Deer have the rare ability to shed and regrow their bony antlers. Since the biggest racks correlate with the healthiest males, full antlers are considered as a sign of virility when it comes time to find a mate. They are also used as offensive and defensive weapons when male deer fight over pairing with a female.
Scientific investigations have shown that an adult male red deer can generate antlers weighing roughly 65 lbs. within three months. If deer remain healthy and well-fed, they can regenerate successively larger antlers each year. This regenerative ability has been explored by wellness practitioners, who have utilized deer antlers – specifically the antlers’ “velvet” coating – in ancient practices designed to restore and support overall health and vitality.**
Deer velvet is the soft, fuzzy substance that covers bone and cartilage while antlers grow. As far back as ancient China, this velvet has been sought after as a valued ingredient for use in traditional wellness rituals. Considered a “yang” tonic for masculine energy, it was believed to help support muscle strength, stamina, stress resistance, robust vitality and ideal sexual performance in men.** This traditional reputation, which has sustained over centuries, has made antler velvet a popular compound for athletes and those who regularly engage in strenuous physical activity.**
IGF deer antler velvet contains numerous natural compounds, including amino acids, proteins and peptides. Most notably, the velvet features a hormone called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which has been theorized to be the “active ingredient” behind its health-supporting status.**
In supplement form, IGF-1 has been studied for its ability to promote recovery in tendons and cartilage, a property that may hold potential in the field of athletics.** The hormone is also believed to potentially help to construct a connective tissue matrix that encourages new cells to grow.**
Animal studies suggest that the nutrient may also help to regulate immune response, thereby supporting natural defenses.** Deer antler has also been suggested in some early animal research to help maintain skeletal health by supporting the retention of bone mass.** Further investigations have suggested that the nutrient may hold promise in other areas of wellness, including cardiovascular health and skin healing.**
IGF Deer Antler Velvet Products
IGF deer antler velvet supplements are sourced from the antlers of deer before they calcify into bone. The substance is typically powdered before being presented in supplement form. Primary producers are New Zealand and China. The velvet is available in various delivery forms, such as liquids, capsules, tablets and lozenges. Liquid sprays are the prevalent variety. Deer antler may be offered as part of performance-oriented formulas that include other nutrients, including herbal extracts.
IGF Deer Antler Velvet Directions for Use
Seek advice from a health care provider prior to taking the velvet or starting any supplement regimen. There is no standard recommended amount. Deer antler RDA vary widely, with many products containing between 10 and 35 mg of the active ingredient.