constantly pushing the envelope to come up with methods to improve our results
clinically. We think that our new cytokine formula may be such a game changer.
Our new formula makes use of Velvet Deer Antler. But the formula is much
different from those formulas out there both in strength and the formula
itself. It is a proprietary mix.
illustration represents the growing portion of the antler. Deer Antler Velvet
has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years but has recently
gained popularity in Western medicine. Deer antler can enhance immune system
function, improving athletic performance, increasing muscle recovery, enhance
sexual function, improve disease recovery, enhance cardiovascular function, and
a host of other conditions.
Antler Velvet covers the growing bone and cartilage that develops into deer
antlers. The growing antler
contains a number of necessary cells, including fibroblasts, chondroblasts,
chondrocytes and osteocytes. The tips of the antlers begin as undifferentiated
mesenchymal stem cells which are transformed into cartilage. Later, the
cartilage is turned to bone, due to the effects of testosterone. Deer antler
velvet is antler that is still in its cartilaginous stage.
of the problems with Velvet Deer Antler is the purity and concentration of the
product. Our antler product is sourced from a very reliable source. Typically,
there is a concentration of 1500 mg of velvet extract per bottle. Honestly,
that will have some effects but it is not exactly what we are looking for. We
have sourced a concentration of 4500 mg of Velvet Deer Antler per bottle. This
concentration would not be legal for any professional athlete and thus we would
not use it on them. Typically, these higher concentrations will help balance
hormones and promote tissue repair. In addition to this we have actually added
certain supplements to this very potent formula. These supplements will
increase stem cell efficiency and output from the bone marrow. This combination
is totally unique to our practice and network and it is proprietary in
WHAT ARE THE MAIN COMPONENTS OF
above diagram gives some idea of the many benefits of deer extract. An
important concept that is a common theme of many research papers is that the
combination of all components of velvet antler provides a synergistic effect
that is greater than the total effect that would be achieved by the separate
use of each of its individual constituents. That means that if velvet antler is
broken down into its constituents that are used separately, their combined
effect is significantly less than the effect realized when the nutrients are
provided in the naturally combined form of velvet antler. In summary, the
effect of the complete product is greater than the summed effect of all
Let us take a
better look at exactly what is found in the antler products. Most of the antler
product consists of protein. The active ingredients include collagen, lipids,
glycosaminoglycans, minerals, and various growth factors. We will take a look at the major subgroups of
components. The first component to take a look at are the glycosaminoglycans
are complex carbohydrates.
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), have widespread functions
within the body. GAGs play a critical role in Regenerative Medicine. They play
a crucial role in the cell signaling
process, including regulation of cell growth, proliferation, promotion of cell adhesion,
anticoagulation, and wound repair. They are an integral component of what is
called the extracellular matrix. The extracellular matrix (ECM) is the non-cellular
component present within all tissues and organs, and provides not only
essential physical scaffolding for the cellular constituents but also initiates
crucial biochemical and biomechanical cues that are required for tissue
morphogenesis, differentiation and homeostasis.
shown GAGs exist in velvet antler in several forms including:
Chondroitin Sulphate a carbohydrate that
helps protect and rebuild degenerating cartilage and is regarded as a potent
Glycosphingolipids are compounds
involved with growth and metabolism of cells and with memory and learning
Glucosamine Sulphate is a component of
Chondroitin Sulphate and is a major component of cartilage and synovial fluid
Hyaluronic acid a substance that binds
cartilage cells together and lubricates joints. It also acts as a signaling
molecule in many biological processes.
Phospholipids the major structural lipid
of most cell membranes
Here is a good illustration of the ExtraCellular Matrix. It is the substance between the cells.
Antlers grow by endochondral
ossification, the same way that long bones do. A major non-collagenous protein,
proteoglycan, a protein substituted with glycosaminoglycan chains, occurs in
the cartilaginous tissue of antler. While its use in the antler is not
understood, it has been shown that proteoglycan in cartilage, also called
aggrecan, regulates differentiation of chondrocytes and may control calcium
concentration in the growth plates where endochondral ossification occurs. This
may have important implications when we are treating joints with regenerative
the next two illustrations show the ramifications of the ExtraCellular
Matrix and repair of various tissues. We can see why enhancing the ExtraCellular Matrix is so important in Regenerative Medicine. We can
see that these represent the pillars of regenerative cell therapy. There are
few if any other products which have these effects on the extracellular matrix.
