Who wouldn’t want all this? Deer Antler Velvet is claimed to increase testosterone, growth hormone, strength, physical performance, muscle mass and endurance in bed. It might also beautify your skin, improve brain function and enhance immunity. If this was not too good to be true, according to some claims Deer Antler Velvet might also increase your penis size.
Old medicine and new phenomenon
Deer Antler Velvet is not a new invention, apparently, it might have been used for at least 2000 years in the Traditional Chinese Medicine. Deer Antler Velvet is made from reindeer or elk during the growth phase of the antler. This is said to be an ethical and humane act, as it is often done in anesthesia and antlers regenerates every year.
Recently Deer Antler Velvet became popular because of the NFL fuss. The well-known NFL player Ray Lewis got caught from using a Deer Antler Velvet Spray (it’s prohibited in NFL, as it might contain insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)). Media roared, many new products hit the market and people began to hoard this miracle substance like a mad man. If bodybuilders and top athletes use it, therefore it must work, right?!
Does Deer Antler Velvet really work?
Is it really the most regenerative and anabolic substance on the earth? What do scientific studies say?
Deer Antler Velvet growth hormone
It is known that deer antler is one of the fastest growing mammalian bone structure in the world, and it includes insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), at least during the growth phase (1, 2). But its oral absorption is minimal, if even possible at all. (A lot of milk, soy milk or meat-eating have raised IGF-1 levels in a humans (1, 2, (3)
In theory is possible that Deer Antler Velvet could increase IGF-1 levels. But in practical terms, IGF-1 content in Deer Antler Velvet could be even lower than in a normal beef. There does not seem to be any study, where deer antler affected growth hormone or IGF-1 levels. Example: the 10-week human study with orally administered deer antler extract and the powder did not affect to a growth hormone levels. (study)
Even though deer antler velvet products would increase serum IGF-1 levels, would it give even benefits to healthy people? There are theories that an excess IGF-1 from dietary intake (for example, meat and milk) can increase the growth of cancer cells. Read: IGF-1 Killer or savior?
Deer Antler Velvet testosterone
Many Deer Antler Velvet sellers refer to the study made on Edmonton police forces. The study claimed that polices who used Elk Velvet Antler had up to 5-6 times higher testosterone levels compared to the other men of the same age… The study was admittedly false, and the University gave the statement: laboratory results do not support these claims. read more about here). Furthermore, many of deer antler vendors refer to this research and mislead consumers.
Deer Antler Velvet does not raise testosterone and its been proven in several clinical studies. 10-week human study, no effect (1). 12 week human trial, no effect (2). Yet another human study, no effect (3). Deer or elk antler (in any form) does not increase testosterone or free testosterone in men or women.
Deer Antler Velvet and red cell count
Many deer or elk antler sellers claim that their “clinically proven” antler matrix mysteriously and magically produces more red blood cells and helps carry oxygen to the muscles. Unfortunately (for hoax vendors) this have been tested in actual real studies and not only in made up studies. And it’s probably not a surprise, that Deer Antler Velvet has no effect on red blood cell counts (study). In theory deer antler might contain erythropoietin (EPO), but in reality, quantities are so small that it does not affect humans in any way.
Deer Antler Velvet and its effect on libido
It does not increase growth hormone nor testosterone, but it surely still gives you at least 3-day erection and jacks up your sperm production? Well, if you believe in scientifical evidence… Then the answer is no. In 12 week double-blind and placebo-controlled study: between placebo and Deer Antler Velvet group there was no observed difference in hormones or sexual behavior (study). In fact, none of the Deer Antler Velvet studies have not found any effect on the sexual desire or hormones levels.
Deer Antler Velvet and physical performance
This seems to be the only statement or claim that actually might be true. In 10 week human study, we saw how Deer Antler Velvet extract might offer some positive benefits on power and physical performance. However this study was rather insufficient, because many participants dropped out while the study was in progress, so more human studies are needed to make claims (source). Animal studies have also obtained similar results: Cornu Cervi Pantotrichum improved physical performance and protected against fatigue in mice (1). Another study in which fermented Deer Antler Velvet increased physical performance in mice (2).
What about the penis size?
Will Deer Antler Velvet increase penis size? Unfortunately, no current studies have examined this. So we need to rely upon personal experiences. I have used different Deer Antler products for at least 3 months straight. And unfortunately I have to say: it did not grow. I have to also say that my friends who used it report the same results: Does not work!
But if you are really interested increasing your penis size check out long lasting erection guide.
Summary of Deer Antler Velvet studies
Peer-reviewed studies suggest that, deer or elk antlers extracts or powders does not really have any positive effect on the human body (except physical performance part). Animal studies have suggested that it may be able to improve physical performance in mice, and accelerate skin healing in rats (source), and help arthritis (osteoarthritis) in dogs (source).
Several Deer Antler Velvet seller refers to Russian studies, and as far I know, they have observed some benefits. I have not read the studies, but I think that some of them are done with a substance named Pantocrin, which is isolated from deer antlers. But it does not necessarily mean, that you could get pantocrin benefits also from Deer Antler Velvet. Read more here and make your own conclusions.
Science doesn’t really speak on behalf of Deer Antler Velvet, and it seems that it is only the most potent superfood for making money. On the other hand, this may not be the whole truth. As several studies mentioned above had shortages, participants were dropped off during the study, and they might have used completely useless ossified Deer Antler Velvet powder, and so on.
Deer Antler Velvet use in traditional Chinese medicine?
Several traditional Chinese medicine herbs are effective, and their power is also proven in modern research (read: Rhodiola Rosea Benefits – Ancient Tonic for Modern Problems). In Deer Antler Velvet’s case, it is not yet proven to be effective for anything, even though a lot of research and studies has been done.
