Antler Farms® Deer Antler Velvet

For general health and therapeutic use:deer antler velvet capsulesFor athletic performance and recovery:deer antler sprayFor competitive and professional athletes:deer antler velvet extract IGF-1 tablets


100% pure deer antler velvet. Antler FarmsŪ deer antler velvet is a unique superfood, containing 40 key compounds and 400 active ingredients, including the powerful protein IGF-1. Our deer antler velvet is the purest, cleanest product on the market. It is collected from antibiotic free, growth hormone free deer that is routinely screened for disease, agricultural and chemical contaminants including CWD, pesticides, fertilizers and PCB's. Our deer antler velvet is a completely safe, natural, well tolerated dietary supplement.

Highest concentration of active ingredients. Antler FarmsŪ uses only the best, highest grade components to produce the strongest supplements. Our deer antler velvet capsules are made from the tips, upper and middle sections of "whole stick" antler, and exclude the inferior base and bottom segments. Our deer antler spray and extract tablets are made with a proprietary process that yields an unmatched 75:1 extract ratio. The high concentration of active ingredients means our deer velvet will give you quicker results, more improvements and increased benefits.

Superior processing methods. Antler FarmsŪ deer antler velvet and deer antler spray are cold processed using methods designed to maintain and increase their potency. We employ innovative techniques that are more labor intensive, more time consuming and more expensive than conventional methods to produce supplements that are vastly superior to any other products on the market. We do not use chemicals or heat that is destructive to deer antler velvet components. We take great care to ensure that our products are of the highest possible quality.

Top grade deer. Antler FarmsŪ deer antler velvet is produced from carefully selected, naturally healthy, free grazing deer. To create the highest quality deer antler velvet and deer antler spray, we start with the highest quality animals. There is no better deer stock than our New Zealand red deer herd. No deer are harmed or killed to make our deer antler velvet products. Antler FarmsŪ deer are raised in cruelty free, humane conditions in full compliance with government regulations.


The product that is right for you depends on your reason for taking it.

For General Health and Therapeutic Use
Our deer antler velvet capsules are made of 100% pure deer antler velvet, with minimal processing. In general terms, after deer antler velvet is collected, it is dried, milled into a powder, and encapsulated. In this form, deer antler velvet retains its full spectrum of nearly 40 key compounds and 400 active ingredients in their naturally occurring ratios. The capsules are swallowed and the nutrients are absorbed through the digestive system. Traditional users of deer antler velvet prefer capsules because it is a pure, natural, whole food that has general health and therapeutic benefits. We recommend lower dosages for general health benefits and higher dosages for therapeutic use.

For Athletic Performance and Recovery
Our deer antler velvet extract is processed with the intention of isolating and maximizing the full growth factor matrix, including IGF-1, IGF-2, EGF and many more. 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. Those seeking to improve their athletic performance and recovery prefer deer antler velvet extract due to the performance benefits associated with increasing IGF-1 and other growth factors in the body. Both the liquid and tablets contain the same 75:1 deer antler velvet extract, but differ in potency. The tablets have four times more IGF-1 and total growth factors content per bottle than the liquid.


What is Deer Antler Velvet?

Deer antler velvet refers to antler in its growing, pre-calcified state.

Deer antlers are used primarily for mating purposes, to battle other male deer for mating rights. Male deer grow their first set of antlers when they hit puberty, at approximately one year of age.

When the antlers are growing, they are soft to the touch or spongy. Unlike horns, which are keratinized tissue, antlers are organs. They have blood vessels, nerves, skin, cartilage and bone. The outermost layer of skin covering a growing antler is hair-like in appearance and texture, and is simply called ‘velvet.’ Deer antler velvet is also commonly referred to as deer velvet, deer velvet antler, and lu rong (in Traditional Chinese Medicine).

Testosterone plays an important part of the antler cycle. The seasonal changes in the amount of daylight ultimately control the secretion of the reproductive hormone testosterone in males.  Growth of antlers typically begins in spring, as testosterone levels increase in response to increasing day light. A deer’s antlers can grow at a rate of ¼ inch per day. In just four months, deer antlers are fully developed.

Antler growth is one of the fastest known types of tissue growth in mammals, and the only example of an organ that is shed and regrown each year.

Towards the middle of summer, the antlers reach their full size and the cartilage in the antler begins to calcify. By late summer, when testosterone levels are at their peak, the blood vessels shut down around the base of the antlers and the antlers harden into bone.

Hard antlers remain on the deer through the peak until late fall or early winter. As the deer’s testosterone levels drop off, the antlers are shed. Antlers are grown and shed every year.

