The journey to cultivating and maintaining wellness truly begins inside. For me, wellness began in 2013 when I was just 19 years old. I was a very stressed college student who was eating, breathing, and sleeping nursing studies. Studying at all hours of the day and night came with the development of some unhealthy habits. Most days I would skip exercise in fear of losing study time, and I was definitely not taking the time to cook healthy meals. By the time that I had reached my second year of nursing school, I had enough with feeling helpless to my stressors. That’s when I decided to take things into my own hands.As a new year’s resolution, I went to my first yoga class and it changed my life forever. After just one class I found myself breathing deeper, retaining more information when I studied, and craving healthier foods. During this transitional period, I found myself having more energy and a new zest for life. I found new ways to move my body and making healthy versions of my favorite foods became exciting and delicious. Later, I even went on to become a yoga instructor.I had never really enjoyed eating meat, and actually began a slow transition to a plant-based diet at the age of 10. Contrary to popular belief, vegetarianism is absolutely not synonymous with healthy, and there are many processed unhealthy foods that do not contain animal products. I also don’t believe that there is a “one-size-fits-all” solution when it comes to dietary intake. Just because eating plant-based works for me, does not mean that it will for you.When it comes to cultivating positive habits and longevity, I do not believe that the body benefits from “cold-turkey” methods of diet change. As I stated earlier, I transitioned to a plant-based diet over a number of years beginning with eliminating red meats, then poultry, then seafood. This allowed my body to adjust over time, and now I no longer crave any animal products at all.Here Are My Three Rules of Healthy Living:Find joy in living healthfully, so you don’t fall into old habits.Find your favorite way to move your body and do it daily.It doesn’t have to be long or strenuous, just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Set the tone for the day with your morning routine.I begin my day with 32 ounces of water with lemon, and follow it up with fresh pressed celery juice.Pro tip: you must press the celery fresh each morning or it will lose its benefits.If i’m in a hurry and cannot press the celery fresh, I substitute it with some warm water and apple cider vinegar. A teaspoon of honey helps to tone the bitterness down while you’re getting used to the flavor.Take a moment to breathe.Meditation isn’t for everyone, and I’m not saying that you need to do some sort of extensive breathwork. All I want you to do is wake up, sit on the side of your bed, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths to acknowledge the start of the day. Use this time for positive affirmations. Tell yourself that it will be a great day!Eat mindfully.This is the best tip that I have ever received. Someone once told me that we must be thankful for our food, enjoy every bite, and be in the moment with it. This may sound a bit odd, but think about how many times we find ourselves in front of the TV or computer mindlessly shoveling food into our mouths.Even if your goal isn’t to eat entirely plant based, we can all benefit from decreasing our intake of red meat. Maybe you try saving it for a “treat” once per week and see how you feel?By eating with intention, I found myself enjoying my food more, and even eating less.At the end of the day, I believe our happiness is of the utmost importance. I’ve found that the degree of health I feel directly affects how happy I feel.Live well, eat well, and be well;Bella Sannasardo, RN, BSN
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.