However, Deer Antler Velvet use in traditional Chinese medicine differs widely from current marketers allegations. For example, in traditional Chinese medicine, they did not usually use Deer Antler Velvet alone, it was ground together with a variety of herbs into a potion. In addition, they used primarily male deer’s (living) antler, and the antlers different portions (top, top, middle, bottom) had different uses.
Traditional Chinese medicine didn’t generally recommend Deer Antler Velvet for healthy humans, although there was some use for the older people’s well-being and for their power reinforcement. Deer Antler Velvet use was targeted mainly for a strengthening of bones, to benefit blood and bone marrow, and as a vision, impotence and cold limbs remedy.
Not worth of money
Deer Antler Velvet can contain interesting active ingredients, but there are only small trace amounts of them. Orally administered IGF-1 or EGF, does not necessarily provide any health benefit. If you want to promote red blood cell production, you probably can find a better source for EPO. MSM is more effective and cheaper alternative for collagen boosting.
I’ve tested a lot of deer and elk antler products. I even invested a bottle that cost $140, and I can guarantee that effects were not worth the money. As a healthy man, I do not see any reason to take deer antler. But that is only my own experience, it does not imply that deer antler velvet would be completely useless to everyone. Even if deer antler is healthy and nutritious, it might not be worth the price that it’s currently selling.
After the NFL fuss, many superfood gurus have launched their “own” “better” and “ethical” Deer antler products, which they sell way higher than average market price. I suggest making your own research about the ethics and efficiency of these products, even if the seller is your favorite superfood guru or a regular deer antler seller.
Why so many people sell this worthless product?
If anyone wonders why so many sells deer antler, even it’s totally useless… The answer is: even there might not be benefits for use, it is still very good money for the sellers. Deer/elk antlers price moves currently about 120-60 USD / pound (or even lower).
For example, if you manufacture expensive, and now popular antler velvet concentrate. Which means that you use 4-75 pounds of antlers to make one pound concentrate. That means: raw materials for 1 pound of concentrate cost is: antler price * extract strength. With this one pound of concentrate, you can make 453 bottles of 1,000mg Deer Antler Velvet extract. That’s pretty good business, as you can sell one bottle of this extract for about $60-150 USD.
For example: quick googling reveals that the current market price for 43:1 1000mg extract bottle is about $140 USD.
Deer Antler Velvet ethics?
So many Deer Antler Velvet quacks claim that their product is stronger, better, more ethical, more humane and animal-friendly than the New Zealand deer antlers. Well as it turns out, this is all horse shit. There is not really 100% ethical humane way to cut antlers from deer or elks. But there are painless local anesthesia methods that barely stress the animals.
If you care about these animals, I would suggest to NOT buy antler velvet that is marketed as tranquilizers or anesthetics free. As they might not use anesthetic at all, or use method called electroanalgesia, which is rapid and convenient. But it’s not really animal-friendly, in fact, it has been found to be not effective anesthesia for deer and elks (study).
In New Zealand it’s required by law to use painless local anesthesia, and they won’t use electroanalgesia, because it’s proven to be aversive and not sufficiently effective, and therefore could be penalized as animal abuse. Don’t buy the marketing hype, and make your own research.
Still want to waste your money?
Then select a product that comes from New Zealand, as its the biggest deer antler producer, and their antler removing methods have been studied since the 70’s. New Zealand deer antler production is strictly regulated by law, and the antlers must be cut ethically in anesthesia and with veterinary supervision. And anyway deers in New Zealand are free range and eat grass 365 days a year.
In fact, the only study which Deer Antler Velvet was useful, that product came from a New Zealand deers. If you buy something else, you may be taking part in gruesome animal torture, where antlers are removed without a functioning anesthesia.You will not find deer antler velvet recommendations here. But if you want to raise sexual desire, you should try Maca Velvet, which I’m using. It has small amounts of New Zealand’s Deer Antler Velvet. But the best part with this product is, that you do not need to rely on magic or any other mystical things, because it contains actually scientifically proven libido boosters.
I donated couple bottles of this to a familiar 47-year-old man who suffered from low libido, like most men of that age. A week later, he reported those morning erections have returned for the first time in 15 years. This is not surprising to me since many of my friends have reported the same thing.
The main ingredient of the product: maca root is one of those rare herbs or superfoods, which is actually proven to have significant benefits to libido. For example: a 12-week human study (1). Small 14 days study (2). In one study maca root helped even with SSRI induced impotence (3).
Third component of this product: Tongkat Ali, which benefits for testosterone and libido has been proven in several human studies. For example, a 12-week human study – in Tongkat Ali group there was significant increase with erections and libido, in addition weight loss was observed in (1). In a small 5-week study they found that: Tongkat Ali Group saliva cortisol levels decreased 16% and saliva testosterone increased 37% compared to placebo group (2). I could list more human studies where Tongkat Ali has raised the libido, but this summed it all well: “Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali; TA) is natural alternative to TRT and has been shown to restore serum testosterone levels, thus significantly improving sexual health.” (source).
Best Virility Supplement – this by far the best virility supplement I have ever tried. The best possible combo of herb extracts. I feel super strong and super virile. Only down side do not take the max take the minimum dose because it will cause your skin to get very oily. – Maca Velvet user
Maca Velvet is a good example of how the deer antler was actually used in traditional Chinese medicine (ie. Deer Antler Velvet mixed with other active herbs). Deer antler sellers do not want you to know this since they earn more money by selling poor extracts to you.
Deer antler velvet can be a healthy and nutrient rich substance, but the current antler velvet industry can be summarized as “you’re the sucker if you buy this stuff”. I recommend that you let the current antler velvet fuss subside by itself and use strategies & supplements that actually work.