Deer antlers require a great deal of nutrients and energy to grow. Only the healthiest deer can grow large antlers. Hard antlers are comprised mostly out of calcium and phosphorus. Because deer do not consume much calcium as part of their diet, and the calcium in the antlers is produced by chemical reactions in their bodies, which draws heavily on the animal’s mineral reserves. Therefore, the size of antlers is an external demonstration of a deer’s fitness.


"Deer antler velvet" is commonly described as the fuzzy, hair-like layer of skin on a growing antler. This is completely inaccurate. Deer antler velvet refers to the entire growing antler, NOT the outer covering. The outer covering is actually removed before processing and does not make its way into our product in any shape or form.

Some competitors erroneously state that their deer antler velvet and deer antler spray products are made from the outer covering of antlers. This glaring mistake demonstrates that these companies know nothing about deer antler velvet- what it is, how it is collected, and how it is processed. These "companies" simply put a label on a pre-made product in a rushed attempt to capitalize on the rising use of deer antler velvet. These companies have no real interest in selling a good product. Their representatives have likely never stepped foot in New Zealand, nor have they ever even seen a deer farm in their lifetime. Avoid these companies. They give the entire industry a bad name.


How are Antler Farms® Deer Raised?


Our customers often have questions about our deer. They have concerns over the treatment and welfare of the deer. We completely understand, and we share the same interest in our animals.

First and foremost, remove all preconceptions related to American factory farming of beef, chicken, pork, egg and dairy from of your mind. Our deer are not raised this way.

Our deer are naturally healthy and thrive on our farms. They roam on rich, abundant, open pastures and eat what they are supposed to eat - grass.

Antler Farms® is home to a robust herd of red deer in the Canterbury region of South Island, New Zealand. Our deer are raised naturally. We do not use growth hormones, ever. Antibiotics are only used to treat a deer that is ill; it is not administered as part of their regular care.

Our deer have been carefully bred by pairing the fittest, most vibrant animals. We document the genealogy to promote strong, proven bloodlines. Our goal is to raise the healthiest deer that in turn produce the strongest, most nutrient rich deer antler velvet.

We are very selective in the deer we farm. 80-90% of the red deer population in New Zealand would not meet our standards.
We are looking for a particular type of deer, raised in a particular way, producing a particular shape and size of deer velvet, collected at a particular time and in a particular way.

At Antler Farms®, we set the bar very high. Because of our requirements, we could not and would not purchase our velvet from a collective like most companies (see the note below). We know exactly where our deer velvet came from - our farms. It is very rare for deer antler velvet supplement companies to operate in this manner, but we believe it is the only way to maintain the integrity of the product, by overseeing every step of the process.

New Zealand is a pioneer of the deer industry and viewed as a leader by the international community. The country is ideal for deer farming, with its mild climate and low pollution. Deer absolutely flourish here. In time, New Zealand has become the world’s biggest producer of deer antler velvet and deer velvet supplements. The industry is extensive in its scale and operation, raising 6,000 deer and generating 450 tons of deer antler velvet per year. New Zealand has established high standards in farming that other countries aspire to. This video above the beautiful landscape of New Zealand and its deer farms.


While we obtain our deer antler velvet directly from our farms, most companies obtain their deer antler velvet from a collective.

Collectives purchase velvet from New Zealand deer farmers and sell the best velvet to buyers in Korea, China and other parts of Asia. Asian buyers are interested only in high quality velvet slices, leaving the less desirable velvet for the rest of the world.

Lower quality velvet is purchased by contract manufacturers to make capsules or extracts. Sometimes this material can include antler that is deformed, broken, damaged, or calcified.

Contract manufacturers produce and package deer antler velvet for multiple companies (i.e., our competitors). These contract manufacturers and companies simply do not have access to the best quality raw material. Additionally, they have no way of knowing where their deer antler velvet came from, how the deer were raised, how the velvet was collected, and how it was processed. Therefore, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for our competitors to make substantial claims about the quality of their deer antler velvet products.

At Antler Farms®, we know exactly where our deer antler velvet comes from. We have strict requirements and are therefore very selective about what we use in our products.


How is Deer Antler Velvet Collected?

To be effective as a nutrient rich supplement, deer antler velvet must be collected and processed approximately midway through their growth stage, prior to their calcification. Because calcified, hardened antler does not have any blood supply, antler that is shed does not provide the nutrients desired for medicinal purposes. Therefore, the collection of deer antler velvet is usually done at the half grown stage just prior to the last budding of the main branch.

Deer antler velvet is at its optimal composition between 55 to 65 days of growth. The exact timing of deer velvet collection balances the maximum length of the branch and the minimum calcification of the lower section of the antler.

No deer are killed or harmed for deer antler velvet.

