Deer Antler Velvet and How It Works
When we say the words “deer antler velvet” we think of something soft and fuzzy. While this is partially true, deer antler velvet is getting more attention for what it claims to do instead of how it feels. Male deer produce antler velvet during a stage of antler growth and some professionals believe that that this substance is actually a powerful performance enhancer – it is said that deer antler velvet helps to heal tendon and cartilage injuries more quickly while also boosting strength and endurance in athletes.
What is Deer Antler Velvet?
Deer antler velvet is a growth hormone also referred to as “insulin-like growth factor 1” or IGF-1. Growth hormones like these are naturally produced in the body and help to regulate how we grow. When a body lacks these hormones, dwarfism can occur and, conversely, when too much of this hormone is present, it can cause acromegaly a type of gigantism. While doctors will sometimes give growth hormones to children with stunted growth, they are not recommended for adults.
What Does Deer Antler Velvet Do?
While IGF-1 has not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, preliminary research has found that the hormone may be effective in healing some tendon and cartilage injuries. Even though this may be true, early research has just begun and the effects and benefits of deer antler velvet are still unproven. The hormone has become the center of many discussions in the professional sports world, but Deer Antler Velvet is also currently banned by the National Football League.
How Does Deer Antler Velvet Work?
IGF-1 does not directly affect the health of tendon or cartilage injuries but instead affects how the human body heals itself. First, the hormone aids in the building of building blocks of protein that acts as a base or matrix that is necessary for cells to grow. Secondly, the hormone helps to increase the number of new cells being produced on the established base which then help to heal the injury. The theory is, the more new cells that are created to help naturally heal the injury, the shorter amount of healing time there will be.
Is Deer Antler Velvet Effective?
As mentioned earlier, the research into deer antler velvet and its effects on the body are still very new and the hormone has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, IGF-1 does show some promise for aiding children who are suffering from stunted growth. Additionally, the hormone may be beneficial for reducing the healing time of tendon and cartilage injuries but research still needs to be completed to understand how the hormone works and what effects it has.
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