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Legal deer antler velvet products have become increasingly popular around the world.
Marketers are promoting a number of benefits such as weight loss, increased lean muscle mass, reduced fat mass, increased testosterone levels, and enhanced libido.
You name it, it seems, according to marketing efforts anyway, that the extract is the new “youth in a bottle”.
What exactly is in the velvet that is so beneficial? Is deer antler velvet legal? If so, why the controversy in regard to its use by a number of sporting and athletic organizations?
Is Deer Antler Velvet Legal?
The topic can be a confusing.
Is deer antler velvet legal or not? First it was, then it wasn’t, and now it is again? Not too long ago, any type of growth hormone or growth hormone supplement, and that included deer antler velvet, was banned by a number of sporting organizations around the world.
While it is not per se illegal, it was banned for a while by sporting organizations, mainly due to one of its major components, insulin-like growth factor or IGF-1.
Why? Because IGF-1 is a type of growth hormone, and growth hormones or any use of performance-enhancing drugs are frowned upon in sporting environments because it is considered a form of cheating.
IGF-1 is still considered a banned substance by many sports associations and environments around the globe.
Deer antler velvet is a component that is often confused as being a covering, or skin-like substance that covers deer, elk, moose, or caribou antler as it grows.
Actually, the velvet defines the entire construction of a young antler before it becomes calcified and hardens.
During the growing stage, antlers are packed with a variety of nutrients, one of which is linked to IGF-1, a byproduct of growth hormone as produced by the pituitary gland.
Insulin-like growth factor-1 is defined as a peptide hormone.
It’s also considered a powerful mitogen that promotes synthesis and proliferation of cellular growth and can slow normal cellular death (apoptosis) in both healthy as well as cancerous cells.
A number of hormones produced by the body can be increased through a nutrient-rich diet that supports pituitary gland function. The pituitary gland, the master gland of the body, is responsible for the manufacture, maintenance, and secretions of numerous hormones.
The pituitary gland secretes growth hormone and the liver manufactures secretes IGF-1. The testes manufacture and secrete testosterone.
Does Deer Antler Spray Work?
Not all products are created equal.
Some provide more benefits than others, not only in relation to form, but ingredients.
For example, pills and capsules provide very little benefits of IGF-1 due to the fact that growth hormone is sensitive to digestive processes.
However, other ingredients that may be combined with IGF-1 such as Tribulus terrestris, green tea extract, and other herbal ingredients may still provide benefits for pituitary gland support.
When it comes to the best deer antler velvet products, sprays and drops are considered the most effective because they dissolve in the mouth through the mucosal lining without having to go through the gastrointestinal tract.
That is not to say that all pills or capsules are ineffective, because they’re not. It depends on the ingredients.
Bottom Line – Is Deer Antler Velvet Legal or Not?
You don’t need a prescription to buy any type of deer antler product. The extract is available in a number of forms – from powders, to sprays, to drops, pills, and capsules. However, not all products on the market are effective.
Look at milligram strength, purity, and quality of any product to determine if you’ll gain benefits from it. IGF-1 found in spray products are more effective than pills because it’s absorbed by the mucosal lining of the mouth.
Still, milligram strength and frequency of dosage also comes into play.
This is not to suggest that you take more than recommended by the label of any product.
While few side effects have been noted with use of the top deer antler spray products, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
So, while numerous sporting organizations, law enforcement agencies, criminal laws, not only in the US, but other countries around the world, may not consider deer antler velvet in any form illegal, the product may still be banned in the sports world.
Questions regarding their legality of use should be addressed to specific organizations such as the World Anti-Doping Agency, the NFL, MLB, NCAA, and so forth, and even the PGA.
The World Olympic Committee as well as a number of bodybuilding organizations, including US, World, Nationals, and World Cup organizations will have their own rules and regulations regarding use of growth hormones, anabolic steroids, and even nutritional supplements, depending on ingredients.
Before you take it as an athlete, make sure to ask – is deer antler velvet legal in your competitive field or not?