Deer antler extract is a growth hormone that is also referred to as insulin-like growth factor 1.These types of growth hormones are produced by the liver and brain naturally and are responsible for the growth of our bodies. If these growth hormones are not produced dwarfism is generally the result and if there is over-production then gigantism is the result.
These growth hormones are recommended by doctors for youngsters with stunted growth. However Spyros Mezitis who is an endocrinologist working in New York City at Lenox Hill Hospital agrees with the other doctors that this is not recommended for bodybuilders or athletes.
The reason for this is that athletes tend to overdose themselves for quick results and this often leads to adverse reactions. Mezitis is of the opinion that the tendons can become taut and break or the metabolism of sugars and fats in the body can get disrupted with excess IGF-1.
Research on the subject indicates that IGF-1 may heal tendon injuries and cartilage according to an orthopedic surgeon Leon Popovitz. He is also the founder of New York Bone & Joint. He maintains that studies conducted on IGF-1 supplements indicate improvement of cartilage damage due to repetitive trauma in the joints.
Deer antler spray contains IGF-1 and therefore the subject of many controversies. Insulin-like growth factor -1 is banned by WADA and many sports leagues such as MLB and NFL when taken for enhancing performance. However the restriction set on this deer antler extract was denied when it was revealed that the amount of IGF-1 found in this spray was minuscule.
Many professional athletes take this alternative steroid regardless of the controversies to boost their energy or improve their muscle strength.
Rick Lentini, a manufacturer of supplements for Nutronics Labs states that nearly 40% professional athletes use this product. According to a report in LA Times, several hundreds of professional players take the spray. Nearly 10 to 20% players that were interviewed by CBSS sport.com affirmed that they used this extract.
Scientists are doubtful about the merits of deer antler extract though manufacturers continue to sell this growth hormone. Research on deer antler velvet continues though it is still in the preliminary stage and the supplement continues to be sold as unregulated.
Popovitz states that these supplements are sold by the manufacturers before the adverse effects of the same can be researched completely. When IGF-1 is taken is works as an important source of protein that is necessary for growth of cells. The body starts repairing itself and new cells accumulate where the matrix or base is created and the injury is healed.
IGF-1 has proved effective for children who suffer with stunted growth. It works well to heal cartilage or injuries to tendons. It should not be taken to enhance performance without direct instructions from a doctor. Popovitz claims that people like Lewis may not be doing a wrong thing by taking this growth hormone to try and recover quickly. People have a right to be cautious especially professional athletes according to Popovitz. It may not be a good idea to take the supplement for excelling on a weekend.