You may have noticed a number of health supplements containing deer antler velvet. These products purportedly help to raise the production of IGF-1, which is a precursor to HGH (Human Growth Hormone).
There is a fair amount of controversy concerning these supplements, ranging from animal cruelty accusations to whether or not they are even effective in the first place. Despite these concerns, sales for deer velvet products have been on the increase over the last several years.
The velvet is mainly harvested in New Zealand and is made from deer antlers in a growing stage where they are covered in velvet-like hair. It was initially listed by the World Anti-Doping Agency as a banned substance, but has recently been dropped from the list.
Since the benefits of taking these supplements is inconclusive, more testing is needed.
As deer velvet continues to be studied, more benefits will likely emerge. Here’s a video giving a brief overview of how it’s supposed to work: