Bio Lab Naturals is a nutraceutical company that develops, distributes, and manufactures nutritional supplements across a wide variety of brands and companies. Here’s our Bio Lab Naturals review.
What is Bio Lab Naturals?
Bio Lab Naturals is a nutritional supplement manufacturer based in Tampa, Florida. The company is best-known for its velvet antler extract (VAE) supplements, which use an ingredient extracted from the antlers of live deer and elk.
VAE is purportedly rich with an insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). Taking this growth factor regularly can help regulate your hormones, prevent muscle atrophy, and improve bone health and growth. Many of us are deficient in IGF-1, which leads to cognitive decline, muscle loss, unhealthy weight loss, and decreased overall growth across the body. By taking VAE supplements from Bio Lab Naturals, you can purportedly avoid these problems.
With that in mind, Bio Lab Naturals maintains four separate brands under its control, including:
— BioProtein: National manufacturer and wholesale distributor dedicated to producing therapeutic protein and growth factor supplements specifically for “wellness professionals” (which include naturopathic doctors, holistic doctors, and anyone licensed to practice alternative medicine.).
— Pure Solutions: This is a lineup of supplements marketed towards health food stores across the United States. Bio Lab Naturals products under this brand are labeled as Pure Factors or Pure IGF.
— Trainers Elite Network: This consists of a network of licensed fitness trainers who design, test, and distribute products to their clients in exchange for commissions from Bio Lab Naturals.
— US Antler for Dogs: This is a lineup of dog supplements that use antlers to improve the health of your pet.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the key active ingredient in all Bio Lab Naturals supplements.
What is Velvet Antler Extract?
Velvet antler extract has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, but it’s relatively unknown in the United States. Bio Lab Naturals seeks to introduce deer antler extract to the American market while emphasizing its health benefits.
Velvet antler extract, specifically, is the whole cartilaginous deer antler in a pre-calcified stage. Deer, elk, moose, and other similar animals are the only mammals that have regenerating organs – their antlers. That’s why traditional doctors have considered antlers to be so special.
Now, thousands of years later, according to Bio Lab Naturals, we have “scientific proof demonstrating that antlers are packed full of many beneficial growth hormones, namely IGF-1.” However, as you’ll see below, antler extracts aren’t quite backed by the amount of science we like to see from nutritional supplements.
What is IGF-1?
IGF-1 is the key active ingredient in velvet antler extract. The extract is a master growth factor found in many different levels – depending on the section of the antler you’re looking at.
For example, the upper section of the antler, the wax piece, is traditionally used as a growth tonic for children, while the middle section, the “blood” piece, is used to heal joint problems in adults. The bottom section, which is the bone piece, is a calcium-rich portion of the antler used to treat calcium deficiency and geriatric therapies.
Throughout history, the tips of the antler have been the most sought-after parts.
Where Does Velvet Antler Extract Come From?
The velvet antler extract (VAE) used in Bio Lab Naturals products doesn’t actually come from deer: instead, Bio Lab Naturals harvests the extract from elk. Bio Lab Naturals claims that elks, deer’s larger cousins, offer a higher grade of antler. Elk also generally live longer, which means they produce more high-quality content over a longer period of time.
Bio Lab Naturals claims that many antler extract distributors on the market today purchase their extract from distributors in New Zealand. Bio Lab Naturals, however, has taken a different approach. They partner with an elk farm in Idaho. That humane farm regularly harvests antlers from the elk.
By maintaining their own farm, Bio Lab Naturals claims they have an advantage over other manufacturers because they control the process “from birth to bottling.”
To create one pound of Bio Lab Naturals raw antler extract, the company needs 43 pounds of elk antlers. Bio Lab Naturals claims they use more raw product to create each pound than their competitors. Bio Lab Naturals says they remove impurities and ineffective substances from the antler extract to ensure it’s the purest, most active ingredients left inside.
Another difference is that Bio Lab Naturals uses organic grape alcohol as a preservative because it preserves the integrity of the growth factors. Then, the extract is packaged as a tincture-like liquid into dark-colored, glass bottles that protect the IGF-1 inside from the effects of the sun.
How to Use Bio Lab Naturals
Bio Lab Naturals sells VAE supplements as a liquid tincture. They don’t offer capsules (like other companies) because these capsules can reduce the bioabsorption of the antler extract.
The liquid supplement, on the other hand, requires you to put just a few drops under your tongue. Bio Lab Naturals claims this leads to an absorption rate of 75% to 85% compared to the 15% absorption rate in antler extract capsules.
Benefits of Deer Antler Extract
Antler extract has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. It was particularly popular in ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, where it was thought to have restorative properties.
In any case, deer antler extract purportedly supports all of the following parts of your physiology, according to Bio Lab Naturals:
- Adrenal function
- Hormone balance
- Recovery time after athletic activity
- Immune system functionality
- Lean muscle growth
- Mental alertness, cognition, and memory
- Sleep quality
- Cardiovascular function
- Nerve damage
- Bone density and arthritic conditions
Basically, Bio Lab Naturals claims that antler extract plays crucial roles all throughout the body, where it can help support virtually every major system within.
These all sound good. But what does science have to say about the use of antler extract?
Scientific Evidence for Deer Antler Extract
One study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism in 2003 examined the effects of deer antler velvet on aerobic performance and muscular endurance. That double-blind, placebo-controlled study involved a group of 38 active males.
At the end of training, researchers noticed that all subjects improved strength an equal amount, but the group that took antler extract enjoyed a greater increase in isokinetic knee extensor strength and endurance.
There were no other changes in red cell mass, endocrine, or VO2 max within either group. Researchers concluded by stating that the results do not support any aerobic benefits of antler extract, but that more research was needed to definitely determine whether any benefits exist.
Examine.com does a good summary of the scientific evidence of antler extract, listing all of the major studies that have been performed so far. After reviewing most of the studies on antler extract, they found that:
— All studied failed to find any increase in testosterone associated with velvet antler supplements
— One single study indicated that antler extract increased muscle torque and power output compared to a placebo
— All studies showed that antler extract had no significant benefits on aerobic or anaerobic activities
Ultimately, there are a few small studies that have indicated minor benefits of deer antler extract in terms of strength and athletic activity. Most, however, have not indicated any difference between antler extract and a placebo.
Of course, Bio Lab Naturals would respond by stating that these studies all used the powdered or capsulated form of antler extract – not their own more powerful liquid form.
Should You Use Bio Lab Naturals Deer Antler Extract for Health Benefits?
Bio Lab Naturals claims deer antler extract is rich with IGF-1, a growth factor that plays crucial roles throughout the human body. Although scientific evidence supporting the use of antler extract is lacking, the supplement has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine.
You can purchase Pure IGF and other Bio Lab Naturals antler extract supplements online for around $25 to $35, which gets you a 5mg / 1 fl. oz bottle of the liquid (30 servings/drops per container).
If you believe in the benefits of traditional medicine, then antler extract is one popular option. Many people, however, will prefer supplements backed by a greater amount of science.
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