Text Box: Elk Velvet Antler, Natures Perfect Food
By Cindy Ewashkiw, dietary technologist and Marion Allen, PhD, RN

For the past 2000 years, Elk Velvet Antler has been used in Asia. Only recently have people in the West begun to discover the benefits of this unique product.

Elk Velvet Antler comes from the semi hard inner core of the elk antler. As a food concentrate, it is largely produced in capsule form for the ease of distribution and consumption. Each capsule contains nutrients which our bodies require on a daily basis. These included: protein, amino acids, essential amino acids, nitrogen, lipids, fatty acids, essential fatty acids, collagen, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, cobalt, zinc, sulfur, sodium and selenium. Let us take a look at each component and their function in the human body.

Proteins serve as the structural material in cells and aid in the growth and repair of tissues. The building blocks of protein are amino acids. There are two types of amino acids in our bodies, essential amino acids and non essential amino acids. Essential amino acids must be supplied to our body through proper nutrition and non essential amino acids are made within our bodies with the help of proper nutrition. Elk Velvet Antler contains about 25 different amino acids, including all eight of the essential ones. These eight must be present in the body at the same time if growth and repair of tissues is to occur. Our bodies also need nitrogen to help build body tissue.

Lipids are needed in our body to build cell parts and supply energy for cellular activities. Fatty acids (a kind of lipid) are required by the body to help supply energy for cellular processes. There are, like amino acids, essential fatty acids that our bodies require daily. All the required fatty acids, including the essential fatty acids, are found in Elk Velvet Antler.

Collagen is a major structural protein of the body. It is found in our bones, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.

Minerals are absolutely necessary to keep us healthy and Elk Velvet Antler has many of those we need on a daily basis. Manganese is needed for the development of bones and other connective tissue, as well as for normal functioning of the nervous system. Calcium not only provides the structure of bones and teeth, it is also essential for nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and blood clotting. Phosphorus, like calcium, provides structure of bones and teeth and is a component of nearly all metabolic reaction. Potassium is another mineral essential for health functioning of the body. It is important for the proper function of the body, especially the nerves and muscles. Magnesium is needed in some metabolic reactions and in the storing and releasing of energy within the cells of our body.

All people, though women especially, are concerned about iron intake as iron is essential for blood cells to be able to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. Copper is found in all body tissues and is also necessary for development of our red blood cells, bones and nerves.

Other components of Elk Antler are cobalt and zinc. Cobalt is needed for the creation of enzymes and red blood cells. Zinc is part of the enzymes involved in digestion and respiration, and is necessary for normal wound healing and maintaining and health of the skin.

Sulfur is a component of various amino acids and insulin. Lack of sulfur can lead to skin problems and the poor development of hair and nail. Sodium, not to be confused with the word "salt", helps to regulate water balance in the body and is needed for conduction of nerve impulses and contraction of muscle fibers. Selenium is an important guardian of our blood cells, heart, liver, and lungs. It also stimulates increased antibody response to infection.

Elk Velvet contains several other important and interesting components such as glycosaminoglycans (GAGS) and proteoglycans. These are combinations of proteins and sugars that aid in the growth and proper functioning of the body.

There has been much research done on Elk Velvet Antler in many parts of the world and there is still much to be done. Studies, such as those done at the University of Alberta have helped us to realize that Elk Velvet Antler is an almost perfect food. The studies are being done to help establish how Elk Velvet Antler promotes and maintains our health.

Although each person must decide whether taking Elk Velvet Antler is appropriate for him or her, Dr. Yoon sums it up nicely when he states, "The best you can do in the West is to try velvet for a time and see if you benefit from it. It won't cause you any harm." ..........So, HOW IS YOUR HEALTH!!!! 
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