What can EVA do for you?
For centuries, traditional Chinese medical practitioners have prescribed
EVA to address a variety of health
issues. Since the 1970s, Western science has researched the effectiveness
of EVA and supported many of the
claims made by traditional medicine. The research suggests that
EVA can provide the following general
- Stimulation of the body’s immune system to assist protection
against infection and disease.
- Reduction of pain and inflammation caused by a variety of
- Stimulation of muscle and tissue growth.
- The prevention or repair of muscle damage following exercise.
- An ability to increase muscular strength and endurance.
- An ability to significantly reduce the damaging side effects
of chemotherapy drugs, while at the same time increasing their effectiveness.
Traditional practice and modern research also suggest that EVA
can provide specific health benefits in the following areas:
- Anti-aging – inhibition
of the activity of some enzymes associated with aging, while increasing
the synthesis of liver and kidney protein by promoting activity
of other specific enzymes.
- Anti-cancer activity –
some demonstrated results of anti-tumor effect against some forms
of cancer cells.
- Anti-inflammatory effects –New
Zealand research has shown strong anti-inflammatory effects for
- Bone and joint health –most
research suggests that as EVA
contains significant quantities of chondroitin sulphate, it is
worthy of consideration as a treatment for joint and bone inflammation
conditions such as arthritis
- Growth stimulation – research
has identified various natural hormones in EVA
including IGF-1(insulin-like Growth Factor-1) and EGF (Epidermal
Growth Factor) that serve as a natural aid to muscle growth and
- Performance enhancement –
research and anecdotal evidence suggest that EVA
has a positive effect on athletic performance, through prevention
or rapid repair of muscle damage associated with exercise.
- Stimulation of the immune system
– Research in Korea, New Zealand and China has shown that
EVA can stimulate the immune system
by producing lymphocytes and increasing the number of red and
white blood cells.
- Tonic effects – research
supports claims that EVA can have
a revitalizing effect, especially for people who are immuno-compromised
(those weakened by illness or other stress).
What is EVA?
EVA is elk velvet antler. The antler
is removed humanely from the bull elk during the second year of
its life and every year thereafter.
The antler is processed into powder and packaged in capsules for
sale on the Canadian nutraceutical market. The harvesting, processing
and packaging of EVA are subject
to strict health regulations monitored by the Alberta government,
the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada.
EVA naturally contains a number
of active ingredients that are known to play a role in the healing
and general health and well being of the body:
- Collagen – a major structural
protein present in bone, tendons, ligaments, other connective
tissue and articular cartilage.
- Amino Acids – EVA
contains eight essential and 15 non-essential amino acids, the
precursors for all protein production.
Growth hormones and growth factor
- Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-1)
– a precursor for the production of growth hormone.
- Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)
– growth factors that aid development of cartilage cells.
Glycosaminoglycans (complex carbohydrates)
- Chondroitin Sulphate –
a carbohydrate that helps protect and rebuild degenerating cartilage
and is regarded as a potent anti-inflammatory agent.
- Erythropoietin – a hormone
produced by specialized kidney cells to stimulate red blood cell
- Glycosphingolipids – compounds
involved with growth and metabolism of cells and with memory and
- Glucosamine sulphate –
a component of chondroitin sulphate and a major component of cartilage
and synovial fluid.
- Hyaluronic acid – a substance that binds cartilage cells
together and lubricates joints.
- Prostaglandins – a hormone-like
substances that produce a wide range of effects, including anti-inflammatory
effects, within the body
- Phospholipids – the major
structural lipid of most cell membranes.
- Monoamine-oxidase inhibitors
– enzymes that inhibit the oxidation of neurotransmitters
and so promote a feeling of well being.
It seems that EVA offers a variety of
different benefits for human health – how can it achieve so
many different positive effects?
In the Chinese medical tradition, practitioners successfully administer
different combinations of treatments to different individuals suffering
from the same disease or condition. They take into account all the
physical, emotional and psychological factors at work in the individual
patient. This approach is based on the philosophy of seeking balance
in life, expressed in the Chinese concepts of Yin and Yang.
In North American, or Western, medicine, a doctor will successfully
prescribe the same course of treatment to a number of patients with
the same disease. Both approaches
have their strengths and weaknesses, but the concept that one natural
substance can offer a variety of health benefits is more in keeping
with traditional Chinese practice and relatively new to Western
The newness of this idea to Westerners should not invalidate it
however. The strong anecdotal evidence from Chinese tradition, combined
with the solid and growing body of empirical evidence from research
done in Australia, New Zealand and North America, provides validation
for the wide claims made on behalf of EVA.
Analysis of the unique combination of substances found in this natural
and regenerating mammalian organ serve to further support these
In short, EVA is nature’s
own special package of ingredients that form the right combination
to address many different health problems encountered by humans.
What is elk ranching and what is its history
The history of elk and deer farming (the two animals are members
of the same species, cervus elaphus) can be traced in Europe back
to Roman times. Evidence of the domestication of this species has
been found on every continent in the world.
In North America, aboriginal people herded and tamed elk, deer and
caribou. Modern elk farming has been practised in New Zealand and
Canada since the 1960s. New Zealand is the world leader in the industry,
reporting over 3.5 million domestic deer and $300 million in exports
Elk farming in Alberta has been on the rise since the 1970s. It
is a government-regulated industry under the control of the Livestock
Industry Diversification Act. Regulations and procedures have been
established to ensure that elk and deer farming can develop as an
industry while preserving Alberta’s wildlife resources. In
2004, there were 431 elk farms in Alberta, with a domestic elk population
of over 41,000. In 2001, the Korean government banned the import
of North American EVA due to concerns
over chronic wasting disease (CWD). Korea is the world’s leading
consumer of EVA. The closure of
the U.S. border in 2003 due to one case of BSE in beef cattle also
meant closure to ranched elk products, including EVA.
It took more than two years to reopen the U.S. border while Asian
borders remain closed. Difficulties negotiating trade arrangements
with foreign countries continue to plague all livestock producers
in Canada. Continued development of the North American market should
help insulate the elk industry in the coming years from the uncertainty
of international markets.
Commercial elk production in Alberta involves the controlled breeding
and raising of elk for the production and sale of elk meat, velvet
antler, breeding stock, and trophy bulls. Primary markets for elk
producers are for elk meat, EVA
and trophy bulls.
The Alberta Elk Commission works in partnership with the Alberta
Veterinary Medical Association to certify elk producers to remove
elk antler humanely. This not only ensures low stress levels for
the animals, but it also delivers a product consistent in quality
that can be harvested from the same bull throughout the course of
his life after his first year. Through its antler tagging database
and monitoring system, Alberta Agriculture can trace any piece of
antler to the farm and animal it originated from. In conjunction
with processing plant health and safety regulations from the Canadian
Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada, this ensures a strictly
monitored and safe supply chain for EVA
from the moment the antler leaves the animal until it is packaged
What is chronic wasting disease (CWD)
and what does it have to do with ranched elk in Alberta?
Chronic wasting disease is a progressive, fatal, degenerative disease
of the brain affecting elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. It
is a reportable disease in Canada under the Health of Animals Act.
While it is not the same as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE),
it belongs to a related group of diseases caused by abnormal proteins
called prions that accumulate in the brain of an infected animal.
Through a voluntary surveillance program, one case of CWD was detected
in an Alberta domestic elk. Since then, the Alberta government has
implemented its Mandatory CWD Surveillance Program. It demands that
every domestic elk or deer in Alberta
over the age of one be tested for CWD when they die from any causes.
This is a more comprehensive monitoring system than the one used
for Alberta beef cattle. Since 2002 there been over 40,000 Alberta domestic elk tested
and no cases of CWD have been found. There is no evidence to suggest that
CWD can affect humans.