Botanicals & Other Ingredients
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DEER ANTLER VELVET
Deer antler velvet can promote growth by inducing an increase in IGF-1 receptor and activating the action of IGF-1. (1) Research has identified various growth factors in deer antler velvet including IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor-1), IGF-2 (Insulin-like Growth Factor-2), and EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor). IGF-1 aids growth and stops cell death in normal ranges. The hormone stimulates growth in most cells of the body, including skeletal muscle, cartilage, bone, nerves, and skin and it increases the number and size of cells. Deer antler velvet enhanced longitudinal bone growth and promoted the induction of local bone morphogenetic protein-2 of the growth plates in adolescent male rats. Supplementation of powdered velvet antler resulted in improved growth in growing and adult rats. (2)
Deer velvet is used to boost strength and endurance and improve the way the immune system works. It counters the effects of stress and promotes rapid recovery from illness. One study confirms deer antler velvet’s effects on muscle strength. In a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled experiment, 18 males entered a 10-week strength training program. Those who took deer antler velvet showed an increase in strength in the bench press and leg squat, and a decrease in body fat relative to the placebo group. (3) In another study, 38 males, all of whom were experienced weightlifters, entered a 10-week strength training program. Those who took deer antler velvet experienced an increase in peak torque and average power relative to the placebo group. (4) They also experienced unexpected improvements in aerobic performance.
Research in Korea, New Zealand, and China has shown that deer antler velvet can stimulate the immune system. Extracts of deer antler velvet showed an increase in macrophage activity, stimulated the production of lymphocytes and increased the number of red and white blood cells. A study that administered pantocrin, an ingredient included deer antler velvet, to patients reported that there were a number of positive effects, including the normalization of arterial pressure, reduction in surgical complications, and becoming active quicker. (5)
Deer antler velvet can help relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis by promoting articular cartilage regeneration. (6) In 1999 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of deer antler velvet as a scientifically supported and compliant treatment for its beneficial effects in treating arthritis to support healthy joint structure and function. Recent clinical tests suggest oral ingestion of glycosaminoglycan-peptide complex or components such as chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate — both found in deer antler velvet — may help stimulate cartilage repair.
Other uses include treatment of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, migraines, muscle aches and pains, asthma, indigestion, weak bones (osteoporosis), headache, liver and kidney disorders, cold hands and feet, soreness and weakness in the lower back and knees, chronic skin ulcers, and overactive bladder. It is also used to promote youthfulness, sharpen thinking skills, protect the liver from toxins, stimulate production and circulation of blood, and increase the number of red blood cells. In addition deer antler velvet assists in increasing the ability to fight aging effects on the body by supporting testosterone levels. In children, deer velvet is used as a tonic for children with failure to thrive, mental retardation, learning disabilities, slow growth, or bone problems including rickets.
1. Jun Chan Il, Kim Ki Hoon, Lee Jin Yong, Kim Deog Gon. Effect of velvet antler on the function of adipocytes(3T3-L1) and its association with IGF-1. The journal of pediatrics of Korean medicine. 2004;18 (1): 11-25
2. H.G. Sung, D.K. Kim, H.T. Shin. Influence of Powdered Velvet Antler on Growth and Intestinal Organ Development in Sprague-Dawley Rats. 2003 Jan; 45 (5): 749-758
3. Conrad P. Earnest , John Quindry , Lyyn Panton , Craig Broeder. Effect of Deer Antler Velvet on Aerobic, Anaerobic and Strength Performance Central European Journal of Sport Sciences and Medicine. 2015 Aug; 9 (1): 17-26
4. Sleivert G, Burke V, Palmer C, Walmsley A, Gerrard D, Haines S, Littlejohn R. The effects of deer antler velvet extract or powder supplementation on aerobic power, erythropoiesis, and muscular strength and endurance characteristics. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2003 Sep; 13 (3): 251-65.
5. Jaw-Chyun Chen, Chien-Yun Hsiang, Yung-Chang Lin, Tin-Yun Ho. Deer Antler Extract Improves Fatigue Effect through Altering the Expression of Genes Related to Muscle Strength in Skeletal Muscle of Mice Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014; 2014: 540580.
6. Ekenstedt KJ, Sonntag WE, Loeser RF, Lindgren BR, Carlson CS. Effects of chronic growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 deficiency on osteoarthritis severity in rat knee joints. Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Dec; 54 (12): 3850-8.
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