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Deer Antler Velvet 101– What is It and What Does It Do?


Are you unfamiliar with deer antler velvet?

Then this article is for you. We cover everything you need to know about deer antler velvet supplements including our most frequently asked questions. To buy deer antler velvet, see our complete product line here.   

What is deer antler velvet?

Deer antler velvet is deer antler while in its growth stage. The term "velvet" comes from a velvet-like covering that appears on antlers during the growth stage. Deer antler is the only mammalian tissue that is shed and regrown each year.

What is in deer antler velvet?

Deer antler velvet is made up of proteins, minerals, lipids and water. It contains 13 growth factors, 21 amino acids, 20 glycosaminoglycans and many minerals and trace elements.

What does deer antler velvet do?

Deer antler velvet is an adaptogen. It restores homeostasis to an unbalanced body by helping where it is needed. Deer antler velvet has an effect on many systems of the body given its chemical composition. The active ingredients in deer antler velvet are mostly precursors that are required by the body to process substances that maintain its health and wellbeing.

How does deer antler velvet work?

The chemical composition of deer antler velvet is highly complex, containing nearly 40 key compounds and 400 active ingredients. Although the ingredients are generally known, it is believed that the combination of ingredients as a whole contributes significantly to the efficacy of deer antler velvet.

What is deer antler velvet good for?

There are many benefits to deer antler velvet. Studies suggest that deer antler velvet may have beneficial effects related to: increases in muscular development, strength and endurance; improved recovery; prevention and reduction of inflammation; improvement of sexual health; reduction in blood pressure; improvement in bone and joint health; stimulation of the immune system; and more. 

Are there studies that support the benefits of deer antler velvet?

Modern scientific studies support the benefits of deer antler velvet. Decades of research have been carried out in New Zealand, Japan, Russia, Korea, China and Australia. Almost 250 papers have been published since 1930 on the effects of deer antler velvet. This research has given credibility to deer antler velvet’s usage as an everyday health supplement.

Who uses deer antler velvet?

Our clientele is made up of a diverse group of people. Nearly everyone can benefit from deer antler velvet due to its broad range of benefits. We are proud to have consistent referrals from knowledgeable professionals, including physicians, naturopath doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners, acupuncturists, military officers and soldiers, fitness trainers, coaches and athletes. We value every referral, because word of mouth from trusted friends and family members are more powerful than anything we can say for ourselves.

What is the recommended dosage for deer antler velvet?

The dosage depends on your reason for taking deer antler velvet. Deer antler velvet’s efficacy is generally dose dependent which means taking more produces greater results. For general health, 1,000 mg daily. For therapeutic effects, 2,000 mg daily. For athletic performance, 3,000 mg daily. 

When is the best time to take deer antler velvet?

Deer antler velvet capsules can be taken at anytime, with or without meals. Timing does not impact the efficacy.

What is deer antler velvet extract?

Deer antler velvet extract is a more concentrated form of deer antler velvet. Antler Farms® Deer Antler Velvet Extract is made with the intention of maximizing its growth factor content. We use proprietary, confidential methods that purify and increase the natural growth factor content in deer antler velvet. The extract is taken sublingually, with enhanced bioavailability up to 95%.

What is the difference between Antler Farms® deer antler velvet capsules and extracts?

Our capsules are made of 100% pure deer antler velvet, with minimal processing. In general terms, after deer antler velvet is collected, it is freeze-dried, milled into a powder, and encapsulated. The capsules are swallowed and the nutrients are absorbed in the digestive system. In this form, deer antler velvet retains its full spectrum of nutrients in their naturally occurring ratios. 

Our deer antler velvet extract contains only deer antler velvet's full growth factor matrix. In other words, the growth factors are isolated from the other nutrients. Fresh deer antler velvet is processed using proprietary, confidential methods that purify and increase the growth factor content, far beyond its normal composition. The extract is administered sublingually (under the tongue) and is absorbed into the bloodstream. Most people who prefer using deer antler velvet extract do so for its powerful effect on athletic performance.

What does deer antler velvet extract do?

Antler Farms® Deer Antler Velvet Extract contains concentrated growth factors, which provide anabolic and regenerative effects. Competitive and professional athletes use deer antler velvet extract for the performance benefits associated with increasing IGF-1 and other growth factors in the body. It can increase the body’s ability to build muscle, recover, and reduce fat.

