While life expectancy has increased in the last 100 years, sadly the quality of life for many people in their twilight years has actually declined. Many seniors have no alternative but to simply accept that their body parts have long worn out, and their medications are the only thing standing between them and a life of unbearable pain.
As we get older, many of us wonder, is this the life we have to look forward to? The fact of the matter is, we all get older; it’s just a simple fact of life. It can certainly be pretty frustrating as you notice yourself slowing down with age or not feeling like “you did back in the day” anymore. However, it is a proven and well known fact that there are a number things that all of us can do to not only look, but, also feel better in the latter years.
Of course, exercise and dietary changes can only take us so far these days. Some of the effects that many of us notice more and more as we age are:
For those of us in our fifties and sixties, this is a scary thought! In truth, not a single person would say that they’re totally okay with any of this! I certainly wasn’t, and it was the prospect of these rapidly approaching ‘senior’ years that led me a few years ago on a quest to find the best supplements to support optimal-aging, and ultimately to a remarkable ‘adaptogen’: Deer Antler Velvet (DAV).
Only a handful of people in Western countries have even heard of Deer Antler Velvet, but while it might sound to many in the west like a weird or obscure “miracle cure”, the use of Deer Antler Velvet has been widespread in China, South Korea, and other parts of the East for over 2,000 years. In fact, Deer Antler Velvet is considered the second most important ‘herb’ in Tradition Chinese Medicine (TCM) after Ginseng, for optimal-aging, strengthening the immune system, developing healthy bodies and as a general tonic and preventative medicine.
The number of conditions that DAV has traditionally been used for in TCM is too vast to list in this article, but currently listed uses in Eastern medicine include:
From the perspective of modern Western medicine, which is based on the concept of using a specific drug to treat a specific symptom, it is very easy to dismiss these claims as far-fetched and overly wide-ranging. Science has only begun to scratch the surface of the complex synergies involved, but New Zealand scientists James Suttie, Ph.D. and Stephen Harris, Ph.D. shed some light on how such wide-ranging benefits might be achieved in their study  ‘Clinical Properties of Deer Velvet’:
“… curing exhaustion,strengthening resistance to disease and improving strength could all be explained by active substances in the velvet associated with rapid growth and its control. Factors in the antler responsible for rapid nerve and blood vessel development might explain the cardiovascular and cold resistance functions. Finally the anti-ageing effects could be due to substances involved in ensuring that the rapid processing of cell division occurs in an orderly pattern, given that a major effect of ageing is a break-down in cellular metabolism leading to poor tissue maintenance and ‘mistakes’ in cell division. Thus it may be possible to group velvet antler effects into restoration/ regeneration, neurovascular and anti-ageing functions.”
We know that the active ingredients in deer antler velvet are mostly precursors that are required by the body to process substances that maintain it’s health and wellbeing. Along with the powerful growth-factors IGF-1 and IGF-2, scientists have so far identified 400 active ingredients including 13 growth factors, collagen type 2, glucosamine, chondroitin Sulphate, 21 amino acids, 20 glycosaminoglycans, retinoic acid (the active form of Vitamin A that regulates many cell activities), and many minerals and trace elements.
The most commonly ‘touted’ compound of this chemical composition is Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1 for short), but I believe this fixation with a single nutrient overlooks the bigger picture and grossly underestimates the importance of the many other bio- active compounds present. While the growth factors present undoubtedly are a vitally important component of deer velvet, the broad range of benefits are likely due more to the complex way that all of the different compounds work together in synergy, rather than being primarily due to any single nutrient.
The key ingredients in velvet antler associated with the support for joints are collagen Type II, and chondroitin sulfate, and along with the other compounds present, these have been shown to reduce the pain and inflammation of Osteoarthritis by addressing the underlying causes of the condition - something prescription drugs and ‘off-the-shelf’ pharmacy supplements can’t do.
These days, there is increasing interest in the Western world in natural alternatives to medicinal drugs with their often dangerous side-effects, and the modern day use in the the West of this remarkable supplement is increasingly being validated for it’s use in sports, it’s anti-aging effects, promoting physical balance, treating diseases such as: IGFD (otherwise known as the Laron Syndrome), and even an increase in libido and sexual performance.
Does deer antler velvet work? The answer is yes. A growing body of research in the West as well as in Korea, China, and Russia, on the chemistry, pharmacology, and use of velvet antler in general validates it’s long history of use in Eastern medicine for young and old alike.
However, if you want to try DAV, it’s important to be aware that there are many inferior products on the market made with low quality velvet antler or containing such a low dose as to be totally inefficacious. It’s very important to buy a high quality DAV supplement such as VelPure Ultra, which is a premium quality, standardised 100% pure New Zealand Red Deer Antler Velvet Extract that is made in strict accordance with the rigorous NZFSA (New Zealand Food Standards Authority) requirements. It’s also 100% natural, ethical and sustainable, GMO, hormone, gluten and drug free.
As for the deer - worry not, the harvesting of VelPure Deer Antler Velvet is controlled by the strictest animal welfare code of conduct anywhere in the world. In fact, the stags that are farmed for VelPure live a long and happy life compared to many of their wild cousins, and because they are farmed outdoors in extensive pastoral systems, with few other interventions apart from routine health procedures, they have a life of good quality.
Still curious or have more questions? Jump right over to VelPure's FAQ page where there is a plethora of incredibly detailed and useful information including links to scientific studies to help you decide whether Deer Antler Velvet is the ideal supplement to help keep your body parts from quitting before you do!
1. James M Suttie, Ph.D. and Stephen Harris, Ph.D. ‘Clinical Properties of Deer Velvet’
2. Yang HO, et al., Purification and structural determination of hematopoietic stem cell-stimulating monoacetyldiglycerides from Cervus nippon (deer antler), Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 2004; 52(7): 874-878.
3. Yang HO, et al., Stimulatory effects of monoacetyldiglycerides on hematopoiesis, Biology and Pharmacology Bulletin 2004; 27(7): 1121-1125.
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