Deer antler velvet supplements — particularly deer velvet extracts and powders — have become increasingly popular among bodybuilders and athletes seeking to enhance their strength and endurance in recent years.
They’ve been utilized to signify health, youthfulness, fertility, blood pressure, and other things for ages.
Despite the fact that some of the study on these drugs is fascinating, there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that they can improve athletic performance in people.
While deer antler velvet supplements are often touted as a way to naturally increase testosterone levels, there’s no evidence that this is true.
This article examines what deer antler supplements are, how they’re used, and whether there’s scientific evidence to support their health advantages and drawbacks.
What is deer antler velvet supplement?
The soft, fuzzy, protective hair that covers the bone and cartilage of growing antlers that have not yet hardened is called deer antler velvet.
Deer antlers are unique in that they’re one of the quickest-growing bones in any creature. Deer and elk, on the other hand, replace and renew their antlers every year. This might explain why many conventional medicine systems adore young deer antler velvet extracts. They’ve been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, among other things.
In recent years, the use of deer antler velvet supplements has become increasingly popular among athletes and bodybuilders.
Some people take these products believing that they can help increase muscle mass, improve strength and endurance, and reduce recovery time after exercise. Others believe that taking deer antler velvet supplements will help to naturally increase their testosterone levels.
How the deer antler velvet supplements are made
To produce antler velvet extracts, deer or elk antlers that are still in their early developmental stages are surgically removed.
The deer are put to sleep with anesthetic before the velvet antlers are sliced off near the base. The velvet is then removed from the antler bone and dried, after which it is crushed into a fine powder and used as a supplement.
Deer antler powder is available in bulk or capsule form. Deer antler extracts and sprays are also available, consisting of the powder combined with a solution.
Traditional uses and today’s health claims
Deer antler velvet has long been used to strengthen bones, boost immunity, and treat a variety of ailments including toothaches and tissue damage.
Today, a simple internet search may quickly provide a list of over 30 ailments for which the supplement is claimed to cure.
Individuals frequently utilize it to enhance power, endurance, athletic performance, and repair damaged muscles and tissues.
The product is thought to decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels, enhance youthfulness, increase fertility, and more. Unfortunately, many of these claimed advantages are unverified.
Nutrition Regarding Deer Antler Velvet Supplement
In theory, deer antler velvet supplements may provide health benefits.
The Formosan sambar deer, which are indigenous to Taiwan, has been discovered to have several antioxidants in its velvet antlers. These enzymes included superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GPX).
Deer antlers also contain various vitamins and minerals that may be beneficial to health. They are also high in protein, so they can increase energy levels. Furthermore, amino acids and peptides found in deer antlers have been shown to have medicinal effects. Amino acids are the fundamental components of proteins, whereas peptides are chains of linked amino acids.
Deer antler velvet’s protein content has also been shown to contribute to its health advantages, according to newer studies.
Recent laboratory research also lend credence to the idea that antler velvet protein peptides have anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and heart health-promoting properties.
Finally, deer velvet includes organic molecules called nucleosides, which are the raw materials of DNA. These compounds might be behind antler velvet’s purported anti-fatigue effects.
Potential benefits when using a deer antler velvet supplement
Deer antler velvet, like deer antler itself, seems to have anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing effects. However, because of a lack of human research, the health benefits of deer antler velvet remain unknown.
The following are some of the potential advantages that researchers are currently studying:
- Bone and cartilage growth. According to test-tube research, antler velvet may help with bone and cartilage damage. It also has been found to promote femur growth and bone enzyme levels in animals.
- Anti-fatigue and strengthening properties. Supplementation with antler velvet has been studied in mice. Mice that ingested nucleosides in large quantities swam significantly quicker, according to the findings. This indicates enhanced power and less tiredness.
- Osteoarthritis treatment. Deer antler velvet contains chondroitins, which are present in cartilage and may help reduce pain in individuals with osteoarthritis. Furthermore, antler velvet components may help to strengthen bones.
- Anti-cancer properties. Several test tube and mouse studies have found that antler velvet supplements have anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.
- Hair growth and skin health. Deer antler velvet supplements have been shown to promote skin and hair cells in a few mouse, human, and test-tube studies. As a result, they may help to promote hair development and skin health.
Despite these encouraging findings, there have been insufficient high-quality human studies conducted to validate deer antler velvet supplements as a therapy. More
When considering a deer antler velvet supplement, it is important to weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks. Deer antler velvet is not regulated by the FDA, so there is no guarantee of quality or quantity. Additionally, as with any supplement, interactions with other medications or supplements should consult a doctor or health expert before adding any new medications into your routine.
Is deer antler velvet supplements good for bodybuilding?
