Deer antler spray — a supplement commonly used in the fitness and sports industries that has a long history of use in Eastern medicine — is pretty much as strange as it sounds. Derived from the tissue found inside deer antlers, it’s reported to work by providing IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor), a natural growth hormone found inside the human body that has potential to increase muscle mass and support recovery from injuries.
Deer antlers have been closely linked to IGF-1, which is another term for insulin. This has been well received in eastern medicine as an anti-aging and bodybuilding product. Because it’s also a known natural growth hormone, it’s said to aid in muscle development by enhancing strength and improving recovery time. This is what attracts bodybuilders to this product.
We have been in the health and fitness industry for almost 2 decades and have worked with many professional athletes as well as amateurs who used our products to help them perform at their best. We know how important it is to provide our customers with the best products on the market. We take great pride in our supplements and do not try to cut costs by using small dosages and fillers as many other companies do. When you purchase from us you can be absolutely confident you are getting the best quality and safest supplements you can find.
Deer antler products contain mostly amino acids (that form proteins) along with growth factors, which are poly-peptide bonded amino acid chains. (4) The most abundant growth factor is IGF-1. However, it isn’t a factor found in these products. Depending on the specific brand, deer antler spray/powder/capsules may contain amino acids and growth factors including: (5)
IGF-1 is currently on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited list due to how it gives athletes an unfair advantage in terms of building strength and muscle mass. (7) However, it’s still legal to use supplements that may provide IGF-1 or similar effects. Most of the studies that show positive results from using deer antler supplements have used high doses. And some have tested the product on animals (mice or rats) rather than humans.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude for IGF-1. I am 54 years old and until now I have suffered with chronic fatigue, depression and insomnia. After being on IGF-1 for less than 1 month, my energy levels are back up and improving more everyday. I once took 3 naps per day just to function, I do not need naps anymore. I once needed prescription sleeps aids, now I sleep all night long without medication, thanks to IGF-1. It is hard to put into words all that IGF-1 is doing for me, so I will just say I feel like a new man with vitality that I have not felt in 25 years.
The movie The Raging Bull was inspired by the true life story of boxing legend and middle weight champion of the world, Jake Lamotta. He was known as the Raging Bull and the Bronx Bull. His character was depicted by Academy award winner Robert Deniro and went on to win 2 oscars under the direction of Martin Scorsese. Jake Lamotta was known as one of the toughest fighters in the world. He fought Sugar Ray Robinson 6 times in his career, the last fight being remembered as the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Unfortunately, the potential problems with IGF would seem to negate any of these theoretical benefits. It has been shown that improper use of hormones such as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), androstenedione, and human growth hormone may increase the risk for development of prostate cancer or promote the growth of existing prostate cancer by raising IGF-1 levels. Therefore, men who are taking supplements with IGF in it (or those that raise IGF levels) could theoretically be putting themselves at an increased risk for prostate cancer. Again, it hasn’t been rigorously studied so it’s impossible to know for sure, but if you have any risk factors for prostate cancer, it’s probably best to avoid taking this supplement.
A 2014 study published in Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine tested whether or not deer antler extract would have an effect on fatigue in mice who were led to swim distances. The findings suggested that deer antler “might increase the muscle strength through the upregulation of genes responsible for muscle contraction and consequently exhibited the anti-fatigue effect in mice.” Deer antler seems to have a positive effect on genes involved in nine different signaling pathways that affect muscles, endurance and fatigue. These include GnRH signaling pathway and insulin signaling pathways, in addition to levels of troponins. (8) Deer antler may contribute to increases in muscle strength by increasing Tpm2 expression. This affects how muscles take up proteins and repair themselves. Other studies show some evidence that deer antler extract helps prevent muscle fatigue by activating the lactate dehydrogenase activities and reducing the levels of blood lactic acid and serum urea nitrogen.
A systemic review on human interventions makes note of a study conducted on patients of osteoarthritis (Edelman et al. 2000; cannot be located online) which found improvements in joint pain symptoms relative to baseline in the Velvet Antler group and not placebo, although a lack of information on blinding and randomization precludes results that can be drawn from this study.