This is certainly a huge benefit that comes with the Velvet Deer Antler
Glycosaminoglycans have a hand in all of the above repair processes. Most
products are only addressing the cellular portions of repair while the antler
products are more comprehensive in their approach.
next illustration shows how the Glycosaminoglycans are involved in the new
field of tissue engineering. In the case of tissue engineering we call the
synthetic ECM a scaffold.
GROWTH FACTORS: THE CLONES OF WHAT STEM CELLS PRODUCE
we look at velvet antler growth factors, we see a list of whos who in
the growth factor universe. Growth factors, which are generally considered
as a subset of cytokines, refer to the diffusible signaling proteins that
stimulate cell growth, differentiation, survival, inflammation, and tissue repair. The major
growth factors which are found in deer antler include Insulin Like growth
factors (IGF-1), Bone morphogenetic growth factors (BMPs), Transforming growth
factor family (TGF), Fibroblast growth factor (FGF), Platelet derived growth
factor (PDGF), Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), Epidermal growth
factor (EGF), Interleukins, and a variety of other factors. When looking at the
various growth factors we realize that this appears to be similar to what is
found in a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) product, and for that matter stem cells
Another aspect of deer antler deals with
its Amino acid contents. Remember that amino acids are natures building blocks. Amino acids, often referred to as the
building blocks of proteins, are compounds that play many critical roles in
your body. They're needed for vital processes like the building of proteins and
synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters. These are broken down to essential and
non-essential amino acids. Another type of amino acid is the free form amino acid. These
amino acids aren't joined together with any other amino acids in a
protein 'string'. This allows the individual amino acids to be
instantly absorbed and used by the body without digestion. All of o
Of all the growth factors the most
consequential might be IGF-1. IGF-1 is a banned substance in the world of
professional sports. The precursor of IGF-1 is Human Growth Hormone (HGH).
IGF-1 is actually the active form of HGH. It is considered performance
enhancing. In the smaller doses this is typically not an issue but in the higher
doses we are using this is a problem and across the board we will not give this
formula to any athlete in the high school, college, or the professional sports
arena. Putting this aside, why do we like IGF-1? We can see some of the
Perhaps more importantly, we need to look at
IGF-1 on the basis of cell biology. IGF-1 has been shown to enhance
the migratory response of stem cells. We must realize that the IGF-1 supplied
by deer antler is a natural form. It seems to be safer than taking the
synthetic anabolic agents which can have disastrous consequences to ones
health. The following diagram is somewhat complicated but we see the importance
of IGF-1. It will interact with the stem cell and cause the cell to go on to
repair tissue or differentiate into that tissue.
and the other growth factors can also result in a number of other health
benefits. These extra health benefits may include preservation of a persons
muscle mass, improving the functioning of the immune system, increasing bone
density thus helping to improve Osteoporosis, a valid treatment for
fibromyalgia conditions, and lastly it may help in weight loss. The bottom line
is that these growth factors are all very important in treating damaged tissue.
This tissue could be a tendon, a joint, or muscle. Remember, with the antler we
are complimenting the growth factors that are supplied by the stem cells and
the Platelet Rich Plasma. Also, by taking these supplements on a daily basis we
continue the repair process. The one small caveat that we follow is that in
those patients who have a history of certain cancers we will typically
recommend a lower dose of the antler product. We should also keep in mind that
antler products also contain small amounts of the sex hormones testosterone and
estrogen. In the right doses these are also important for regeneration.
Another related factor found in
the antler is Prostaglandins.
