What Makes Velvet Antler Extract So Powerful?

Photo by  M L  on  Unsplash

Photo by M L on Unsplash

Velvet antler extract is one of the ingredients found in Lucid. It’s been used for millenia in Traditional Chinese Medicine for its potent effects on longevity, endurance, stamina, sexual health, stress management,  and overall health and wellbeing. If you're totally new to velvet antler extract, we suggest starting with this blog post that we wrote about it. That post is dedicated to what velvet antler extract is, how our velvet antler extract is humanely harvested, and how we preserve all of the amazing biological components so that you get a powerful adaptogenic tonic with each Totem supplement purchase. 

Our velvet antler extract is harvested from free range elk when their antlers are completely made of cartilage while in their fastest growing state. During this time the antlers are basically giant, quickly growing, newly forming organs on top of the elks' head --  when the antlers are in this state they are growing up to an inch a day! Eventually the antler matures and ossifies, turns to bone. Once the antler has turned to bone it's done growing and will eventually fall off the animal. When the antler has ossified, there is little nutritional value.   Antlers are the only mammalian organ that regenerate each year, and the elk will begin this process again the following year. 

We harvest our velvet antler extract when the antler is made of cartilage and covered in velvet. As this new organ is growing, the elk's body must provide these antler structures with blood, oxygen, growth factors, proteins, fats, collagen, and so much more. It's not unlike a mother's placenta providing her baby with all of the basics a baby needs to grow and thrive. These biologically active tissues in the cartilage and the velvet fuel the antlers' growth, and are what make velvet antler extract a powerful ingredient for wellness, longevity, and soothing inflammation. 

Velvet antler extract's components are mostly precursors, it's made up of the raw materials that your body uses to process into other important materials and substances that keep you in tip top shape. Your body's innate desire for wellness can use these raw materials to ensure that all systems are running optimally. When you consume velvet antler extract in our products, these components, which are the raw ingredients and building blocks for your body's optimal mental, physical, and emotional function, go to work where they're needed in your body. Where they're most needed in your body will be different from where they're most needed in someone else's body, and these needs within each body change over time, too. This is why people report a wide variety of benefits when using velvet antler extract and our products, and why different people consume different amounts of the same product to see its effects. 

With all of that intro out of the way, we wanted to detail all of the important, biologically active, and potent individual components that researchers have found to be present in velvet antler extract, and why these components are part of a holistic wellness strategy that keeps you vibrant and vital for years to come. 

Factors Found in Velvet Antler Extract

Amino Acids: 
Pretty basic right? You know what these are? They are the building blocks of protein, which also makes them the building blocks of your muscle. Velvet antler extract has over 40 essential and non-essential amino acids within it. Amino acids are critical to healthy emotional, physical, and mental function, and are precursors to so many bodily processes. An important bodily function that relies on amino acids to work correctly? Your circadian rhythm

Linolenic Acid: Linolenic acid is an essential fatty acid. It's of the omega-3 variety. Linolenic acid is really helpful when it comes to regulating bodily inflammation. When we're talking about nutrients, anything that is considered "essential" is something that your body doesn't make itself, so it has to get it from consuming foods that have it. 

Phospholipids: More good fats! Your cells thrive when they have high-quality fats to work with. Phospholipids, fats that have some phosphate tagging along, are a major component of your cell membranes. One particularly important phospholipid: choline. Choline is an essential nutrient that helps with energy and brain function. The average person in America does not meet the recommended daily dose of choline. 

Minerals: If you think about this one for a minute, it makes perfect sense right? The elk are building big, bony structures on top of their heads. Big bony structures need things like magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, iron, and phosphorus. 

Proteoglycans: These are a mix of proteins and sugars that are found in bone and cartilage. Proteogylcans are a building block of joints and their cartilage. They also help retain elasticity in joints and skin. 

Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs): GAGs are the building blocks of proteoglycans. They keep your joints in good shape, your skin firm, and serve your body in so many ways that scientists are still learning all about them. Dr. Catherine Shanahan writes extensively about glycosaminoglycans in her book Deep Nutrition (which we HIGHLY recommend). Her main concern is that unless your chugging bone broth by the gallon (you're not?) or consistency eating quality meat off the bone, you're likely not getting enough GAGs in your diet, which will make you look and feel old. 

Chondroitin sulfate: This is an important type of glycosaminoglycan that is present in large quantities in proteoglycans. It builds your joints - think of it like the backbone to your backbone. Chondoitin sulfate is extra neat because it can help rebuild degenerating cartilage. 

Keratan Sulfate: This is another glycosaminoglycan that also helps with your joints, skin, and cartilage, but also plays an important role in eye health. 

Dermatan: One more GAG worth calling out explicitly because of it's important role in keeping your skin healthy. Derma = skin. This GAG is also found in blood vessels, tendons, heart valves, and your lungs. 

Hyaluronic Acid: You've probably heard of hyaluronic acid when it comes to skin care. A lot of products include it in their topical formulations for anti-aging and anti-wrinkle regimens because of its critical role in supporting the structures of collagen. Collagen keeps your skin looking firm. 

Growth Factors: There are a lot of growth factors found in velvet antler extract, but the one that we're most interested in is called IGF-1. IGF-1 is super, super important to bone health, muscle building, and keeps lean mass (muscles) from breaking down. IGF-1 is also anti-inflammatory, supercharges your immune system, and helps keep you alert and focused during the day.  IGF-1 is released naturally by your body while you sleep or when you do heavy compound exercises (like squats or deadlifts). As we age our levels of IGF-1 dramatically decrease, leaving us prone to injury, fat gain, and bone density issues (especially in women).  

Nucleotides: These are necessary to the creation of DNA and RNA. 

Prostaglandins: Chronic inflammation spells disaster for your health. Prostaglandins are naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agents. They have been found in most animal (and human) tissue. They also act as vasodilators which improve blood flow throughout the body. 

Polyamines: Specifically, spermine and putrescine. "Their levels decline continuously with age and polyamine (spermidine or high-polyamine diet) supplementation increases life span in model organisms."  Scientists are still trying to fully understand their function, but they are essential to the creation of RNA and DNA. Some studies show that they play an active role in regulating cell death. 

Gangliosides: These have been shown to play an important role in both immunology and brain function. 

Have a question about velvet antler extract or any of our our products? Send our support team an email: support@totemnutrition.com