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.
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First, the facts: Deer antler has been a popular element of Eastern medicine for centuries. And—like red meat, eggs, or milk—deer antler contains small amounts of insulin-like growth factor 1, or IGF-1, explains Oliver Catlin, president of the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG), which tests dietary supplements for illegal performance enhancers.
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).
While Lentini admits sales have picked up, he says he's been hurt by the perception in the recent baseball letter, which told players that deer antler velvet could be contaminated with methyltestosterone, a banned steroid. The connection is based on the fact that David Vobora tested positive for the steroid after using antler spray. He won a $5.4 million judgment against the company that made the spray.
The growing market has bred plenty of competition. A company called Now Foods is now making deer antler velvet lozenges. GNC just started selling deer antler velvet capsules called New Vigor from a company called Vitalast and Amazon.com has more than 30 products will deer antler velvet in it including the raw powder from New Zealand, where the most coveted deer velvet is harvested.
Reports claim deer antler helped Ray Lewis overcome his recent triceps tear, and Vijay Singh has admitted to using a spray supplement. University of Alabama football players also allegedly used deer antler sprays leading up to the 2013 BCS National Title Game. Whether or not those reports are true, one thing is certain: There’s not much proof that deer antler is a performance enhancer or a miraculous healer.
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)
I was first introduced to and started using IGF-1 Plus™ in July of 1999. I made it part of my daily regiment originally to increase my stamina and build my muscles while burning body fat at the same time (which I was informed this would help me accomplish). I am 35 years old and exercise for about an hour or so at a time, 3 to 4 times a week. It is now the end of February 2000 and I’m extremely impressed at the results! People have commented on my appearance and I have been reaching new heights in the gym that I though were only obtainable by using drugs like steroids (which I never considered taking due to the unwanted side effects). However IGF-1 has not only increased my strength and endurance, but has given me much more in ways that I had not anticipated! For instance, the person who shared this with me had no idea that I have arthritis. I would wake up in the morning and my joints would ache severely (especially my wrists and elbows) until eleven o’clock or noon. Now, although it took me a few weeks to start really noticing my improvements in the gym, it didn’t take but 3 -4 days for me to take notice of the fact that my morning arthritis pains were completely gone. The only time the pain has come back is when I ran out of the spray and couldn’t get a hold of any for a couple of weeks because I was out of town vacationing in Florida. Now I try to have at least a couple extra bottles on hand! Also, my hair stylist of 17 years had noticed that I had lost a significant amount of gray on my head and asked if I was coloring my hair. I’ll make sure I never run out of this amazing formula again!!!
I took red mountain deer velvet and it really messed my stomach up. I now have cramps and bloating all the time plus it feels like my stomach shrank…I can’t eat like I used to. It was a big mistake to take that stuff. Do you know of any way I can get my stomach back to normal??? Can you recommend someone who knows a lot about deer velvet?? I have been suffering terribly since I took that junk…it’s been about 2 years now!!!! My stomach has never been the same since I took that poison!!
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