They are substances with varying physiologic effects, acting as a
vasodepressor, smooth muscle contraction or relaxation, inflammation and
uterine stimulation. As components of deer antler velvet, prostaglandins may
assist in the capacity of the extract to reduce the swelling associated with
arthritis and injury. They also have physiological responses in lipid
metabolism, as seen in the cholesterol-lowering effects of deer antler velvet
on laboratory animals.
antler contains many different types of amino acids. Amino acids, often
referred to as the building blocks of proteins, are compounds that play many
critical roles in your body. Amino acids are organic compounds composed of
nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, along with a variable side chain group.
Your body needs 20 different amino acids to grow and function properly. Though
all 20 of these are important for your health, only nine amino acids are
classified as essential. These are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine,
methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Unlike
nonessential amino acids, essential amino acids are those that cant be made by
your body and must be obtained through your diet. Another type of amino acid is
a Free-form amino acid. This
refers to single amino acid that is already in a pre-digested form and ready to
be used by your body. Some nutritional products, especially amino acid blends,
contain whole proteins and large peptides (chains of amino acids), which the
body must first break down into smaller peptides and individual amino acids
before use. For faster utilization and better bioavailability, look for
free-form amino acids. We can see that all the various different types of amino
acids work synergistically. They all have their purpose.
WHAT SUPPLEMENTS ARE ADDED TO THE FORMULA TO ENHANCE THE EFFECTS?
In addition to the Velvet Deer
Antler which provides all the aforementioned compounds. There are a host of
other compounds which enhance the efficacy of the product. These include a natural matrix of herbs bounded by research and science
to help ones stem cells become more active and body supportive. The following
compounds highlight these ingredients.
found in the cell walls of certain seaweed species that is has been used
medicinally for a wide variety of health purposes. Okinawa inhabitants have a diet rich in Wakame seaweed,
which contains the highest concentrations of Fucoidan. Okinawa is also known
for its high concentration of centenarians (people who are at least a century
old), which researchers believe is linked to their fucoidan-rich diet. The
anti-aging effects are associated with Fucoidan's remarkable ability to
facilitate tissue regeneration, immune function as well as improving cell-to-
cell communication. Not only is fucoidan known for its anti-aging effects, it
is also believed to combat cancer, metabolic syndrome and other degenerative
disorders. With stem cell therapy, there is always the risk that the adult stem
cells could migrate to other areas of the body unintentionally. However, the
daily use of fucoidan has been proven to increase mobilization of stem cells to
the appropriate area/ site of injury. Not only can fucoidan point the stem
cells in the proper direction, it has also shown to improve the stem cells'
survival during the differentiation process.
PTEROSTILBENE is a stilbene molecule and demethylated
derivative of resveratrol ( it is more bioavailable than resveratrol) that is
found in antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries, cranberries and grapes. These all help to slow down
the aging process. It is an antioxidant that helps fight free
It is known to stimulate a series of pathways in the body called Sirtuin gene
pathways. The sirtuin genes have effects on a variety of other pathways in the
body. Ultimately, the Sirtuins are involved in the regulation of the
mitochondria and subsequent ATP production. Research has shown Pterostilbene
protects against memory loss, high cholesterol, high blood
and even certain types of cancer.
CARNOSINE is an important nonessential amino acid
that helps support brain, heart, and eye health. It offers antioxidant
protection from free radicals and oxidative stress, boosts endurance, aids in
the recovery process, and offers electrolyte support.
BLACK RASPBERRY EXTRACT, one of
the least known, but yet strongest anti-oxidants that insures chromosomes
retain their health and rebuild themselves to optimum health.
RHODIOLA an adaptogenic herb that can elevate your mood and
mental stamina, reduce the stress hormone, cortisol and fight
depression due to its protective effects on key mood
neurotransmitters. Rhodiola rosea extracts have recently demonstrated its anti-aging,
anti-inflammation, immuno-stimulating, DNA repair and anti-cancer effects in
different model systems. An adaptogenic herb helps the body adapt
to and resist physical, chemical, and environmental stress.
