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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Daily Dose

Scant evidence deer antler spray boosts muscles

Heading into the Super Bowl, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis dealt with allegations that he ordered deer antler spray — a banned supplement in the NFL that purportedly boosts testosterone — in order to heal his torn triceps muscle. Lewis has denied using the substance, called IGF-1 plus, which contains deer antler velvet, taken from adolescent deer before their antlers turn to bone. The active ingredient in the velvet extract, which is squirted into the mouth, is insulin-like growth factor 1 or IGF-1, that’s similar in structure to the hormone insulin and has muscle- and tissue-building effects in adults.

Rick Lentini, chief executive officer of Nutronics, which makes IGF-1 plus, told me in an interview that the supplement can enhance athletic performance, and improve a person’s overall health while it also “enhances sex drive, reduces belly fat without muscle loss, and increases strength.”

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