Mineral part of deer antler as production basis for biologically active substances


G.I. Ovcharenko, N.D. Ovcharenko

An analysis of the structure and chemical composition of the deer antlers of the Altai is carried out. It is shown that the mineral substance of soft antlers is structurally x-ray amorphous with gradual crystallization of hydroxyapatite as antlers become ossified with age or when the analyzed region approaches the frontal bone. The internal structure of the antler is represented by a highly porous material with an average pore diameter of about 100 μm in the presence of pores with a diameter less than 10 nm. According to the chemical composition, the mineral part of the young 2-3 terminal antlers as compared to the ordinary bone is substantially impoverished with calcium and phosphorus, but is enriched with such impurities as silicon, aluminum, and alkaline elements. This hampers the crystallization of hydroxyapatite and forms distinct structures. On the basis of the data obtained, a model for the formation of antlers is proposed, which includes the formation at the early stages in the mineral part of zeolite-like x-ray amorphous structures that ensure the catalytic synthesis and accumulation of biologically active substances, in particular, lipids. With the aging of the antlers and the subsequent addition of calcium, a hydroxyapatite mineral corresponding to the composition of the ordinary bone is formed.


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