(including all essential amino acids): are the structural materials in
cells, and aid in growth and repair of tissues.
Collagen: a major
structural component of bones, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.
essential fatty acids including omega 3 and 6): build cell parts and
boost energy for cellular activities
and Growth Factors
Growth Factor (IGF-l) and Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) Growth hormones
and factors have an effect on growth and maintenance of bones and
promoting protein and fat metabolism, stimulating cartilage growth, and
thickening' and lengthening bones in children. They also have growth
promoting actions on the skin.
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs )
is the cement material of connective tissue and a component of synovial
fluid that cushions the joint.
sulfate: extremely potent anti-inflammatory agent.
sulfate: an amino sugar that occurs naturally in the body. Its glue-like
qualities help to hold tissues together. It is also a major component of
synovial fluid, which lubricates and serves as a shock absorber for the
hormone produced in the kidneys and released into the bloodstream in
response to low oxygen levels, thus helping to increase oxygen-carrying
capacity of the blood.
chemical messenger produced in ~ all tissues, causing a broad range of
positive effects on many of the body's defense systems.
effective structural materials in cell membranes. They help to
facilitate the passage of fat in and out of cells and blood.
involved in cell metabolism and growth
can be expected?
The list of
benefits demonstrated by research and noted through anecdotal evidence
on velvet antler is lengthy. Though investigation has only just begun in
North America, research findings and medical accounts from Asia and New
Zealand are already convincing. The reports suggest that velvet antler
stimulates the bodyís metabolism and protects and restores damaged organ
tissue by accelerating healing. Velvet antler is also thought to help
the body battle invaders that produce inflammation by increasing
phagocytic functions. Phagocytic cells, such as white blood cells,
surround, eat, and digest cell waste and microorganisms. There is also
some suggestion that blood pressure is lowered with velvet antler
consumption and enhanced thyroid function.
Velvet antler has
gonadotrophis functions, which means it enhances the hormone that causes
the testes and ovaries to do their work. Historical accounts from Korea
refer to velvet antler being used for infertility, miscarriage
prevention, and helping pregnant women have an easier delivery.
clinical trials, and anecdotal evidence certainly demonstrate the value
of velvet antler for health issues. Four key areas of investigation as
to the effects of velvet antler are: immune system, energy and stamina,
arthritis and inflammation, and the aging process.
Help for the
The human body has
its won internal healing and protection mechanism called the immune
system. It fights off invaders caused by disease, stress, poor
nutrition, meager living habits, and drugs. Some common signs of a
weakened immune system are fatigue, listessness, continuous infections,
and slow healing. 7
maintaining a strong immune system is essential to good health. Eating
sensibly, getting proper rest, and exercising are all very important
factors in staying healthy. Think of your immune system as your own
little internal army. Tiny soldiers are fighting off any invaders that
dare to enter their territory. The stronger the soldiers are in that
army, the better the chances are of stopping invaders before they can
cause any damage. This is why constantly nurturing and supporting the
immune system is so important in staying healthy.
Researchers in New
Zealand investigated velvet antlerís effect on human white blood cells
because of its long history of being taken for immune system support.
Studies demonstrated that aqueous extracts of velvet antler were highly
potent in causing an increase in human white blood cell count. 8 This,
of course, is a good thing as white blood cells are one of the immune
systemís first lines of defense when invaders come attacking.
Athletes, who are
in strength training programs, often seek effective nutritional
supplementation programs. One such supplement may be velvet antler
because of its excellent amino acid composition and mineral content.9
Fourteen different essential and nonessential amino acids are available
in velvet antler.
