What’s the deal with Deer Antler Extract? Are people really using it in the NFL? It seems totally bogus and the PR around it is very interesting in the NFL. Reminds me of Creatine back in the 90’s. But Creatine has actually been studied and shows it actually is beneficial for the weight trainer.
At first glance, Deer Antler Extract could be interesting, as increased IGF-1 levels translate into increased size and strength.
What is IGF-1? And how does it work?
IGF-1 is a hormone similar in molecular structure to insulin and is known as a growth factor. It is a highly anabolic hormone produced primarily by the liver as an endocrine hormone. It is responsible for much of the anabolic activity of GH, including nitrogen retention and protein synthesis. There are studies claiming that IGF-1 can aid in hyperplasia, an increase in number of muscle cells, and growth of new muscle fibers. IGF-1 can induce skeletal muscle hypertrophy by activating the phosphatidlylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt pathway. We know IGF-1 and GH are inter-related, and can have various effects on tissue. GH and IGF-1 levels elevate after exercise and during sleep, and are a primary factor in recovery. IGF-1 is both anabolic and highly anti-catabolic, but is limited by the protein (amino acid) supply within the body. In rat experiments the amount of IGF-1 mRNA in the liver was positively associated with dietary casein and negatively associated with a protein free diet.
Now the big question…can IGF-1 be taken orally?
There are conflicting opinions, many believe IGF-1 to be similar to growth hormone, which cannot be ingested orally, as it gets destroyed in the stomach. This is why you can only get GH in injectable form and cannot be taken in a pill.
But we knew differently..didn’t we?
To increase milk production in cows, farmers will treat milk cows with rBGH. Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) results in a 10% increase in milk production. This increase in milk is a result of elevated hormone levels in the cows. The milk coming from cows treated with rBGH will have higher IGF-1 levels, which translate into increased IGF-1 levels for the milk drinker.
How else do you explain the muscle and strength gains associated with drinking whole milk.
A TTMJ reader linked an article on SuppVersity by Dr. Andro (I know what you are going to say, he is a world renowned doctor who is hiding his identity out of fear of FDA repercussions) that made everything quite clear.
Oral IGF-1 works better with a peptidase inhibitor like casein. And we already stated in the first paragraph, “In rat experiments the amount of IGF-1 mRNA in the liver was positively associated with dietary casein and negatively associated with a protein free diet.”
Would it make sense to take Deer Antler Extract to boost IGF-1?
We know IGF-1 can be taken orally. But it is really unclear how much Deer Antler Extract is absorbed with each serving. Or what the potency of each Deer Antler supplement is.
We know that oral IGF-1 uptake works better in with a peptidase inhibitor and a high protein diet (amino acids). Now add a hefty caloric surplus…
Wouldn’t it make more sense to consume something we already know to be high in IGF-1?
With 80% of its protein coming from casein? And enough calories from fat to create a caloric surplus?
Add to it a heavy dose of lactose for insulin production?
How about whole milk from cows treated with rBGH?
Yes. The milk already contains the peptidase inhibitor (casein) necessary for oral IGF-1 absorption and is high in protein to begin with.
Now for the negative effects.
IGF-1 increases the rate of aging.
Yes, signaling through the insulin/IGF-1 pathway is a significant contributor to aging in organisms ranging from round worms to fruit flies to humans. And we know IGF-1 triggers cellular growth. This can be positive for hypertrophy and skeletal muscle, but detrimental to longevity or tumor growth and proliferation.
*Thanks to Dr. Mat Lalonde for his assistance.
So this is why GOMAD works so well? Although, I’ve seen guys get great results drinking drug free, grass fed, local raw milk as well, so perhaps something about casein also triggers the production of our own IGF-1.
I thought it was clear but reading your comment maybe not. All milk has igf-1. The ones treated with rBGH just have higher levels.
Raw unprocessed milk is equally beneficial as it has the igf-1 component and live cultures that aid in digestion and gut health.
One just has a bit more octane but less positives for gut health.
