Hello workout fanatics! Ever heard of a supplement called Deer Antler Velvet? Chances are if you are a football fan, you may recall a scandal regarding its use with Quarterback Ray Lewis during the 2013 Superbowl. We want to showcase some of the benefits and some of not so great things about it in case you are interested in using it to build muscle mass and generate overall vitality.
WHAT IT IS
DAE has been used for over 2,000 years in China for numerous ailments and minor conditions. It’s considered to be one of three major tonic herbs. Meaning you can find it in most herbal concoctions. It’s best known through Chinese medicine for treating infertility, joint inflammation, and hypertension. In addition, traditional medicine has used DAE to improve mental alertness and memory, boost immune system function speed, speed up wound healing, slow aging, balance iron levels, improve libido in both sexes, treat acne and other skin conditions, treat PMS, and restore joint health (Comston, OSU).
It also contains calcium, zinc, magnesium, a full spectrum of amino acids, hyaluronic acid, and anti inflammatory prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are hormone-like compounds that help control blood pressure, smooth muscle activity, inflammation, glandular secretion, calcium movement, hormone regulation, and cell growth. Hyaluronic acid maintains elasticity of skin and connective tissue.
The biggest downside is that while Chinese medicine has been using it for thousands of years; there is not a ton of evidence in recent scientific studies to prove it’s effectiveness.
HOW IT WORKS
How it supposedly works for building muscle is that it acts as an IGF-1, or a insulin growth hormone, that aids in: recovery, builds tissue, and strengthens tissue (web.md). From what I gather, it seems as though there is not much IGF-1 to sustain building as much muscle mass as say a synthetic IGF, but it can help in building some extra mass. Other benefits of IGF-1 are that it supports immune function, normal growth, cardiovascular functions, sleep functions, and eyesight.
IS IT SUSTAINABLE?
Surprisingly, yes. No deer are killed or are hurt in the process of removing their antlers as they naturally regenerate on their own – or should be, anyway. It’s always a good idea to contact the manufacturer yourself and ask about their practices.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU TRY IT
Some words of advice if you decide to try it. Typically, deer antler governs works with the functions of the liver and kidney’s. It affects your hormones big time meaning that if you already testosterone or estrogen heavy, it may cause you to break out or for your mood to change. This is highly unusual but it is something to be aware of should you notice any symptoms.
ALSO, quality is a huge factor with how well deer antler velvet works. I have tried a few different brands myself and found that in tincture form, Ron Teeguarden is the best. It’s expensive but it’s worth it. He uses only deer tips and that is scientifically proven to be the most potent part of the antler. Why pay for parts of an antler that have little effect on your body?!
AND A FINAL WORD