Deer Antler Velvet and Fibromyalgia
Nearly 5 million in America suffer every day from Fibromyalgia. Patients who suffer from Fibromyalgia complain of chronic widespread pain, high sensitivity to pain, fatigue, sleep issues, mood changes and mental and emotional distress. Fibromyalgia is quite a mysterious disease, which scientists and doctors have a hard time defining or understanding. There are treatments to manage the effects of Fibromyalgia, but there is no cure.
There has been research suggesting that Deer Antler Velvet may help reduce the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. To understand how deer antler velvet has an effect on Fibromyalgia, we must first understand the underlying problems that are thought to cause Fibromyalgia. We must then consider the components in deer antler velvet that help combat them.
There are many theories about the distinct cause of Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia, unlike Arthritis, isn't an inflammatory disease. Yet, there has been research that connects neuro-inflammation to Fibromyalgia. To better explain neuro-inflammation and deer antler velvet’s connection to Fibromyalgia, I first have to explain what causes neuro-inflammation.
Oxidative Stress, neuro-inflammation and Fibromyalgia
There is a process in cells known as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in cells. An online science journal explains that, “...studies have confirmed that oxidative stress plays an important part in... inflammation.” Oxidative stress can overactivate immune cells in the brain known as glial cells, which have two main types; microglia and astrocytes. Glial cells, if overactivated, trigger an exaggerated response to stimuli in the Central Nervous System (CNS). This causes heightened sensitivity and is known as Central Sensitization (CS). CS is thought to be what causes the pain associated with Fibromyalgia. CS, caused by abnormal glial activation, is linked to chronic neuro-inflammation. Chronic neuro-inflammation seems to be directly connected to Fibromyalgia according to recent studies.
Deer antler velvet may be an effective in combating neuro-inflammation. Many components in deer antler velvet have been found to have an effect on neuro-inflammation. An enzyme found in deer antler velvet known as Monoamine inhibits oxidation of neurotransmitters. Oxidative stress, as explained before, can cause neuro-inflammation, which in turn, is connected to Fibromyalgia. One study explained that “People who took MAOIs [Monoamine Oxidative Inhibitors or (MAOIs)] rated their pain to be 1.45 points lower on a scale of 0 to 10 compared to people who took placebo,” and “People who took MAOIs had a lower tender point score and a lower number of tender points (‐0.36 difference) than people who took placebo after four weeks.” There is a possibility that Monoamine found in deer antler velvet may slightly reduce pain and tender spots in Fibromyalgia patients.
Deer antler methanol extracts have also shown to inhibit oxidative stress and neuro-inflammation. In studies methanol extracts (MEs) of deer antler velvet blocks microglial activation MEs were able to prevent oxidative stress, which leads to neuro-inflammation (which is connected to Fibromyalgia), by blocking the activation of microglia.
A complex carbohydrate in deer antler velvet known as Chondroitin Sulfate may also have a positive effect in Fibromyalgia. There has been research in spinal cord injuries that shows that Chondroitin Sulfate regulates neuro-inflammation in the CNS. “Recent evidence suggests that CSPGs may regulate secondary injury mechanisms by modulating neuro-inflammation.” The study showed that Chondroitin Sulphate actually regulated the microglia and neuro-inflammation. This is important to note because when microglia cells are regulated properly they secrete anti-inflammatory cytokines, whereas if microglia are improperly activated they have an pro-inflammatory response and can be incredibly damaging.
Hyaluronic Acid and Fibromyalgia
Another component found in deer antler velvet is known as hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in almost all connecting tissues throughout the musculoskeletal system. Hyaluronic acid has many uses, from skin care to relieving joint pain. There has also been research in hyaluronic acid’s benefits for Fibromyalgia patients. In many Fibromyalgia patients there has been a notable deficiency of magnesium, and magnesium is needed for the body to produce hyaluronic acid. So, this may explain why hyaluronic acid can be beneficial for Fibromyalgia pain relief. According to a scientific article, “Hyaluronic acid reduces pain by subduing nerve sensitivity linked to joint pain, calming inflammation, changing the behavior of immune cells, and increasing the body’s natural production of hyaluronic acid. It is safe to take alongside Glucosamine and Chondroitin.” The same article says that a study of 35 Fibromyalgia patients who took Hyaluronic Acid, 21 reported no pain, 6 people had reduced pain and 8 reported no change.
Deer Antler Velvet and Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a very painful disease. The various components found in deer antler velvet have many different properties that are potentially beneficial for people who suffer from Fibromyalgia. There is not a lot of research into deer antler velvet and its benefits. Hopefully, in the future deer antler velvet will have further research and prove to be an effective treatment for Fibromyalgia and its symptoms. You can look for deer and elk antler velvet from various companies, such as Velvet Vitality.