages 53–58; Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, August 1995, pages 251–254, and September 1997, pages 657–664; Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology, January–April 1999, pages 79–84; Journal of Surgical Research, April 2002, pages 175–182; and Cosmetic Dermatology, Second Edition, McGraw Hill Medical, Baumann, Leslie, et. al.,2009, pages 23–24).