Although previously found on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of banned substances, Deer Antler Spray was removed in 2013 when it was deemed completely safe and legal to consume prior to athletic activity. Deer Antler Spray has been known to speed up the rehabilitation process of injuries, especially injuries effecting cartilage. It has also been known to boost endurance and strength, increase muscle mass, decrease fat, and raise one's testosterone levels, thus increasing libido. The use of Deer Antler Velvet Spray has been linked to several athletes, including football star Ray Lewis, who is rumored to have used it following an injury to his tricep in 2013.
On to the Deer Antler Spray and it’s positive effects this has had on my wife and I. Starting with me: In 2005 I had a titanium cage put into my L4-L5 lumbar region. My left leg was always numb and slept very little until a great neurosurgeon repaired it. Then 1 day I was on my 2 mile walk, and all of a sudden I felt this horrible left side pain. By that night my son, who was 16 at the time, said that my left side was all swelled up. It was hell all over again for me. I went to many doctors, stopped many in the halls of the University of Iowa Hospitals and asked if they could give me a tell. Of course none of them knew either. I was on hydrocodone for 4 years and also put on Lyrica. After hearing about Ray Lewis making this remarkable comeback from his tricep injury, which was really damaged and at his age should have retired, he came back for the playoffs. This blew me away because I also know much about sports injuries being I am an ex-athlete.
The IGF-1 found in deer antler spray is derived from deer antler velvet, the tissue found inside the deer's antlers before they fully harden. Since deer antlers grow incredibly fast, it is not surprising that the horns are rich in IGF-1. This is a naturally-occurring form of IGF-1, meaning it is not made in a lab. As a result, deer antler velvet is considered a dietary supplement by the Food and Drug Administration, and unlike synthesized drugs, the product does have to be proven safe or effective before it's sold to the public.
Currently, IGF-1 is banned by both the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, deer antler spray seems to provide only very small amounts of IGF-1. This is why it’s no longer considered illegal. Insulin-like growth factor is also naturally found in other animal-derived foods, including eggs, milk and red meat. Some experts believe that the amount of IGF-1 obtained from using deer antler products is really not much more than from eating these foods.
But when it comes to sprays or pills, there’s little evidence that deer antler offers performance enhancing benefits of any kind, says Alan Rogol, M.D., an endocrinologist at the University of Virginia. Rogol is also part of a small team of doctors that assists anti-doping agencies in determining if and when athletes can use certain controversial substances.
Deer antler velvet's effects on cell growth and repair have been investigated in several areas. Deer antler velvet may be a natural source of hormones for those seeking aid to muscle growth and development. 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).