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.
On January 30, 2013, Vijay Singh professional PGA Tour golfer was caught unaware and openly admitted to the personal use of deer antler spray which contained a banned substance at the time. A week later the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) lifted the ban on deer antler spray, but with urgency, "Deer Antler Velvet Spray may contain IGF-1 and WADA recommends therefore that athletes be extremely vigilant with this supplement because it could lead to a positive test."  The consensus opinion of leading endocrinologists concerning any purported claims and benefits "is simply that there is far too little of the substance in even the purest forms of the spray to make any difference,"  and "there is no medically valid way to deliver IGF-1 orally or in a spray." 
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While consumers wanted more information on the product. Let’s not forget the supplement industry is a multi-billionaire dollar business. And if Ray used the product then it must be legit, right? That’s what the immediate response in supplement sales would have you believe, as ESPN business reporter Darren Rovel reported that purchases skyrocketed within 24 hours of the report.
S.W.A.T.S. Fitness and Performance was a dietary supplement company that sold deer antler spray and other products. The owners began distributing their products to NCAA and NFL athletes in 2008. The controversy initially started in March 30, 2009 when Alabama athletic officials sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company's owner that stated: "Refrain from using current student-athletes to endorse products. Refrain from contacting current student-athletes. Refrain from giving or selling products to current student-athletes."  The letter was then sent again in 2012.
Deer antler velvet is supposed to help you build muscle. It allegedly elevates levels of IGF-1, an important hormone that helps you pack on mass. As “side effects” you also should see improvements in strength and endurance. And some products even claim it speeds recovery, which is why it was linked to Ray Lewis who earlier suffered an apparent season-ending injury, and yet has played and performed at a high level in the playoffs.
Bones are connected by joints, which allow us to move with ease. Joint damage can cause pain preventing you from doing the things you once loved. Many conditions lead to joint pain from aging to an untreated sports injury. A quality joint product may help repair existing tissue damage and also promote stronger joints, less susceptible to future degeneration.
Finding the time to workout is often the biggest challenge that I have, which I’m sure a lot of you can relate to. Some weeks it’s easier to find the time than others. The problem with that is on those weeks it’s nearly impossibly to find that time, my body tends to lose what I’ve gained in the weeks that I do find the time. But that’s changed recently since I’ve started using this new supplement. It’s called IGF-1 Plus™ Formula. Since I’ve been taking IGF-1, it has been quite evident that its had a positive effect on my exercising. I feel strength and stamina that I’ve never felt before. Also my pump seems to be more phenomenal than ever! My strength has steadily increased over the six months that I’ve been spraying this under my tongue as directed daily. What’s been extremely impressive is those weeks in which I come back when I’ve been unable to workout for a week or more. I simply don’t lose what I’ve accomplished like I had before. It was almost like starting back at square on before I started using IGF-1, but now it’s like I can pick up right where I left off before! Another thing that I’d like to mention about this formula is that I feel it’s really helped my memory and my stress level. That’s a welcomed added bonus which I hadn’t counted on. Just to put this all in terms anyone can understand, let me say this… I would take this IGF-1 for simply the results I’ve been able to achieve and maintain in the gym. But add to that how it’s helped my mind, memory, and stress level, I can honestly say that you couldn’t pay me to stop taking it!!
There is an increasing amount of scientific evidence supporting the benefits of deer antler velvet from decades of research carried out in Russia, Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. This research has given credibility to deer antler velvet’s traditional usage and validated recommendations for its inclusion as an everyday health supplement. Almost 250 papers have been published since 1930 on the manufacture, composition and biochemical effect of deer antler velvet. Studies on deer antler velvet and the corresponding findings are described below.
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)
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In a randomized, placebo controlled test in 2004, researchers at the University of Alberta, Canada, placed 18 males from the Edmonton Police Force into a 9 week strength training program. The results showed that deer antler velvet increased the strength and endurance of the subjects relative to the control group. The researchers found that use of deer antler velvet significantly increased blood plasma testosterone levels.
Even sellers of deer antler products doubt that the products could deliver IGF-1. "IGF-1 is very unstable," Dean Nieves of Florida-based Bio Lab Naturals told the Baltimore Sun. "It could not exist outside of a very controlled environment." Nieves' company therefore markets the product as a nutritional supplement. "It is just packed with nutrients," he said.
In an ovalbumin sensitized mouse model, 4 weeks of Velvet Antler at 2.5-10mg total (weight of mice not given, assuming 20g this equals 125-500mg/kg or 10-40mg/kg for humans) was able to reduce total Immunoglobulin E (IgE) and Ovalbumin-specific IgE at 14, 21, and 28 days. When challenged with methacholine and subsequently having their airway power measured, it appeared that Velvet Antler exert anti-asthmatic effects in regards to allergies.
I had my knee replaced 3 years ago due to arthritis and the arthritis has started in my other knee. I started taking the IGF-1 25,000 ngs and the arthritis pain went away totally when I started taking your product. My mobility on the basketball court has improved dramatically as I also referee basketball and football. I have been in the Navy for 27.5 years and I would recommend your product to everyone.
Muscle Builder* - Some "experts" make bold claims that it builds muscle. They compare it to synthetic anabolics that give many athletes who dope an advantage over the competition. This is folly claim that has no backing from direct research or research into other associated fields that would be relevant to deer antler spray. Only one thing will build muscle: proper resistance training. Make the right choice and get to work.*
Raise Only Male Hormones* - Seriously, what if you are a woman? This is once again incorrect as it does not directly raise only male hormones for a majority of the population, especially women. But if you have a lagging gladular system due to overwhelming stress and fatigue than the adaptogen capabilities may allow your lagging glandular system to function more appropriately, hence you may correct for proper hormone functioning.*
All groups experienced a significant improvement in strength. But the deer antler powder group showed the greatest increase in isokinetic knee extensor strength and endurance. However, it’s possible that this was due to exercise program rather than using the deer antler powder. None of the men in any group showed evidence of endocrine, red cell mass or VO2max changes. Therefore, researchers concluded that the “findings do not support an erythropoetic or aerobic ergogenic effect of deer antler velvet.” (12) On the other hand, this was a small study, with only 12-13 men in each group. This means that further testing is needed to confirm the validity of the results.
Euricoma Longfolia: A shrub found in Southeast Asia that is said by some native cultures to enhance male virility. It has been used unofficially to treat fever, high blood pressure, bone pain, and syphilis, and the limited clinical data about euricoma longfolia that exists suggests it may possibly increase testosterone levels. There is no data about the long-term effects of euricoma longfolia consumption.
In herbal combinations, deer velvet is used to improve athletic performance; to improve eyesight and hearing; to reduce stress; and to treat arthritis, osteoporosis, “tired blood” (anemia), women’s reproductive disorders including premenstrual syndrome (PMS), ED, and skin conditions. Herbal combinations including deer velvet are also used to increase blood circulation to the brain and to delay or reduce signs of aging such as tissue, bone, and muscle degeneration, and declining mental skills.