Velvet antler has
been shown to have performance enhancing effects in both humans and
animals based on the results of numerous studies. For example, research
was done in Russia in which anabolic agents known to improve performance
and muscular strength in athletes were analyzed. When studies using
velvet antler were done, it showed that kayakers, weightlifters,
bodybuilders and power lifters all increased both muscular and nerve
Symptoms of Arthritis and Other Inflammatory Disorders
arthritis is a disorder resulting in chronic inflammation of the joints,
tissue around the joints, and other organs in the body. The cause of
this painful disease is unknown, though there are several theories.
system not working properly.
makeup passed down from parents.
unexplained immune system response to a virus, bacteria, or
mycoplasma (microscopic organisms without rigid cell walls).
response to environmental factors.
Some of the
symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include joint pain, heat, and swelling,
particularly in the morning and after long periods of inactivity. As the
disease progresses, the cartilage, joints, ligaments and tendons begin
to breakdown, causing further loss of joint function. Further
advancement can affect oneís daily activities such as work, social
functioning, and eventually even person independence.
arthritis is an inflammatory type of disease, osteoarthritis is a
degenerative joint disease. Actual breakdown of the cartilage that
covers the ends of bones occurs. Ostearthritis also causes bones to
become brittle which, of course, increases the risk of the bones
cracking or breaking. It can be a hereditary disease and affects three
times as many women over the age of 60 as men.
Some common causes
of osteoarthritis are:
Many of the
nutrients found in velvet antler are important for arthritis sufferers.
Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, essential fatty acids, calcium,
phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium, growth hormones, and
growth factors are all vital for growth and maintenance of joints,
tissues and synovial fluids.
been met with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations to allow a
claim to be made about velvet antler products. The specific claim
substantiated by scientific evidence, states that velvet antler
"provides nutritional support for joint structure and function."
studies continue as people suffering with rheumatoid arthritis and
osteoarthritis claim relief from painful and swollen joints.
A number of
changes continually occur in the body as part of the aging process. The
skin, ligaments, and tendons begin to loose elasticity. Even larger
arteries lose elasticity, causing increased blood pressure, decreased
heart rate, and decreased blood flow through the heart. The body may
also become less able to adapt to environmental changes such as cold
weather. The immune system weakens with age, leaving the body less able
to heal and repair itself. Some people experience memory loss and
decreased ability to solve problems. As one grows older, a decrease in
the bodyís ability to digest food properly often leads to nutritional
deficiencies and diseases related to these deficiencies. Available
research suggests that components, such as growth hormones and growth
factors (and possibly some yet to be discovered components) available in
velvet antler, may be key in slowing the aging process.
One of the growth
hormones in velvet antler is IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor). A study
conducted at Oxford University in England lead researchers to believe
that the IGF-1 contained in velvet antler has medicinal value for
humans. IGF-1 was shown to promote muscular development, prevent
muscular atrophy (breakdown), and slow the deteriorating effects of
aging.11 Further research on the anti-aging effects of velvet antler
needs to be done.
4. Sunwoo, H.
(1998). Chemical characterization of growing antlers While rheumatoid
arthritis is an inflammatory type of disease, from wapiti. Unpublished
doctoral dissertation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB.
communication from E. Lung, Hong Kong,alumni University of Alberta.
Information based on translated material from Chinese Herbal Dictionary.
6. Archer, R.H., &
Palfreyman, P.J. (1983). Properties of New Zealand Deer Velvet Part 1:
Search of Literature. Palmerston North, N.Z.:Massey University.
7. Balch,l., &
Balch, E (1997). Prescription for nutritional healing (2nd Ed.). Garden
City Park, New York. Avery Publishing Group
8. Research links
velvet antler to multi-billion dollar dietary supplement. (1998, Fall).
North American Elk9(4), 121.
9. Fisher, B.,
Gilpin, M., & WIles, D. (1999, Winter). Elk velvet antler research
results. Canadian Elk and Deer Farmer,6(1)35.
(1999, Winter) Testosterone and velvet antler. Canadian Elk and Deer
11. McNeary, ES.
(1999). Velvet Antler Substantiates New Hope for arthritis sufferers.
12. Kamen, B., &
Kamen, E (1999). The remarkable healing power of velvet antler.