Yeah, I get that. I know that colostrum contains IGF-1. But our bodies also produce IGF-1. What I’m asking is in addition to the IGF-1 contained in milk, is it possible that milk also causes an upregulation of our own production? Milk causes an insulin spike. Some foods cause testosterone spikes. So, aside from containing IGF-1, does milk also cause a spike in endogenous production of IGF-1?
I really like this article. I too down some raw whole milk, quite regularly and to tell you the truth can’t even find rBGH treated cow’s milk – most in the store says “their farmers don’t treat” blah blah.
A related question, perhaps: when is it best to drink our wonderful milk? I’ve read/heard casein is best before bed, but that you should avoid milk before bed b/c of insulin effects. But after reading this I might think that milk before bed, which was always a childhood favorite of mine, could actually be a good nighttime snack.
Was dairy free for about a year as an experiment in a dairy free version of paleo. Steady 170lbs for that year. Recently found a raw milk dealer here in St. Louis. 32oz of raw milk post wod (CFFB, AOS) for one month. Result: 10lbs gained on sub 10% body fat. As a reformed supplement junkie, I’ve played with it all. Milk is mean. Back to dairy free now because I’m not trippin so much on my size. I have something to pass on to certain clients, though.
Chad – that is a good question and I am not sure. I know IGF-1, GH & Insulin are inter-related, but I am not sure of the mechanism.
I will have to ask Mat, as this is getting beyond my pay grade.
I don’t know if I should feel flabbergast, but somehow I do… “a world renowned doctor who is hiding his identity out of fear of FDA repercussions” sounds like Batman, Spiderman or Dr.AndroMan 😉
but back to the topic, I dunno, if you (or anyone else) has read my dissertation on Colostrum and Milk…? Under the heading “Will the Growth Factors Be Absorbed, At All?” @ http://suppversity.blogspot.com/2011/08/ask-dr-andro-are-colostrum-and-milk.html, you will find what appears to be the “current state of the art” as far as IGF-increases by milk/milk-based supplements are concerned. Assuming that there were no methodological flaws, the 2nd Mero study (2002) shows pretty conclusively that the IGF-elevations they observed (in this, and probably also in their previous study) are endegenous and NOT FROM IGF passing through the gut into the system.
Doc – thanks for chiming in. First, you can’t expect to not get some joking with a handle like Dr Andro and no bio for credentials. It sounds like Doc Oct from Spiderman.
If you don’t mind me asking, do you have a doctorate or advanced degree?
Thanks for forwarding your write up on igf-1, I will read it when I get some free time.
You are right… the acronym is pretty hilarious 😉 It came about when I started writing for a German BB-Bulletin-Board (+Shop + Online Magazin) called “Team-Andro”… I was fed up with the tons of bro-science and the translated articles (from BB.com) on the site and suggested having a column where someone discusses BB-related topics from a scientific perspective (not that some of the translated articles did not do that, but there was simply nothing original on the webpage)… and I felt “Dr. Andro” would be a good title, as well as pseudonym … (for Germans it probably sounds even better than for English native speakers). Then, I suggested having more regular posts (similar to the SuppVersity), but the Team-Andro-guys were not really interested, so I started my own blog, where I simply added a “Prof” to the “Dr.Andro”, because a) I just started teaching physics here at the University at that time and b) – and that was the actual reason – because I did not want any discussions about “Hey, you cannot use the ‘Dr. Andro’ pseudonym, this is a Team-Andro brand, now… etc.” < obviously, that would have been bull**** but at that time I did not even know whether there would be more than just a couple of posts… now there are well over 500 and they are getting increasingly complex.