ASTRAGIN is a 100%
natural compound which is patented and promotes a healthy gut lining reducing
inflammation in the intestinal lining and increasing absorption of nutrients. AstraGin has the ability to increase the assimilation of
important amino acids which increase nitric oxide levels in the human body,
making it the perfect performance enhancer when taken
pre-workout. Higher levels of nitric oxide result in enhanced blood
flow to the muscle which leads to better pumps, muscular contraction, and
improved nutrient transportation. AstraGin also aids in glucose absorption so
having this pre-workout ensures that you have sufficient energy levels whilst
THE FINAL QUESTION HOW DOES THE ANTLER PRODUCT GET TO
WHERE IT IS NEEDED?
have the absolute best formula on paper but the question is will it work? When
we evaluate medications and supplements a very important aspect to consider is
what we call the pharmacokinetics of the product. This concerns the science of
how the drug moves around in the body. Unfortunately, on paper many compounds
seem very promising but in real life are a failure. The main reason for this is
that they cannot be absorbed by the body.
The mode of
absorption of the antler product is what is referred to as sublingual. This
means it is absorbed under the tongue. This is many times a very effective mode
of absorption. It bypasses the gut and goes directly into the bloodstream where it is needed. The components are not broken down.
Also, in the saliva are very small particles called exosomes which can be
considered a rising star in drug delivery. Saliva is a very rich source of
exosomes. Thus, we have a very efficient method of delivering the velvet
components in a safe and reliable manner.
If we were to
undertake the task of trying to design a complete supplement to utilize in
Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell therapy, Velvet Deer Antler would be at the
top of our list. It has most of the ingredients needed for success.
Furthermore, there is a very efficient way to deliver the goods to the cell
where they are needed. Deer antler will not be the only modality we will use,
but it certainly has an important place on our mantle. We are constantly
working to push the envelope and I suspect more advances will come.
is a gene which controls the production of the enzyme NAD(P)H dehydrogenase, quinone 1. The above diagram shows some
of the many functions of the NQO1 pathway. We can see that there are three
major pillars of health that NQO1 directly influences. These pillars include
detoxification which entails the ratio of NAD to NADH, its ability as an
antioxidant, and lastly how it helps to stabilize the P-53 gene. Detoxification
and antioxidant activity go hand and hand. They are intertwined with each
other. Each of these pillars have extreme importance for our health and
detoxification pillar is a very important aspect of NQO1 functions. Much of the
detoxification deals with compounds called Quinones. Quinonoid compounds
generate reactive oxygen species (ROS). Quinones are ubiquitous in nature and
constitute an important class of naturally occurring compounds found in plants,
fungi and bacteria. Human exposure to quinones therefore occurs via the diet,
but also clinically or via airborne pollutants. For example, the quinones of
hydrocarbons are prevalent as environmental contaminants and provide a major
source of current human exposure to quinones. The inevitable human exposure to
quinones, and the inherent reactivity of quinones, has stimulated substantial
research on the chemistry and toxicology of these compounds. NQO1 is employed
in the removal of a quinone from biological systems as a detoxification
reaction: NAD(P)H + a quinone → NAD(P)+ + a hydroquinone.
The hydroquinone is excreted. This reaction ensures complete oxidation of the
substrate without the formation of semiquinones and reactive oxygen radicals
that are deleterious to cells. The localization of NQO1 in epithelial and
endothelial tissues of mice, rats and humans indicates their importance as
detoxifying agents, since their location facilitates exposure to compounds
entering the body. In addition to the detoxification, NQO1 helps produce NAD+
which in its own right is very important.
ratio of NAD+/NADH is of extreme importance. We are well aware of
the importance of NAD+ for our body. NAD+ is instrumental
in the production of ATP which is the body’s energy currency. However, NAD+
is also used in a variety of biological processes in the body. Nicotinamide
adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is an essential pyridine nucleotide that
serves as an essential cofactor and substrate for a number of critical cellular
processes involved in oxidative phosphorylation and ATP production, DNA repair,
epigenetically modulated gene expression, intracellular calcium signaling, and
immunological functions. NAD+depletion
may occur in response to excessive DNA damage due to free radicals. This damage
results in significant poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) activation and a
high turnover and subsequent depletion of NAD+. PARP is instrumental
in DNA repair. Also, chronic immune activation and inflammatory cytokine
production results in accelerated CD38 activity and subsequent decline in NAD+ levels.
now think that the NAD+/NADH ratio may be as important if not more
important than the levels of NAD+. One of the insights arising from
the scientific studies of calorie restriction is that the ratio of NAD+ to
NADH (NAD+/NADH ratio) might be important for the lifespan extension
benefits. This ratio has been reported to decline with age, with NAD+ being
decreased and NADH increased in older individuals. While boosting the amount
of NAD+ has been getting a lot of attention, improving the
ratio between NAD+ and NADH might be more significant than the
amount of cellular NAD+ in isolation. In yeast experiments,
calorie restriction decreases NADH much more dramatically than it affects NAD+.
