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Elizabeth Quinn

Why Some Athletes Are Using Deer Antler Spray and IGF-1

By January 26, 2011

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If you've been watching Google Insights lately, you'll see that Deer Antler Spray and IGF-1 are "Breakout" searches these days. So Just what the heck is Deer Antler Spray and IGF-1?

IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor 1) is a naturally-occurring polypeptide protein hormone similar to insulin, that is primarily produced by the liver. IGF-1 plays an important role in stimulating growth during childhood and helps build and repair muscle tissue in adults.

During the 1990's researchers began studying the benefits of IGF-1 supplementation which reportedly included improvements in muscle hypertrophy, tissue repair and recovery times, among others. Soon, a variety of manufacturers were marketing products containing IGF-1 and labeled as nutrition supplements.

Deer antler spray is one such product that contains IGF-1. Deer antler spray started showing up in the news after reports surfaced that Ray Lewis, a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, was connected with the product.

Another spray that contains IGF-1, called "The Ultimate Spray," has also made headlines for being used by several NFL players as an alternative to steroids.

IGF-1 is considered  a banned performance enhancing drug in most organized and professional sports, including the National Football League.

What do you think about athletes using IGF-1 to gain performance benefits? Leave you comments below.

January 27, 2011 at 2:18 am
(1) Guillermo says:

I don’t understand why something that is all natural would be banned. It’s not like only some of the players have access to the supplement – they all do.

February 1, 2011 at 12:43 pm
(2) Moises irizarry, MD says:

I understand your concern, Guillermo. It seems fair. Remember the ‘good spirit of the sport’ is more that one of athletic performance through effort more than through ‘external stimulation’. It is a matter of being fair with everyone else. We believe these products are available to all. Some international countries don’t have these, and some people have allergic reactions to certain products. Let’s say, for example, a diuretic that would help you see lighter could make another athlete dehydrated and at risk of a syncope (or even a stroke). Allowing some athletes the use of these would be just as allowing an international boxer to put metal plate implants on his knuckles.

February 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm
(3) nick says:

what about the differences in nutrition, medical care even something as simple as the ability to sleep enough. these aren’t regulated so that all athletes can get the same amount or how about the level of coaching these aren’t the same. So all the before mentioned should be regulated or bannec also

February 2, 2011 at 8:01 pm
(4) Steven says:

Exactly Nick. What about diabetic players who probably can’t drink sports drinks? Thats an external stimulant players use to go longer than they would with just water. Banning things should be about safety and so far this seems safe from what i have read about it.

April 1, 2011 at 8:07 pm
(5) Mike D says:

As the two guys above me said, there are all sorts of differences in diet, etc, and this should really make no difference. Athletes are FINALLY promoting something healthy and positive for a change, and still they get in trouble. How about letting them set a good example for tomorrow’s athlete and allow them to use stuff that’s going to make their bodies healthier?

February 23, 2013 at 12:43 pm
(6) Bob says:

Don’t kid yourself…the are ALL using roids, gh etc in the off seasons. Testing is not what everyone thinks. They just don’t get caught!

April 9, 2013 at 9:17 am
(7) stefanie says:

I have used igf-1+ when I was going through chemo and know it is beneficial. Athletes bodies go through more stress than the average person, if I was an athlete I would want to use something natural to help with muscle sorness. I personally think if they were allowed to use igf-1+ that it would be possitive for others to know there is a better alternative to steroids. Steroids can stop your heart, igf-1+ helps your heart. Not sure why they would ban it. Sounds real stupid to me. An indivisual should be allowed to help there body in any possitive way that they can.

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