Deer Velvet Antler

tickHormone control
tickBoosts testosterone
tickAids recovery
How does it work?
Deer velvet is the common name of a product made from growing antlers of deer, during a stage when they are covered in soft velvety hair. New Zealand is a major exporter of deer velvet, shipping tens of millions of dollars worth to Asia and the U.S. each year.

According to Asian tradition, deer velvet has "tonic" properties, meaning that it tends to enhance energy and vitality. More recently, it has been called an "adaptogen." This term, invented by early Soviet scientists, refers to a hypothetical treatment that can be described as follows: An adaptogen should help the body adapt to stresses of various kinds, whether heat, cold, exertion, trauma, sleep deprivation, toxic exposure, radiation, infection, or psychological stress.

Furthermore, an adaptogen should cause no side effects, be effective in treating a wide variety of illnesses, and help return an organism toward balance no matter what may have gone wrong.
How do I use it?
In the 1960s, an injectable form of deer velvet was used by Japanese physicians to treat male sexual dysfunction. Deer velvet first began to become popular in the U.S. beginning in the late 1990s. Today, numerous books and websites claim that deer velvet can enhance sexual performance by increasing levels of male hormones. However, these claims are based on extremely preliminary research. Only double-blind, placebo-controlled studies can actually prove a treatment effective, and the one study of this type reported for deer antler failed to find evidence of benefit.

In this study, 32 healthy men age 45,60 were given either deer velvet (1 gram daily) or placebo for 12 weeks.1 The results showed no significant change in sexual function or male hormone levels in the treated group as compared to the placebo group.

Deer antler also contains cartilage. On this basis, as well as one study in dogs, it has been promoted as a treatment for osteoarthritis2; however, cartilage is not a proven treatment for this condition. Numerous other proposed benefits of deer velvet are based on test-tube studies or other forms of evidence that are too preliminary to rely upon at all. These include cancer prevention, drug addiction support, immune support, liver protection, osteoporosis treatment, pain control, sports performance, and bodybuilding enhancement.

The idea that Velvet Deer Antler may improve Athletic Performance is based mainly upon anecdotal reports from Russian athletes who claim improvements in athletic performance, strength, endurance and recuperation from injury following Velvet Deer supplementation.

According to one study, a deer velvet antlet supplement called ′Pantocrine′ improved the athletic performance of average, healthy athletes: athletes given placebo performed an average of 15 kg/m of dynamic work while those administered Pantocrine performed 74 kg/m of dynamic work. There is also rumours, that Velvet Deer Antler may accelerate the repair of damaged tissues following intensive exercise, alleviate fatigue and improve stamina.

Some researchers feel that Velvet Deer Antler may facilitate Muscle Growth (due to IGF-1 and IGF-2) and may improve Muscle Strength, may improve Muscle Tone and may prevent Muscular Atrophy. However these are anecdotal and there is no research to support of back these up.

A research study done by Wang on velvet deer antler and testosterone appeared to be positive.

An alcohol extract of velvet deer antler was administered to senescence accelerated mice. The extract increased plasma testosterone, decreased oxidative activity in the liver and brain, increased liver protein content and liver superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and increased RNA production. Researchers concluded that this was evidence of a restorative function for velvet deer antler, however it is important to note, this was done on mice and not humans.

Deer velvet antler was analysed and found to contain:

Amino acids:
Alanine Arginine
Aspartic Acid Cysteine
Glutamic Acid Glycine
Histidine Hydroxyproline
Isoleucine Leucine
Lysine Methionine
Phenylalanine Proline
Serine Threonine
Tryptophan Tyrosine

Chondroitin Sulfate A

Growth Factors:
Insulin-like Growth Factor-1
Insulin-like Growth Factor-2
Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)
Nerve Growth Factor (NGF)
Transforming Growth Factor-alpha
Transforming Growth Factor-beta

Hormones: Androgens, Estrogens

Lipids: Prostaglandins

Proteins: Collagen - Type II

A typical dosage of deer antler is 1 gram daily, taken all at once or divided throughout the day.

Other than occasional allergic reactions (which may not be anything to do with the product), deer velvet does not appear to cause any obvious, immediate side effects. However, there are concerns based on contamination with the tranquilizers and anesthetics used during the process of removing the horn from the deer. One of these substances used, xylazine, is carcinogenic, and studies have found that low but potentially dangerous levels of xylazine are contained in deer antler product. It is important to select a high quality product, should you wish to use this supplement.

1. Conaglen HM, Suttie JM, Conaglen JV. Effect of deer velvet on sexual function in men and their partners: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Arch Sex Behav. 2003;32:271,8.
2. Moreau M, Dupuis J, Bonneau NH, Lecuyer M. Clinical evaluation of a powder of quality elk velvet antler for the treatment of osteoarthrosis in dogs. Can Vet J. 2004;45:133,9.
3. Ivankina NF, Isay SV, Busarova NG, et al. Prostaglandin-like activity, fatty acid and phospholipid composition of sika deer (Cervus nippon) antlers at different growth stages. Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 1993;106:159,162.
4. Price JS, Oyajobi BO, Oreffo RO, et al. Cells cultured from the growing tip of red deer antler express alkaline phosphatase and proliferate in response to insulin-like growth factor-I. J Endocrinol. 1994;143:R9,R16.
5. Zhou QL, Guo YJ, Wang LJ, et al. Velvet antler polypeptides promoted proliferation of chondrocytes and osteoblast precursors and fracture healing. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao. 0253-9756. 1999;20:279,282.
6. Kim HS, Lim HK, Park WK. Antinarcotic effects of the velvet antler water extract on morphine in mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 1999;66:41,49.
7. Kim HS, Lim HK. Inhibitory effects of velvet antler water extract on morphine-induced conditioned place preference and DA receptor supersensitivity in mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 1999;66:25,31.
8. Chen X, Jia Y, Wang B. Inhibitory effects of the extract of pilose antler on monoamine oxidase in aged mice. Chung Kuo Chung Yao Tsa Chih. 1992;17:107,128.
9. Kim DH, Han SB, Yu KU, et al. Antitumor activity of fermented antler on sarcoma 180 in mice.Yakhak Hoeji. 1994;38:795,799.
10. Zhang ZQ, Wang Y, Zhang H, et al. Anti-inflammatory effects of pilose antler peptide. Zhongguo Yao Li XueBao. 1994;15:282,284.
11. Zhang ZQ, Zhang Y, Wang BX, et al. Purification and partial characterization of anti-inflammatory peptide from pilose antler of Cervus nippon Temminck. Yao Xue Xue Bao. 1992;27:321,324.
12. Dalefield RR, Oehme FW. Deer velvet antler: some unanswered questions on toxicology. Vet Hum Toxicol. 1999;41:39,41.
13. Wang, B. X., et al on the Effects of repeated administration of deer antler extract on biochemical changes related to ageing in senescence accelerated mice. Chemical Pharm Bull. 36:2587-2592, 1988.

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