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Deer antler velvet extract is a type of deer velvet that has been powdered and developed into a liquid form such as are spray to be used sublingually, or in drops that can be added to beverages, food, or applied directly under the tongue.
Depending on manufacturer, it contains ingredients such as the deer antler velvet components. Those components should contain its major ingredient known as IGF-1 or insulin-like growth factor-1. This component is believed to be one of the most important elements found in deer antler velvet that encourages the growth of deer antlers and racks on a yearly basis.
Insulin-like growth factor is given the name because of its molecular structure, similar to that of insulin. Insulin is a major form of transportation of energy from the pancreas to muscle cells.
IGF-1 is a vital for cellular growth as well as cellular division and replication, repair, and rejuvenation. It promotes differentiation and multiplication of all types of cells in the body that include bone, muscle, and nerve.
Many of the herbal elements found in these products are known as testosterone boosters or as libido enhancers. Other ingredients may be designed to elevate the mood or enhance energy, such as ADP (adenosine diphosphate).
The extract is used for individuals for a variety of reasons. Efficacy of the extract depends on age, health status, ingredients, milligram strength of those ingredients, as well as dosage recommendations. Among the promoted benefits of deer antler velvet extract:
A number of bodybuilding websites promote the use of deer antler velvet extract or other forms of deer velvet for accelerated muscle growth and physical performance in regard to endurance and stamina.
However, any athlete should be aware that IGF-1, a major component in deer velvet products, is banned by most sports organizations around the world.
The majority of bodybuilding websites promoting use of IGF-1 rely less on the scientific research involving deer antler velvet than the fact that it’s been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine as a form of treatment for joint inflammation, hypertension, infertility, injury recovery, libido, memory and mental alertness, as well as for joint health.
Dosage recommendations for deer antler velvet extract depend on the manufacturer and the milligram strength of its ingredients. To date, no generalized recommendation in regard to dosage has been determined, so individuals should follow label instructions.
Resist the urge to take more than recommended, as some of the components in deer antler velvet, including the growth factors, may interfere with or affect the body’s own production of growth hormone and IGF-1.
In most cases, the body is perfectly capable of producing adequate amounts of growth hormone (in the pituitary gland) as well as IGF-1 (in the liver). Higher than recommended levels of IGF-1 in the bloodstream can contribute to the potential for side effects.
It should be noted that very few studies involving use of deer antler have been performed on humans and only a small amount of studies have been performed on small animals (rats and mice).
While deer antler velvet extract side effects are few, combining the product with other drugs or over-the-counter products can contribute to an increased risk of side effects and adverse reactions.
Lack of research into the potential side effects or adverse reactions have been conducted to determine its long-term safety. It is recommended that supplement users cycle deer antler velvet extractf to reduce the potential of adverse reactions. For example, five days on, two days off. Avoid use of any of these products for more than a couple of months just to be on the safe side.
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