This decrease in NADH is important for enhancing lifespan, because, on its own,
it increases activity of the NAD+ consuming enzymes that boost
longevity processes (e.g., Sirtuins) and DNA repair (e.g. PARPs) in yeast. This
is thought to occur because NADH is an inhibitor of these enzymes, so lowering
it releases the inhibition. As an example, inducing the enzyme NQO1—an enzyme
that uses NADH as an electron donor increases intracellular NAD+ levels
because it shifts the NAD+/NADH redox ratio in favor of oxidation
(NAD+). A side effect of this reaction is that intracellular NAD+
levels increase. Upregulation of the pathway that induces NQO1 occurs in
calorie restriction and appears to be an important component of producing the benefits.
We must remember that cellular levels of NAD+ are more important
than the serum levels.
review, what NQO1 does is convert NADH to NAD+ while at the same
time it maintains a very delicate ratio of NAD/NADH. This ratio is not affected
by dietary or IV intake. One important fact is that NQO1 will oxidize NADH to
NAD+ and thus it increases NAD+ in the cell.
HOW IS THE NQO1 PATHWAY REGULATED?
Another name for the NQO1 gene is the longevity
gene. NQO1, regulates the NAD+/NADH
ratio in cells. NQO1 does this by oxidizing NADH to NAD+.
During aging the ratio of NAD+ to NADH changes in part to a reduced
level of the expression of NQO1. As we age the cells accumulate a type of
protein called BET proteins. The BET proteins are Bromodomain and Extraterminal
Proteins. They are referred to as epigenetic readers. The following diagram
shows the various components involved in epigenetics, namely the writers,
erasers, and readers all of which effect gene behavior.
this case, the BET proteins will suppress the induction of the NQO1 gene. There
is now much research looking for inhibitors of BET proteins for a variety of
conditions including cancer.
levels of NQO1 will affect the amounts of a compound called Peroxisome
proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator (PGC-1alpha). PGC-1a is a
member of a family of transcription coactivators that plays a central role in
the regulation of cellular energy metabolism. It is strongly induced by cold
exposure, linking this environmental stimulus to adaptive thermogenesis.
PGC-1alpha stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis and promotes the remodeling of
muscle tissue to a fiber-type composition that is metabolically more oxidative
and less glycolytic in nature, and it participates in the regulation of both
carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Oxidative metabolism produces far more ATP
than the glycolytic type. It is highly likely that PGC-1alpha is intimately
involved in disorders such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiomyopathy. In
particular, its regulatory function in lipid metabolism makes it an inviting
target for pharmacological intervention in the treatment of obesity and Type 2
is regulated by the oxidative state of the cell. NQO1 will regulate the PGC-1a
levels by controlling the rate of PGC-1a degradation not its synthesis. Like many
regulatory factors, PGC-1a has an extremely short half-life. All of these
extremely short-lived proteins are regulated by degradation rates, not
synthesis rates. Higher levels of NQO1 shift the ratio of NAD+/NADH
and protect proteins from being oxidized. PGC-1 plays an important role in
regulating mitochondrial function. Higher levels of PGC-1a help prevent age
related mitochondrial dysfunction. Thus,
it appears that under conditions of oxidative stress, such as with aging,
NQO1 may be a major factor that controls the concentration of
PGC-1a in the cell. PGC-1a is not some esoteric co factor, it is
extremely important in many different functions as can be seen from the
following diagram. PGC-1α is a transcriptional coactivator that is a central
inducer of mitochondrial biogenesis in cells.