Deer antler velvet is humanely removed using local anesthesia, under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Deer antler velvet removal is a relatively quick and painless procedure designed to minimize stress for the animal. A tourniquet is placed just below the base of the antler and anesthesia is applied. The velvet antler is removed with a clean, sharp cutting instrument in less than 30 seconds.

Deer are naturally a skittish animal. But our deer are not afraid of humans. This shows that our velvet collection procedure does not cause any stress or trauma to them. The photo above shows one of our highest producing stags just two weeks after velvet removal. As you can see, the deer is perfectly relaxed and approachable by the farmer.

Deer velvet removal is considered a surgical procedure in New Zealand, and each procedure requires the monitoring and supervision of veterinarian who is a licensed and trained by the National Velvetting Standards Body (NVSB). Antler removal is performed at our government licensed facility in compliance with a strict code of practice to confirm the animals are unharmed and that essential hygiene standards are followed.

Before, during and after the procedure, our deer are visually evaluated to certify the animals are in good health. Our deer are returned to the free range, only with other de-antlered deer. Once a deer has had its antlers removed, it must be herded separately from antlered animals to prevent injury by antlered males. Antlered deer can and do injure or kill other deer. Leaving antlers on deer is dangerous to other deer and to the farmers. Therefore, removal of antlers is required on deer farms, even when deer antler velvet is not being collected.

As a whole, the New Zealand deer industry is committed to the welfare of deer during antler removal and has undertaken extensive scientific research into this subject. These research findings underpin the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Stags during the Removal of Velvet, published by the government’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee. The Code was developed in association with the New Zealand Veterinary Association and animal welfare groups. The processing of deer antler velvet is regulated by the New Zealand governments Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) as well as the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA).

Antler Farms® deer are raised in cruelty free, humane conditions in full compliance of government regulations.

Our family owned farms are staffed by veteran farmers and certified veterinarians who practice great care to ensure that our deer antler velvet is collected ethically and humanely.


Deer antler velvet is sold on the open market primarily by weight. Low grade deer antler velvet/deer antler spray manufacturers intentionally collect their deer antler velvet at a suboptimal time to increase the weight. These companies purposely delay the collection to 70 days or longer to maximize their inventory despite the fact that the active ingredients of the deer antler velvet decreases dramatically during this time frame. In other words, our competitors willingly produce a lower quality product in order to have more product for sale.

Antler Farms® deer antler velvet is collected at the peak of potency. As the leading manufacturer of the world's best deer antler velvet products, we never take shortcuts. We raise naturally healthy, free grazing deer because only the healthiest deer will produce the finest deer antler velvet and deer antler spray. We monitor the growth of antler for each deer very closely to determine the optimal time for collection, which varies by individual animal. By putting in this additional effort, we significantly increase the strength and effectiveness of our products.


What is the Composition of Deer Antler Velvet?

The chemical composition of deer antler velvet is highly complex, containing nearly 40 key compounds and 400 active ingredients.
Deer antler velvet is a truly unique superfood, containing the most concentrated source of widely-diversified nutritional substances ever found in the plant or animal kingdom.

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. Specific substances rarely perform alone, and consuming a whole food as provided by nature, are superior to using isolated elements, whether synthetic or natural.

Deer antler velvet, in "whole-stick" form from tip to base, is composed of approximately: 53% proteins, 34% minerals, 3% lipids and 10% water. It contains 13 growth factors, 21 amino acids, 20 glycosaminoglycans and many minerals and trace elements.

Deer velvet antler can be divided into five segments: tips, uppers, middles, bottoms and bases. The top part, usually the last two inches of each branch of an antler, is called the tip. The segment from the beginning of the tip to the forks of the antler is called the upper. The segment between the upper and lower forks is called the middle. The segment between the lower forks and the base is called the bottom. The base is the last few inches of antler.

The concentration of nutrients in each of the five segments vary. Generally, moving from the base of the antler toward the tip, the protein and growth factor content increases, the lipid content increases and the mineral and ash content decreases. Also, as an antler hardens, the mineral content increases and the moisture content decreases.

The tips and upper parts of deer antler velvet are rich in protein, growth factors and lipids, and are thus more valued due to their high efficacy. The tips of deer antler velvet are particularly expensive, due to its rich source of growth factors.

Deer antler velvet has 13 different growth factors, which are referred to as the "full growth factor matrix".

The full growth factor matrix includes:

While these growth factors work individually and collectively in the body to stimulate cellular growth, proliferation, healing, and cellular differentiation, IGF-1 is the primary growth factor that deer antler velvet is sought after by athletes.

IGF-1 is a powerful anabolic hormone. It has the potential to increase muscular size and strength, repair connective tissue, and decrease recovery time – all of which can enhance performance in sports (read more on the benefits of IGF-1 below).

Antler Farms® uses only the best parts of the antler - tips, uppers and middles - to produce the strongest products.