Which Antler Farms® deer antler velvet product should I take?

The product you should take depends on your reason for taking deer antler velvet. Our deer antler velvet capsules are made of 100% pure, freeze dried deer antler velvet that has general health and therapeutic benefits. Traditional users of deer antler velvet prefer capsules because it is a natural, whole food.

Our deer antler velvet extracts contain concentrated growth factors which stimulates cell growth, maintenance and repair. Those seeking to improve their athletic performance and recovery prefer deer antler velvet extract due to the performance benefits. It helps build muscle, increase endurance and speed recovery.

What is the difference between Antler Farms® deer antler velvet extract liquid and deer antler velvet extract tablets?

Both the deer antler velvet extract liquid and tablets contain the same 75:1 deer antler velvet extract, but differ in potency. The tablets have four times more active ingredients per bottle than the liquid.

What is the recommended dosage for deer antler velvet extract?

For competitive sports, we recommend 2 ml of extract liquid daily (one squeeze of the bulb = 1 ml). For professional sports, we recommend one extract tablet daily.

When is the best time to take deer antler velvet extract?

Our extracts should always be consumed on an empty stomach to increase their effectiveness. Taken sublingually, the extract liquid and tablets have an absorption rate of 95% - an extremely high bioavailability.

The extract liquid should be taken on an empty stomach, twice daily. The bottle should be shaken well before use. Place one dropper (one squeeze of the bulb = 1 ml = about 20 drops) under the tongue and hold in mouth for 90 seconds before swallowing.

The extract tablet should also be taken on an empty stomach, one daily. Bite the tablet a few times to break it up, hold the pieces under the tongue and allow to dissolve, then swallow.

How quick can I expect results?

Response time depends on a number of factors including personal constitution, the health of the individual, and diet. Because of the nature of deer antler velvet as an adaptogen, its specific action on each individual, including the width, depth and speed of the action, will vary. Some people notice immediate results after a few days of use, while others notice results after a course of a few months.

Deer antler velvet's effects are gradual, cumulative and develop over time. Therefore, it is important to use our deer antler velvet products on a consistent basis to receive the full benefits.

Why is Antler Farms® deer antler velvet the best deer antler velvet product?

There are a lot of deer antler velvet products on the market. Some are good, but most are mediocre. It is hard to tell which is which for the general public. We set out to make the best deer antler velvet products, so every step in our production is geared towards quality.

Quality deer antler velvet starts with healthy deer. We raise a robust herd of red deer in New Zealand pasture. We do not purchase from a collective like most companies, so we know exactly what goes into our products. At the height of potency, deer antler velvet is collected. We are selective in what parts we use in our product and we take great care during processing to ensure that the restorative properties of our deer antler velvet are retained and/or increased.

Why is deer antler velvet so expensive?

Simply put, supply and demand. The global supply is low due to the fact that male deer only grow antlers for a season per year. The output from deer farms across the world is not sufficient to satisfy the demand. Additionally, the cost to take care of the deer, harvest the antler velvet, and process the raw material is considerable. Thus, deer antler velvet prices are high and likely to stay that way given the uptrend in worldwide demand.

Why do Antler Farms® deer antler velvet products cost more than other company's products?

Our products are a great value for what you receive. When comparing our price to others, note the following differences:

