Case in point: the so-called deer antler spray scandal, supposedly involving Ray Lewis and other well-known athletes.
What is the scoop? According to several news outlets, these athletes used deer antler spray (yes, you heard that right) in order to obtain a dose of igf-1 and therefore perform better. Another PED story in professional sports, so it must be true, right?
After all it was on TV and has Homer Simpson said :TV never lies"
Let's take a closer look at all this. First off, what is igf-1 or insulin like growth factor? In short, it is a very powerful peptide hormone, consisting of a long string of amino acids.
In rats, the substance has shown to increase muscle mass (even cause hyperplasia i e the creation of new muscle cells) and to decrease adipose tissue or body fat.
But before you go out and start chewing on some random deer in order to get huge and ripped like our bushy-tailed friend in the picture, consider this: most humans do not have any rats in their family tree (what you think of your cousin has no bearing here for the moment). So what works in animals doesn't have to work for humans.
Furthermore, IGF-1 is a very fragile substance that can not be dropped or shaken without losing its potency. It also needs to stay stored in the fridge. I highly doubt that the makers of deer antler spray follow these guidelines.
Lastly, and most importantly, IGF-1 only works via intramuscular injection, so a spray or topical cream are just a waste of money.
ESPN and others could have found all this out within a click of the mouse, but I guess the story was to tempting.
There you have it, another myth busted.