There has been an increasing interest in deer antler velvet supplements such as AntlerX in recent years, as these supplements are thought to aid stunted growth, heal repetitive trauma injuries to cartilage, and enhance athletes’ performance. These supplements are still very new, and not much is known about how they work. Read on for more information regarding these supplements.
What Are Deer Antler Velvet Supplements?
Deer antler velvet contains growth hormone, which is a hormone produced naturally by the brain and liver. The hormone in the velvet is also known as insulin-like growth factor 1, or IGF-1.
In recent years, deer antler velvet has been sold in supplement form, as it is thought that these supplements could aid different health ailments. New Zealand is the world’s leading exporter of the velvet. With close to 3,000 farmers and 1.1 million deer, New Zealand ships millions of dollars’ worth of deer antler velvet to the USA and Asia.
How Do They Work?
Because it is a growth hormone, the velvet is most often given to individuals whose growth is stunted or to individuals with dwarfism. The velvet also affects how the human body repairs itself, as growth hormone is needed for new cells to grow. The supplements work by increasing the number of cells that accumulate, which is why it is thought that they can heal cartilage injuries.
The velvet is not recommended for athletes as a performance enhancer, even though it is sometimes used in this way. Athletes tend to take the velvet in a very high dosage, which could lead to adverse effects. For example, taking too much deer antler velvet could cause tendons to become too tight and it could even negatively affect how the body metabolizes lipids and sugars.
Are Deer Antler Velvet Supplements Available For Purchase?
As of March 2013, the FDA has yet to approve a deer antler velvet supplement. As this is still a relatively new product, very few studies have been done and little is known about how effective it is. While it looks promising that deer antler velvet could help stunted growth and heal certain injuries, it is not yet cleared by the FDA.
These supplements should never be taken as a performance-enhancing drug, especially because more tests need to be done before their effects are fully understood. If you are interested in trying these supplements to aid growth or healing, be sure to consult your doctor.