deer antler velvet extract spray after tearing his triceps last October. This deer antler extract contains IGF-1, which is a recent addition to the NFL's list of banned substances.
One of the most common sources for IGF-1 is the antler velvet of juvenile male New Zealand red deer. While this may seem strange to westerners, Eastern cultures have been using antler horn and velvet in a myriad of holistic healing and cultural rituals for thousands of years.
IGF-1 is an insulin like growth hormone precurser, which means that after the body metabolizes the IGF-1, it begins to produce higher levels of human growth hormone (HGH). IGF-1 is currently banned by the NFL, Major League Baseball, the PGA and The Olympic Committee but remains legal to purchase over the counter and ingest, unlike steroids or HGH, which require a physician's prescription.
Multiple independent double blind studies have shown that IGF-1 is very effective at stimulating the increased HGH (and testosterone)
Deer antler extract received a significant amount of publicity when Hue Jackson (then coach of the Oakland Raiders) was instructed by the NFL to end his relationship as a spokesman with a supplement company who offered a line of deer antler extract pills and sprays, and before that when multiple Major League Baseball players originally thought to have failed HGH tests instead showed that they had naturally elevated levels of HGH from IGF-1 supplementation. This "hole" in the testing process led Major League Baseball to ban IGF-1.
When we reached out to deer antler supplement companies, the owner of AntlerX™ was kind enough to respond. We asked him about the long term viability of using IGF-1 precursors for athletic advantages, he replied:
"It's currently legal, it works, and I could barely keep it in stock before this story broke. If you want to experience the mind blowing power of AntlerX™, delay at your own peril"
While it seems like the latest in the long line of overhyped snake oil pills, deer antler spray supplements have stood up to both the test of time and modern scientific exploration. We don't know if it's ethical for pro athletes to use them but we do know that Ray Lewis may have just put the final stamp on his career with his alleged choice to do so.
Lewis retiring after Sunday's Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers.