The Science of EVA
               for superior pet health by leaps and bounds!


  1. What can EVA do for your pet?
  2. What is EVA?
  3. It seems EVA offers a variety of different benefits for pet health – how can it achieve so many different positive effects?
  4. What is elk ranching and what is its history in Alberta?


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1. What can EVA do for your pet?

Since the 1970s, Western veterinary 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 effects:

•   Stimulation of the immune system to protect against infection and disease.
•   Reduction of pain and inflammation caused by a variety of degenerative diseases.
•   Stimulation of muscle and tissue growth.
•   The prevention or repair of muscle damage following exercise.
•   An ability to increase muscular strength and endurance.
•   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  EVA.
•   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 development.
•   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 animals that are immuno-compromised (those weakened by illness
    or other stress)

2. 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, or it can be found in treats and chews. EVA naturally contains a number of active ingredients that are known to play a role in promoting healing, general health and well being:

Proteins

•   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 production.
•   Glycosphingolipids – compounds involved with growth and metabolism of cells and
    with memory and learning.
•   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 substance that produces a wide range of effects,
    including anti-inflammatory effects
•   Phospholipids – the major structural lipid of most cell membranes.

 Other compounds

•   Monoamine-oxidase inhibitors – enzymes that inhibit the oxidation of
    neurotransmitters and so promote a feeling of well being.2

3. It seems that EVA offers a variety of different benefits for pet health – how can it achieve so many different positive effects?

EVA is nature’s own special package of ingredients that form the right combination to address many different health problems encountered by animals. Healthy bull elk grow up to 40 pounds of antler each year and within that antler are substances that support growth and regeneration of bone and tissue. It is these substances within EVA that make it so effective (see “What is EVA?” for a list of ingredients). There is a solid and growing body of empirical evidence from research done in Australia, New Zealand and North America that provides validation for the wide claims made on behalf of EVA.

4. What is elk ranching and what is its history in Alberta?

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 practiced 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 in 2001.3

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.

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 and sold.

1 Velvet Antler, a summary of the literature on health benefits. A report for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Australia. Chris Tuckwell, Nov. 2003.
2 Ibid.
3 “Where and When,” Industry History Factsheet. Canadian Cervid Council, 2003.