Deer Antler Supplements – Latest Research Included

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In recent times, deer antler extracts—and more specifically, extracts of deer velvet as well as powders—have been becoming popular among bodybuilders and athletes seeking to build endurance and strength.

They've been utilized to increase fertility, youth blood pressure, and much more.

Although some research has been conducted on these supplements, which is fascinating, there is no scientific evidence to support their capacity to improve the performance of athletes in humans.

This article will explain the deer antler supplement commonly employed to treatand what the latest research has to say about their health benefits and potential risks.

What is deer velvet?

Deer velvet is a soft and fuzzy hair that protects the cartilage and bone of newly grown antlers, which aren't yet calcified or hardened.

What makes the deer antlers distinctive is that they're the fastest-growing bones in any animal. Deer and elk shed their antlers year-round.

This is why young deer velvets are considered sacred by many traditional medicine practices. For instance, they've been utilized for a long time in traditional Chinese medicine.

How are supplements made

To create antler velvet supplements for young deer, uncalcified elk antlers are removed surgically.

They are then put to bed by anesthesia, and they are removed close to the base. The velvet is then removed from the antler's bone dry, grinded into fine powder and then reprocessed into a supplement form.

Powders are often sold in bulk or capsule forms. Deer antler sprays and extracts are also produced by mixing the powder with extract solutions.

Traditional practices and modern health claims

Traditionally, velvet made from deer antler is utilized to strengthen bones, boost immunity and treat tissue and toothaches.

Nowadays, a simple online search can easily yield a the list of more than 30 conditions the supplement claims to treat.

They use it, in particular, to boost endurance and strength athletic performance and heal injured tissues and muscles.

It is also said to lower cholesterol and blood pressure as well as promote youthfulness, enhance fertility, and so on. Unfortunately, a lot of the claims are not well-studied.


Deer velvet is a protective hair-like skin which protects newly-grown deer antlers. It's been utilized in traditional healing practices for a long time. Nowadays, it's marketed to athletes to improve their endurance, strength and healing.


The velvet of deer antler is rich in minerals that may be thought to have positive health effects.

Antlers of velvet from the Formosan Sambar deer, which originate from Taiwan is awash with multiple enzymes possessing antioxidant properties. This included superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) as well as glutathione peroxidase (GPX).

Furthermore, a review in 2013 revealed that antlers of deer may have some therapeutic properties due to their richness in amino acids and Peptides. Amino acids are the basic components of proteins, whereas they are chains of linked amino acids.

Recent research has also linked the health benefits of deer antler velvet due to its protein quantity.

Multiple recent test-tube studies also support the notion that protein peptides from antler velvet could have anti-inflammatory, immune-regulating, and heart-health-promoting properties.

In addition, deer velvet is a rich source of organic molecules known as nucleosides, which are the basic building blocks of DNA. These could be the reason for the alleged anti-fatigue benefits.


Deer antler velvet is abundant in bioactive compounds such as antioxidants polypeptides, proteins nucleosides, polypeptides, and many more. These may be the reason for its therapeutic properties.

Potential benefits

While velvet from deer antler could be rich in beneficial bioactive substances and nutrients However, there is not much research on specific health benefits of humans.

The potential benefits research is currently examining could include:

  • Growth of cartilage and bone. Research in the test tube suggests that antler velvet may be used to treat osteoporosis and cartilage damage. A study in animals discovered that it boosted bone thickness and enzyme levels.
  • Anti-fatigue and enhancing properties. Research has found that mice can benefit from velvet antlers. They discovered that the higher the amount of nucleosides in the supplement and the greater speed that mice swim. This suggests increased endurance and less fatigue
  • Treatment for osteoarthritis. Deer antler velvet is a source of the chondroitinswhich are a part of cartilage. It could help reduce pain for people who suffer from osteoarthritis. In addition, other components found in antler velvet could improve bone strength.
  • Anti-cancer properties. Multiple tests on mice and test tubes have shown that antler velvet supplements have anti-tumor as well as anti-cancer effects.
  • Hair growth and health of the skin. A handful of mouse, human and test-tube studies have revealed that deer velvet supplements may stimulate hair and skin cells. This means that they may boost hair growth and overall health of the skin.

Despite these encouraging findings however, not enough top-quality human research has been conducted to prove the particular uses of deer antler velvet as a supplement for humans.

Does it work for bodybuilding?

The most frequently commonly cited claims regarding deer antler velvet is that it will increase your endurance and strength.

These assertions are based upon a small study from 2003 that involved 38 males.

The study showed that those who ingested deer velvet powder for 10 weeks, while undergoing the same strength training program, improved knee power and endurance more than those who were given an untreated placebo.

In fact, the researchers themselves acknowledged that further research was needed to confirm their findings. No studies have confirmed the findings in humans, although some have reported similar results in endurance in animals.

In the end, experts believe there's insufficient evidence to back the claim that velvet deer supplements boost fitness or strength training capabilities.


The labels for supplements made from deer antler often declare that they can improve the strength and performance of athletes, but virtually no research supports the claims. Researchers continue to study the potential for other uses, such as treating osteoarthritis or preventing fatigue.

Possible side effects and worries

There are currently no adverse reactions from taking velvet extracts from deer antler.

However, it's crucial to keep in mind that supplements usually contain insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) that has various known adverse reactions. This includes

  • headaches
  • joint pain
  • swelling, or edema
  • low blood sugar levels

Additionally, be aware that numerous athletic organizations and sports leagues prohibit IGF-1. If you're an athlete IGF-1 supplements might be banned.

Additionally, these products need to be properly controlled. They could also be contaminated or mixed with other substances or compounds that can trigger adverse effects in certain people.

For instance certain researchers are concerned that the products could be infected with harmful pathogens, if the velvet from the antler was taken from animals that are unhealthy.

Because research studies regarding the safety and effectiveness of deer antler velvet have not been conducted, be extremely cautious when using the supplement. This is particularly important when you're breastfeeding, pregnant or breastfeeding, immunosuppressed, using birth control pills, or taking hormone replacement therapy.

In addition, since velvet made from deer antler is removed surgically from live animals, some are concerned about morality and ethics regarding its use as an additive.


Although it is believed that the adverse effects of supplements made from deer antlers could be minor, further research regarding their safety and impact on humans is required. Be aware that a number of athletic associations bans supplements made from deer antlers.

How much should you take?

As of now, there is no recommended dosages for deer antler velvet. for velvet deer antler supplements.

However, the majority of supplement makers advise a daily dosage of 500-1000 mg.

However, it's recommended that you speak with a reputable healthcare doctor before taking the supplement. They will be able to help you determine the appropriate and safe dosage for you.


If you choose to use supplements made from deer antler, check the manufacturer's recommended dosage and speak with your physician first.

The Bottom Line

Deer velvet products made from antlers have been used for years to improve bone health and repair injuries.

Numerous animal and test-tube studies have explored the medicinal potential of deer antlers. However, not much of that research has been used to determine the effectiveness or safety of deer antlers for humans.

Therefore, it is recommended to be cautious. Remember that certain athletic associations do not permit these products.

Live Healthier
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