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Legalities regarding use of deer antler velvet by athletes and bodybuilders prior to engaging in any competitive sport has long been a bone of contention, not only on the part of athletes, but in rulings and regulations of different sporting organizations.
Growth hormone – any type of growth hormone – has long been banned by not only the International Olympic Committee, but by domestic and international sporting associations around the globe. But it’s not deer antler velvet in and of itself that is banned, but one of its major components.
The component that has elicited the most concern in regard to legality is the insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) found in many deer antler velvet products. Not only that, but the milligram strength of IGF-1 in those products. So the question, “is deer antler spray legal?” can’t always be answered with a simple yes or no.
Deer antler velvet products without any IGF-1 or growth component might be accepted by a sports organization. Anything containing a growth factor, including IGF-1, is frowned upon in the sporting world because it is considered a performance enhancing drug.
In order to determine the legality of any top deer antler spray product (associated with IGF-1 or not), it is recommended that an athlete refer to their sporting organization, the World Anti-Doping Agency , or even the drug regulations for the country in which he or she wishes to compete in order to clarify legalities.
IGF-1 is a growth factor manufactured and secreted by the liver. It has a major influence on the growth, replication, rejuvenation, and repair of cellular structures not limited to muscle, bone, and connective tissues in the body. IGF-1 is triggered by the manufacturer and secretion of growth hormone (GH) from the pituitary gland, located in the brain. Find out more here.
IGF-1, due to its function, increases muscle growth. When given in injection form, which is relatively common among bodybuilders and some athletes, it is believed to accelerate this muscle growth, as well as enhance stamina and endurance.
It has also been linked to positive cardiovascular effects, such as the synthesis of red blood cells (erythropoiesis), resulting in enhanced blood flow. Blood carries oxygen to the muscles. This is beneficial in enhancing oxygenation, resulting in greater stamina and endurance.
IGF-1 and growth hormone activities may also reduce or at least inhibit apoptosis, or cellular death. It’s also been studied for its ability to enhance and accelerate repair and healing properties to not only cellular structures, but to torn muscle fibers, inflammation caused by overuse, and torn tendons and ligaments. Growth hormone has also been studied in its potential to improve wound healing in burn victims.
When an athlete asks the question, “is deer antler velvet legal,” it is also important to know why many organizations around the world discourage use of IGF-1. Is it dangerous? Can it have a negative effect on the body? If the body produces IGF-1 in the liver, how can exogenous injections of IGF-1 cause problems?
Levels of growth hormone and in turn, insulin-like growth factor-1, as well as other growth factors manufactured by the liver, must be carefully balanced in the body for optimal health and wellness.
Bodybuilders and athletes who use IGF injections for nonmedical reasons tend to inject more IGF-1 than would be recommended for medical treatments. This in itself can lead to a number of serious side effects and adverse reactions.
The best deer antler velvet products – when used properly and according to instructions – have very few side effects that have been associated with them, but there is always a potential, depending on age, weight, health status, and the presence of any medical conditions.
Is deer antler velvet legal? Yes, if you’re not an athlete or a bodybuilder preparing for competition. If you are, the question may be no, depending on geographic location and your sport. Before using, always double check to ensure safety and regulations regarding use of deer antler velvet or IGF-1 products in your sport of choice.
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