Velvet antlers benefits have been known for more than 2000 years. Only the royal families had the right to use this product in earlier times. Velvet antler is considered the best natural medicine for restoring general physical force and stamina. In Asiatic countries, particularly in China and Korea, velvet antler (known as LuRong, Nokyong and Rokujo) is used in hospitals to alleviate anemia, stimulate the immunity system, treat problems of infertility and erectile dysfunction, regularize blood circulation, restore nervous function, treat arthritis, osteoporosis and treat slowness of growth in children.
It is important to clarify that oriental medicine is based on traditional Chinese medicine, itself founded on the prevention or restoration of human organ related disorders. Oriental medicine generally uses natural products in its treatments. As natural products contain mixtures of active products, the identification of specific effects in natural products is not an easy task.
The research on the healthful effects of velvet antler began in the 1930s. There exist more than 250 scientific articles, published throughout the world and describing the composition, the biochemical effects and the fabrication methods for velvet antler. Notice is given, the results are published in different languages and are occasionally contradictory. Certain therapeutic effects of velvet antler are proven, others are not, but there are many scientific research projects dealing with various aspects of the subject these past few years.
The mechanism responsible for the general improvement in overall physical condition after consuming velvet antler has not been officially shown. However, it has been shown that a velvet antler extract stimulates the synthesis of red blood cells in rabbits and in athletes. The Russian athletes™ capacity to workout after consuming velvet antler described an increase from 15kg/m to 103kg/m. Authors Yudin et Dubryakov (1974) observed that pentacrine was velvet antler™s primary active ingredient. Pantocrine stimulates both the synthesis of red blood cells and the blood™s circulation throughout the organism. The combination of these two effects increases one™s capacity to take in oxygen and the capacity to eliminate toxic substances from the human body. Pentacrine may be the principal ingredient responsible for this action. The combined effect of different compounds present in velvet antler is not excluded. It is still too complicated for science to prove the effects of a mixture on the human body, with consistently reliable results.
Aging is a natural process which cannot be avoided, but which can be slowed. The principal cause of aging is a disorder in the functioning of certain cells or organs. Velvet antler contains antioxidants and protective free anti-radicals, but above all it contains the natural growth hormone IGF. This hormone abounds in young human cells, but decreases noticeably with age. Together, these products contribute to the slowing of the aging process. Studies done in Japan and Korea have shown that consumption of a velvet antler extract decreases the damage caused by external factors, such as free radicals, which issue from chemical products (chloroform for example). These authors noticed that the synthesis of protein is increased in the group of animals which consumed velvet antler.
Scientific studies on the hypotensive effects of velvet antler have been undertaken by a number of teams in Japan and Russia. These researchers demonstrated that oral consumption or intravenous injection of an alcohol based extract of velvet antler considerably decreased arterial pressure (Fisher et al. 1998, Church 1999). It was also noticed that the hypotensive effect of velvet antler is a temporary effect. Most researchers agree that the hypotensive effect of velvet antler is caused by the choline component.
Proteoglycanes and pentacrine act on the human body™s defence system by stimulating the formation of immunoglobulines. The combined effect of the substances composing velvet antler can help to combat infections such as the cold or the flu. Antler velvet, which contains many important hormones such as the precursors of prostaglandine, reducing cramps and other premenstrual symptoms as well as the undesirable effects of andropause. Clinical trials have shown that only freeze dried velvet antler has a significant effect on the stimulation of immunoglobuline synthesis.
In growing velvet antler, the nerve grows more rapidly than all other organs studied. It can grow 1cm per day. This rapid growth involves the accumulation of an important number of specific active principles (substances) for nerve cells. Various authors have suggested that the abundance of these active products procures the anti-stress effect which is attributed to velvet antler. Animal tests show that the consumption of velvet antler considerably reduces the damage resulting from external shocks to the system. Once again, this effect is most pronounced in velvet antler treated by freeze drying.
In North America, there are approximately 50 million individuals suffering from arthritis, a progressive disease affecting cartilage. Arthritis results from the loss of proteoglucane and the subsequent deterioration of cartilage. Collagen and bone are both affected. Utilisation of an external source of glucosamine sulfate, collagen ou chondroitin sulfate can help to attenuate this disease. These elements are significantly present in velvet antler. The combination of active ingredients in velvet antler favors the absorption of these same elements, responsible for the reconstruction of the collagen and bone of the joints. Clinical trials done with velvet antler give positive results. Recently, trials led to the identification and characterisation of a peptide, present in velvet antler, which has an anti inflammatory effect, procuring significant results in the treatment of arthritis. Velvet antler is also rich in minerals, furnishing calcium and phosphate in an organic form, thus favoring the prevention of decalcification of the bones (osteoporosis).
In Korea, 10% of all velvet antler is used for children, since it contains growth hormones, calcium in organic form and compounds like choindroitin which speeds up bone calcification. The combination of these compounds ensures normal growth for children.
Velvet antler™s therapeutic effects have not been exhausted, those presented above are among the most obvious. Clinical studies on velvet antler are just beginning. Studies are ongoing in New Zealand, Korea, China, Russia and Alberta, Canada. More and more people will be using natural products in the future for disease prevention and radical treatment.
Velvet antler is destined particularly for those individuals wishing to keep their physical shape and condition, wishing to diminish the risks of premature aging, who suffer from arthritis or osteoporosis, for growing youth, for women experiencing menopause, men in andropause and for athletes. Velvet antler is a natural dietary supplement which begins to show optimal effects after 1 to 2 months of use.
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