One of the many nutrients and benefits that can be derived from deer antler velvet is Insulin Growth Factor-1 or IGF-1. This is actually a hormone and its presence in the supplement is the main reason why people take these in. That said, what exactly is it capable of? Is it beneficial, does it have any side effects and overall, is it recommended? Well, let’s cut to the chase and find out.
First off, what is it?
Insulin Growth Factor-1, or IGF-1 as it is commonly called, is a hormone produced in the liver as a response to the Human Growth Hormone, or HGH. These are essential to the growth and development (in all aspects, including muscle, tissue and bone) in children and metabolism in adults. It is also known to have anti-aging effects. As mentioned in the previous article, its main sources are antler velvet supplements. Regardless if it is in the form of pills, tablets, sprays or even consumed raw, it has a high body absorption rate, reaching levels up to 98%.
Dangers and side effects
Taking recommended levels of IGF-1 supplements won’t bear any side effects, although getting the injection version will cause a few complications. These include swelling, jaw pain, headaches and a fluctuating heartbeat. That said, needles may not be the most hygienic way of introducing it to your body, unless if it is a hospital administering it. Lastly, taking in too much of what is recommended will cause your body to bloat – the main cause of potbellies in some bodybuilders.
Now that you know how to take in IGF-1 safely, you need to learn what it can do for your body. Though the people using it are mostly athletes and bodybuilders, it can help out children and senior citizens doing work as well. Here are some of what it can do:
- Increase and promote muscle mass. IGF-1 is a better alternative to steroids – it paired with HGH will stimulate protein anabolism. This means that recovery from muscle trauma (taken from exercise) will be a lot quicker. That said, this allows you to exercise more and spend less time in regenerating.
- Joint health and growth. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, IGF-1 supplements are capable of relieving the pain caused by osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint condition. Some deer antler supplements also contain glucosamine and chondroitin, nutrients that support the joints.
- Increased endurance. Given that it is capable of lessening muscle trauma recovery times, it is capable of increasing endurance.
Things to remember in taking these in
Though IGF-1 food supplements are not considered drugs and even if it has little or no side effects, you need to bear a couple of precautions in mind. These include:
- Before even thinking of taking in IGF-1, consult with your family doctor or physician. You may have some underlying conditions that could make IGF-1 potentially dangerous to you.
- Never take it in excessive amounts. The cliché and overused statement, “too much of something is bad enough”, applies to this. Over consumption of IGF-1 supplements will cause potbellies and other deformities.
- As mentioned previously, avoid IGF-1 injections. Antler velvet sprays and capsules are a safer, better and painless alternative.
- If you are an athlete or a body builder planning to join a competition, be sure to first check the governing sports body’s rules and regulations regarding this hormone. Some professional leagues like the NFL and US NCAA have banned its use.