How deer antler spray works as a performance enhancing drug

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ARVADA, Colo. -- In Steve’s Meat Market you can see antlered animals from all over the world, including the New Zealand Red Stag, whose antler velvet is where the IGF-1 spray comes from.

Deer antler spray is in the news because of a report by Sports Illustrated that said Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis used the banned substance. He denies the allegations in the story.

The Chinese have been using this animal supplement for more than a thousand years, with great results, to repair and stimulate muscle growth,” said Steve Hein.

“This Red Stag produces velvet on its antlers, just like North American deer and elk, but there is a high concentration of insulin-like growth hormone produced which signals muscle cells to multiply and grow.”

Growth which athletes now find helps repair torn muscles and speeds recovery from injuries such as the torn tricep suffered by Baltimore Ravens linebacker, Ray Lewis.

A Sports Illustrated article indicates Lewis called Sports With Alternatives to Steroids (SWATS) asking to be sent deer-antler spray and pills, along with other products made by the company. The spray and pills contain the hormone IGF-1 which is said to help muscles recover faster.

How It Works
The hormone is an insulin-like growth factor that naturally is produced in and circulates thru the blood. The hormone increases metabolism of carbohydrates bringing more sugars to the cells helping regrow muscles. Experts say the substance which is generated from velvet produced on the antlers of the Red Stag deer is a human growth hormone. And while it is banned by professional sports and the NCAA, it is not currently measured in NFL drug tests.

While the velvet based hormone is mainly given with injections… pills and spray are turning up in nutrition stores and shops.

Just like blood doping in bike racing… hormone loading in football is helping athletes gain an advantage on the field of play, every day.

Lewis adamantly denied ever using any performance enhancing substances right after the story was reported earlier this week.

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