Thus, it appears that under conditions of oxidative
stress, such as with aging, NQO1 may be a major factor that controls
the concentration of PGC-1a in the cell.
ELSE DOES NQO1 STIMULATE?
seems to have a significant effect on the P-53 gene. It helps to stabilize the
P-53 gene. P-53 is many times referred to an the “Tumor Suppressor Gene”. It is
a potent sentinel in the body looking for and destroying cells which may go on
to tumor lines. It has the ability to fix DNA damage if it is not too severe or
if too severe it will destroy the cell. The following diagram shows P-53 in
is now thought that many cancers arise from a defect in the P-53 gene. It
appears that the NQO1-dependent (ubiquitin-independent) pathway is the most
important pathway for regulating p53 levels within the cell. Ubiquitin is a
small protein that is found in almost all cellular tissues in humans and other
organisms. It helps to regulate the processes of other proteins in the body.
Through a process known as ubiquitination or ubiquitylation, a ubiquitin
molecule can bind to a substrate protein, changing the way it functions. This
can lead to a number of different outcomes. It is most widely recognized for
its role in apoptosis of proteins, earning it the title of the molecular “kiss
of death” for proteins, although it also plays a major part in several other
cellular processes related to the regulation of proteins. If P-53 is working
properly hopefully the chances of a cancer arising are significantly
diminished. Treatment with curcumin augments the levels of P53 in tumor cell
lines through incrementing its half-life in a NQO1 dependent manner. Curcumin
treatment promotes the interaction between NQO1-p53.
CAN WE INCREASE THE PRESENCE OF NQO1?
statement that can be made across the board is that anything which increases
the NRf2 pathway will increase the NQO1 gene action. The NRf2 pathway has a
profound effect on the NQO1 gene. One can read my previous blogs concerning the
NRf2 pathway. I call this pathway the thermostat of anti-inflammation. One of
the important stimulators of the NRf2 pathway are ozone messengers which are
produced by intravenous ozone such as is delivered by the EBO2 protocol. These
messengers will allow the NRf2 to enter the nucleus and activate certain genes.
Another offshoot of the EBO2 protocol is the use of photodynamic therapy which
stimulated the NQO1 gene. Phototherapy also includes the stimulation of heat
shock proteins which are encouraged by the exposure of UVA light.
for those people unaware of the EBO2 protocol, it is a protocol which uses a
dialysis filter, intravenous Ozone gas, and photo modulation. The following is
a picture of the set up used in the EBO2 protocol:
compounds which seem to have stimulating influences on NQO1 include
resveratrol, Pterostilbene, Taxifolin (also called dihydroquercetin), sulforaphane (broccoli), curcumin, and
Fumaric acid derivatives.
important supplement perhaps the most important, to stimulate the NQO1 gene is Beta-lapachone, a compound found in
the bark of the South American Lapacho tree. It is a potent activator of the NQO1
gene and produces ROS in cancer cells, but reduces ROS in non-cancer
cells. Beta-Lapachone is a NQO1
activator. In addition to stimulating the NQO1 gene it stimulates the NRf2
pathway which helps to lower inflammation. Beta-lapacho was very popular a
number of years ago. It then seemed to lose it way. Now there is a resurgence
in the use of Beta-lapachone on multiple fronts including clinical studies in a
variety of universities. A few final thoughts, if a clinic is utilizing NAD+
but not stimulating the NQO1 pathway then they are behind the times. There are
a number of clinics which like to dabble in utilizing NAD on their patients. Unfortunately,
they are not aware of the basic science of NAD, its effect on senescent cells,
methods allowing the body to handle NAD better, and the importance of the NQO1
gene. If you encounter a clinic which is “just” utilizing NAD without
addressing these related matters, your best bet is to seek treatment
elsewhere!! This will ensure you the best chance of success. It is all a matter
of knowing the basic science of the various pathways and how these can be
manipulated to the benefit of the patient.
following illustration gives all the salient points about the NQO1 gene. There
is a reason why this is called the Longevity Gene. The answers lie in the
illustration. When all is said and done this seems to represent the essence of