  • New Zealand deer farms have a higher, costlier standard of care and handling of animals than other countries (i.e., China, Korea, Russia, United States, Canada).
  • We are very selective in the deer we farm. 80-90% of the red deer population in New Zealand would not meet our standards. Because of our requirements, we could not and would not purchase our velvet from a collective like most companies. We know exactly where our deer velvet came from - our farms. 
  • Our techniques are more labor intensive, more time consuming and more expensive than conventional methods. We could make cheaper products, but we choose not to. We produce the world's best deer antler velvet.
  • We do not use the cheap, ineffective base and bottom segments in our antler velvet capsules (most competitors do). Our capsules are 500 mg (most competitor capsules are 250 mg). Our bottles have 180 capsules (most competitor bottles have 60 capsules). On a dollars per gram basis, our product is very competitively priced.
  • Our deer antler velvet extract has a 75:1 extract ratio, an extremely high concentration. We use 75 parts fresh, top grade, whole stick deer antler velvet to make just 1 part deer antler velvet extract. The cost of raw materials is reflected in the price of our product. Most competitors sell deer antler spray with far lower ratios. Beware of companies that claim high extract ratios with no proof of growth factor content (see next point).
  • Our deer antler velvet extracts contain IGF-1 and the full growth factor matrix. The contents are tested and verified. Most other companies do not have the technological capability to process their extracts and retain deer antler velvet's active growth factors. Always check the label on deer antler velvet extracts for the growth factor content. If it’s missing from the label, it’s probably missing inside the bottle too.
  • Our deer antler velvet extracts use liposomes for superior bioavailability and absorption. Liposomes are microscopic vesicles that encapsulate and transport active ingredients in to locations in the body where they are most efficiently absorbed. Most other companies do not have liposomal delivery and the extract is destroyed by stomach acid before absorption.
  • Our deer antler velvet is 100% pure, with no fillers or additives. Competitors put cheap ingredients into their products and claim they "boost" their product. The truth is the added ingredients decreases their cost and makes their products more ineffective.

How is deer antler velvet harvested?

Our deer antler velvet is collected from New Zealand red deer farms. Deer are not killed for their antlers. Antler removal is done while deer are alive, restrained and under local anesthesia. It is a relatively quick and painless procedure. After the procedure, the deer are released back into the herd.

What is chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer?

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a contagious neurological disorder that causes degeneration of the brain, chronic weight loss, loss of bodily functions and death in deer. It is similar to mad cow disease in cattle. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that humans should avoid consuming deer that appear sick with CWD due to possibility of contamination.

Deer in the United States, Canada and Europe have all been diagnosed with CWD. However, there has never been a single incident of infection in New Zealand despite extensive testing and monitoring. Antler Farms® deer antler velvet comes from healthy New Zealand deer.

Is deer antler velvet safe?

Yes. Deer antler velvet is a 100% natural, whole food. Studies have shown that using deer antler velvet at the recommended doses is nontoxic. Deer antler velvet supplementation has a long history of safe usage, going back thousands of years.

Is deer antler velvet banned?

IGF-1 is a hormone that is a banned substance in sports. Deer antler velvet was mistakenly banned because of its high IGF-1 and growth factor content. However, after further consideration, the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) removed deer antler velvet from its list of banned substances in early 2013. The reason behind the removal probably stems from the fact that deer antler velvet is a natural IGF-1 source (the synthetic version is banned).

Is deer antler velvet a steroid or a performance enhancing drug (PED)?

No, deer antler velvet is not a steroid. A steroid is a synthetic version of testosterone or a testosterone derivative. Deer antler velvet is neither of these things. It is a dietary supplement made from a natural, whole food.

Deer antler velvet is not a performance enhancing drug either. Though the supplement has components that can improve athletic performance, it is not a pharmaceutical product and thus, not a drug.

How long does deer antler velvet stay in your system?

Deer antler velvet (capsules) is a food product. Its nutrients are digested into the body and expelled like any other food in 24 to 72 hours. It does not stay in the body and there is no way to detect it in the body.

Deer antler velvet extract is absorbed immediately into the body through sublingual administration. Its growth factors have a short half life - less than 24 hours. It’s likely that deer antler velvet extract is expelled out of the body within a few days after usage.

Why are Antler Farms® deer antler velvet capsules lighter in color than other company's products?

We freeze dry our deer antler velvet rather than using the traditional method of applying heat. This accounts for the difference in color, as freeze drying lightens the color from fresh velvet, while heat drying darkens the color. Freeze drying is far more hygienic (almost zero chance of bacteria and contamination) and preserves the nutrients (heat degrades the nutrients). This is the new standard in processing deer antler velvet.

Can Antler Farms® deer antler velvet be given to dogs, cats and other pets?

Yes! Deer antler velvet is an effective preventative supplement and natural treatment for arthritis and other joint diseases in dogs, cats and other animals. Be sure only to give pets our deer antler velvet capsules. Our extracts should never be given to pets. 

Click here to buy Antler Farms® Deer Antler Velvet Capsules

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