And while I do see that it may be somewhat disadvantageous to stay anonymous – it does also have its advantages… if I ever intended / could make a living on stuff like that I would love to put my real name behind every article, but at this point I do not want someone to see my name on the list of presenters at a physics conference, google my name and come up with articles about growth hormone, steroids, deer antler and a ton of ranting against the medical establishment 😉
ah… I hope you do not consider me ignorant, but I also do not know your name or credentials (cannot find any information on your blog 😉 … but honestly, I do not mind. I like to judge people by what they do – in the web and real life – and when it comes to the blogosphere, what you "do" is writing comments, blogposts, participating in discussions etc. If the stuff you put forward is solid or interesting, I can learn from it or debate it (this implies that it is solid because otherwise it would not be worth debating) I will respect you, no matter who you "are"; … and from dealing with "Dr.s" everyday, I know that those who insist on their title mostly do not even deserve it (in the sense that people normally expect a "Dr." to be a smartass and an expert in his field).
Prof Andro – not sure how they do websites in Germany but i have an ABOUT.
Not a clue what Broscience is. Is that where guys who refer to themselves and others as “bros” offer second hand advice gathered in between sets of the extension machine? I have never trained in a commercial gym or been involved with body building so i am not up on “bro” cultural.
Thanks for the background on Doc Andro.
[…] another argument for drinking a ton of whole milk. Increasing IGF-1 – talk to me […]
GH. IGF-1. Who cares. Why anyone would drink milk from cows treated with rBGH beats me. Everything is risk vs. benefit, and there simply isn’t enough of a trade off with the benefit of minimal strength and muscle gains to the increased risk of tumor growth and cellular death. Here’s an idea. Let’s quit looking for the quick gains through chemically modified poison. Let’s quit making excuses for our tapering off strength and muscle gains. Eat natural. Lift fundamental. Live like a warrior and keep fighting against mediocrity. If your plateauing, it’s not because you aren’t taking the right supplements. It’s because your enemy of self is beating you. So suck it up, eat some meat, and lift harder.
Well put. Caveman would totally eaten deer antler.
Deer antler extract works best when taken with sheep placenta.
Deer Antler + Sheep Placenta + Badger Milk = http://youtu.be/DWbU0x0NVh0
Thanks John for looking into it…
Finally, someone acknowledges the benefits of Badger Milk.
Whoa hey now, don’t be making fun of badger milk. I snort that before workouts!
*lol* stupid me… I looked for “about” as the last item in the nav and did not find it so I clicked on “Contact” and found no info that would go further than simply “Johnny” and an email address. Sorry for that Mr. Welbourn!
on a side note, in your case, knowing your “true identity” does contribute to my respect for you. I already liked the blogposts on “Johnny’s” site, when I did not know that “Johnny” was the same guy whose knowledge and sense of humor I’ve enjoyed on Robb Wolf’s podcast, several times, now, … I guess after all the Goethe was right, when he had his protagonist Faust say “Name ist Schall und Rauch”, i.e. “What’s in a name” in the English version.
And as we are already “translating” things, “Bro Science” is a term that is in fact not yet listed in the venerable Oxford English Dictionary (just checked ;-), but at least my humble understanding is that BroScience is the “Science” that is coined, when one “Bro”, i.e. one of those guys who have a huge chest and no legs, tells another “Bro” that by taking X amount of product A you will get big and buffed within 2 weeks. Now, the second “Bro” comes home from the gym and goes to BulletinBoard ABC, where he posts that taking X amount of product A will get you big and buffed within 2 weeks. The third, fourths and fifths Bro will read that and tell it their friends on the gym and on other boards, one of those friends of friends runs a blog and writes a post about it, etc. 3 weeks later you type the name of product A into google and get the “broscientific answer” that by taking X amount of product A you will get big and buffed within two weeks… basically that is who “Broscience” forms these days 😉
what is however very interesting about all that is that due to the placebo effect, which will exponentially increase with the number of “bros” supporting the effect of a product you (as a company) can make millions of bucks from products of which “real science” has shown that they do absolutely nothing in terms of muscle gain, fat loss, or whatever.
^ I hope one of the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary reads that and lists “Bro Science” as one of the next items to be listed *lol*
Humbly, I submit that Caveman stole this post’s thunder. Thank you both for the info.
Whole milk tastes better, too.