What Is IGF-1?

The "Growth" of IGF and IGF-1

IGF (insulin-like growth factor) is a naturally occurring substance in every cell in the body. Growth factors stimulate cellular growth and regulate a number of cellular processes. Deer antler velvet contains both IGF -1 and IGF 2.


For centuries children in Korea have been given velvet antler to promote their healthy growth and development, both physically and mentally. In similar capacity, velvet has also been used as a strengthening tonic for invalids, and for patients suffering from chronic wasting diseases such as tuberculosis, AIDS, and chronic fatigue syndrome.


The nutrient rich, fast growing cartilage of deer antler velvet contains many growth factors that are under close investigation at AgResearch Invermay. During preliminary ‘in vitro’ studies, velvet extracts were found to not only stimulate cell growth, but also demonstrated anti-tumour and anti-viral properties.


During their investigations, the Invermay team measured a natural hormone called “insulin-like growth factor-1” or “IGF-1”. High levels of this hormone were found in deer blood during the growth of the antlers, and “receptors to IGF-1” were found in the antler itself. Dr Suttie’s group discovered the IGF-1 and a related hormone IGF-2, promoted growth in antler cells growing in the laboratory and more recent discoveries have shown that these antler cells are capable of producing IGF-2 themselves.


When we are young the concentration of human growth hormone is relatively high which promotes good musculature and low body fat. However as the body ages, our growth hormone levels decrease along with IGF-1 and the muscles tend to atrophy. As a natural source of IGF-1, it is claimed that deer velvet can help to keep the body lean and the muscles well-developed.


IGF-1 is now promoted as IGF Spray by a number of companies. The problem with the IGF Spray is, it has been extracted by alcohol and the amounts of IGF contained in these products are minute at best!

We explain this is more depth on our "The Truth About IGF Deer Antler Spray" page.


Resource - Antler Velvet e-Book