Velvet antler was viewed as a yang tonic in Traditional Chinese medicine. This means that it was used to give vital energy and is seen as more of a restorer and maintainer of health and strength.
This is also the basis why velvet antler is recommended as a supplement to be taken after surgery. But in modern medicine, we have based it on the velvet antler’s components that would help recovery.
How does Velvet Antler Aid in Recovery After Surgery?
Velvet antler has these hormones: IGF-1, glycosaminoglycans and prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins are your body’s natural regulators of inflammation. Glycosaminoglycans will also help to lubricate and rebuild joints. It also has naturally occurring growth factors and co-factors that are incorporated in the body during the healing process to aid in restoration. IGF-1 aids in restoration. IGF-1 affects how the body repairs itself. First, the hormone aids in building up a matrix or base—essentially a building block of protein—that's needed for cells to grow. Then, the substance increases the number of new cells that accumulate on that base, which get busy healing the injury.
Studies that Support this Claim
Leon Popovitz, an orthopedic surgeon at New York Bone & Joint Specialists, told National Geographic that a recent study found IGF-1 supplements could be linked to improving cartilage damage in joints due to repetitive trauma.
Studies demonstrate that IGF-1 augments the repair of injured nerve and muscle.
Increasing muscles, strength, athletic performance and recovery.
IGF-1 has been shown to increase the transport of amino acids into muscle cells throughout the body, thus regenerating these tissues after exercise.
Researchers also examined its influence on the repair of damaged muscle tissue. “In this study, athletes who took dietary New Zealand deer antler velvet for two weeks showed significantly reduced elevation of creatine kinase levels in their bloodstream and recovered from muscle soreness 24 hours earlier than subjects on placebo,”.
Creatine kinase, a substance found in the bloodstream, was used as an indicator of muscle-tissue damage in the study.