According to one of the most frequently cited assertions about deer antler velvet, it may improve your strength and endurance.
Unfortunately, these assertions are based on a single small 2003 research with just 38 males.
Deer antler velvet powder increased knee strength and endurance in men who took part in a concurrent strength program for 10 weeks, according to the research.
Even the original researchers acknowledged that further study was needed to verify their findings. To date, no other studies have duplicated the finding in humans, although a few have discovered comparable effects on endurance in animals.
Finally, experts express that there isn’t enough scientific evidence to back up claims that deer antler velvet supplements enhance athletic performance or weightlifting abilities.
Potential side effects and concerns with deer antler velvet supplements
There have been no known negative side effects linked with deer antler velvet supplements since they were first discovered.
However, it’s worth noting that the supplements usually include insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which has a long list of unpleasant symptoms. These are some of them:
- joint pain
- edema, or swelling
- low blood sugar levels
Furthermore, keep in mind that IGF-1 is illegal in many sports organizations and federations. As a result, if you’re a athlete, taking these supplements may be prohibited.
Furthermore, these supplements are largely unregulated. As a result, they may be combined or tainted with compounds and substances that produce unwanted side effects in certain people.
Some scientists are concerned that the pills may be tainted with dangerous germs if the antler velvet was taken from an unhealthy animal.
Due to the lack of research on deer antler velvet’s safety and effectiveness, use extreme caution with the supplement. This is especially true if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, immunosuppressed, taking birth control, or using hormone replacement therapy.
Finally, because deer antler velvet is taken from live animals during surgery, some people are concerned about its use as a supplement.
As you can see, there is still a lot of research that needs to be done on deer antler velvet supplements before any definitive conclusions can be made.
How much deer antler velvet supplements you should take
There are currently no established dosage recommendations for deer antler velvet supplements.
However, the majority of supplement producers suggest a daily intake for their product — usually 500–1000 mg.
However, before you start taking the pill, it’s essential to see a healthcare professional. They can assist you in determining whether or not the supplement is appropriate for you and if so, at what dosage.
Powdered velvet antler is available in capsule form at health shops. The suggested dosage for a general tonic and to combat tiredness is generally 1 or 2 capsules (250 to 350 milligrams each) per day. Higher dosages may be used for diseases such as osteoarthritis under the guidance of a health expert. The effects of velvet antler tend to build up gradually and are typically visible after 8 to 12 weeks.
Research on deer antlers could have major health benefits for humans
Imagine being able to regrow a finger. Scientists think that by looking at how deer grow their antlers, we may be able to achieve the same thing.
Male deer, including elk, moose, and reindeer (caribou), grow a new set of antlers each year from scratch, in just a few months. They then shed them at the end of the yearly mating season. The ability to regenerate such huge appendages each year is uncommon in the animal kingdom as a whole (horns, unlike antlers, are permanent and cannot be renewed). Understanding how it happens may have major implications for human medicine, particularly in the fields of wound healing and organ regeneration.
When antlers fall off, they leave healed wounds that do not scar. Velvet antler contains chemicals that promote healing and may be of use to people, according to researchers. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), epidermal growth factor (EGF) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) are three hormones that have been shown to promote skin tissue development. In a recent experiment, rats treated with an ointment made from velvet antler, which contains these compounds, benefited from improved wound healing when applied to their skin. When Ray Lewis was accused of using a prohibited spray containing IGF-1 in the winter of 2013, his use of the substance became a big story in the media.
More fascinating is how the stags are able to grow new antlers. Scientists have discovered stem cells at the bases of antlers’essentially ‘blank’ cells that can become many different types of cell, such as a skin cell or a cartilage cell. Researchers are attempting to figure out what causes the stem cells to grow into antlers, and how they are triggered and controlled. If they could discover what causes the stem cells to develop into antlers, this information might be useful in regenerating human limbs and organs. Scientists believe that the shedding is triggered by a fall in testosterone, which is linked to an increase in daylight length, and that oestrogen might be a cellular regulatory molecule. However, more atomic-level study is needed to understand what appears to be a complex procedure.
Final thoughts on deer antler velvet supplements
Deer antler velvet supplements have long been used to help bone health and repair tissue damage. Deer antler has been studied for its medicinal properties in test tubes and animals. However, much of that research has yet to be translated into how safe or effective deer antler is for people.
As a result, you should exercise caution. Furthermore, keep in mind that some sports organizations have banned these vitamins.
If you are thinking of taking deer antler velvet supplements, be sure to speak with a healthcare professional to determine if they are right for you. And finally, do your own research on the safety and efficacy of these products before taking them. Check out the best deer antler spray for rapid recovery.