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Deer Antlers Key to Curing Osteoporosis?

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January 06, 2012

Deer Antlers Key to Curing Osteoporosis?

by Scott Bestul

Whitetail nuts aren’t the only ones fascinated by deer antlers these days. Spanish researchers digging into the causes of osteoporosis feel deer antlers can provide a clue to the cause of the degenerative bone disease that afflicts millions, particularly older women. This recent news release summarizes the work of researchers at the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM), who studied an outbreak of antler breakage among deer in 2005.

Traditionally, osteoporosis has been linked to a calcium deficiency in the sufferer, but when scientists studied weak-antlered deer they found the animals were lacking in manganese, a mineral considered essential to calcium absorption. Apparently the winter of ’05 was intensely cold, which caused plants to reduce their normal concentrations of manganese. The deficiency was passed right on to the deer that fed on the plants, and led to the outbreak of broken antlers.

Stuff like this fascinates me. I’ve read for years that deer antlers are among the fastest-growing tissue known in the animal kingdom. They’ve been studied for years by medical researchers seeking cures for everything from cancer to, well, osteoporosis. How cool would it be if a cure for this debilitating condition could be celebrated because a team of sharp-eyed scientists took the time to study deer?

Aldo Leopold wasn’t the first to point out that all things in Nature are inexorably linked, but he was among the most eloquent. “The last word in ignorance,” he wrote, “is the man who says of an animal or plant ‘What good is it?’”

Comments (6)

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from fliphuntr14 wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

I heard about this in my bio class this semester, this is kind of like the plant thats a natural mosquito repellant.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

I'd be sure that plant had DEET in it, or I wouldn't count on it to work. Sure would like to see a cure for ARTHUR...I've got it in all my joints, and had a hip replacement this year. I upland bird hunt with my two labs with my shotgun in one hand, and a cane in the other...very painful. And a whole lot of quack remedies out there that do not work.

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from charlie elk wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

Hat tip to you Sayfu for not giving up.
Hunt on.
later,
charlie

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from jamesti wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

i can just see the deer herds being slaughtered now!

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from Woods Walker wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

The cures are out there if we just find the financial resources and the people to do the research! I also have heard a long time ago that researchers were looking at antler growth for some clues as to controled growth vs cancer. As a cancer survivor, I hope this is true and they find some good cures.

And I agree that there are also a lot of quacks out there just looking for a fast buck as well! The challenge is always trying to sort out which is which.

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from Trapper Vic wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Elk antlers in velvet have beenn harvested for years as a sexual inhancement. Glad to hear there is other research being done with a more positive result.

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from fliphuntr14 wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

I heard about this in my bio class this semester, this is kind of like the plant thats a natural mosquito repellant.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

I'd be sure that plant had DEET in it, or I wouldn't count on it to work. Sure would like to see a cure for ARTHUR...I've got it in all my joints, and had a hip replacement this year. I upland bird hunt with my two labs with my shotgun in one hand, and a cane in the other...very painful. And a whole lot of quack remedies out there that do not work.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

Hat tip to you Sayfu for not giving up.
Hunt on.
later,
charlie

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Woods Walker wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

The cures are out there if we just find the financial resources and the people to do the research! I also have heard a long time ago that researchers were looking at antler growth for some clues as to controled growth vs cancer. As a cancer survivor, I hope this is true and they find some good cures.

And I agree that there are also a lot of quacks out there just looking for a fast buck as well! The challenge is always trying to sort out which is which.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Trapper Vic wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Elk antlers in velvet have beenn harvested for years as a sexual inhancement. Glad to hear there is other research being done with a more positive result.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 14 weeks ago

i can just see the deer herds being slaughtered now!

-2 Good Comment? | | Report

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