Most of the growth factors in deer antler velvet are found in the antler tips while they are in the middle of their growth stage, well before becoming hard antler.

The base and bottom segments of deer antler velvet are less effective, more nutrient deficient parts of the antler. They have a high mineral content (15% calcium) and a high mineral ash content (40%). In appearance, the base and the bottom segments have porous centers, some white coloration, and narrow, dark rings around the outside. These segments are the least active part of the antler, and therefore are the least expensive. We do not use these segments in our products.

By excluding the low yielding parts of antler, Antler FarmsŪ deer antler velvet is more nutrient-rich than any other product on the market.



Proteins and Growth Factors
  • Amino acids - precursors for all protein production, aids tissue growth, muscle recovery and repair
  • Insulin-like growth factors (IGF-1, 2) - precursors for growth hormone production, promotes muscle growth, tissue growth and organ health
  • Epidermal growth factor (EGF) - protein that stimulates cell growth to produce collagen, for cell renewal and wound healing
  • Collagen - a structural protein present in bone, tendons, ligaments, other connective tissue and articular cartilage
Glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s)
  • Glucosamine sulphate - builds, maintains and repairs joint structures including bone, cartilage, ligaments, joint fluids and tendons
  • Chondroitin sulphate - helps protect and rebuild degenerating cartilage, gives cartilage elasticity, an anti-inflammatory agent
  • Hyaluronic acid - a substance that binds cartilage cells together and lubricates joints
  • Phospholipids - builds cell components and enhances cellular activities, repairs structural damage caused by free radicals, pathogens and toxins
  • Glycosphingolipids - compounds involved with growth and metabolism of cells and with memory and learning
  • Prostaglandins - regulates contraction and relaxation of muscles, regulates inflammatory mediation
  • Calcium - builds and maintains bones, teeth and nerves, important for muscle contraction, nerve transmission, blood pressure and blood clotting
  • Phosphorus - a key component of metabolic reactions, provides structure for bones and teeth, important for function of heart and kidney
  • Potassium - essential for electrolyte balance and also muscle and nerve function
  • Sodium - allows the body to maintain normal fluid balance and electrolytes
  • Magnesium - helps cells restore and release energy for regular muscle and nerve function
Trace Elements
  • Selenium - powerful antioxidant that reduces infections, protects blood cells, the heart, liver and lungs
  • Sulphur - element of insulin and various amino acids, protects body against toxins
  • Zinc - a component of more than 90 enzymes necessary for healthy skin, growth and the healing of wounds
  • Copper - essential for formation of red blood cells, energy making, bone and connective tissues
  • Iron - essential in the blood cells transporting oxygen through the body
  • Cobalt - Used for anemia and stimulating new red blood cells. Required in the synthesis of vitamin B12
Other Compounds
  • Monoamine- oxidase inhibitors - an enzyme that inhibits the oxidation of neurotransmitters, improves mood and feeling of well-being
  • Erythropoietin - a hormone produced by specialized kidney cells to stimulate red blood cell production


How is Deer Antler Velvet Processed?

Traditionally, deer antler velvet is processed in two common ways. The first method uses heat to air dry slices of deer antler velvet, which is then made into a broth by simmering in water. The second method uses an alcohol-based solution to soak deer antler velvet to create an extract.

We do not employ either of these methods. Both are destructive to deer antler velvet's properties. Having the most nutrient-rich raw material means nothing if the components are destroyed during processing. Furthermore, the nutrients must be delivered to the body in a bioavailable way.

Antler FarmsŪ processing methods are unique to the industry, which is why our products are the strongest, most nutrient-dense deer antler velvet products on the market, period.

To create our 100% pure deer antler velvet capsules, our deer antler velvet is freeze dried rather than heat dried. By removing heat from our process, we prevent the degradation of deer antler velvet's 400 active ingredients. Furthermore, our capsules only use the antler tips, upper and middles, which contain higher levels of growth factors and other beneficial components than the bottom segments. We are the only company that: 1) excludes the deficient antler segments, 2) freeze dries only the best, raw antler velvet, and 3) sources from the healthiest, 100% grass fed, New Zealand red deer.

Our deer antler velvet extract is made with an advanced 75:1 extraction process that does not use heat or alcohol. This extraction process isolates and purifies the growth factors, resulting in a deer antler velvet extract loaded with powerful, concentrated growth factors. This solution is delivered through a liposomal administration system which forms microscopic bubbles to protect the growth factors from digestion, allowing enhanced bioavailability of up to 95%. Both the extraction and liposomal technology has been perfected over 30 years and is quite complex in its knowledge and execution. Although other companies can mimic our talk, their products simply do not stand up under testing - and lack the content they claim.

Be weary of competitors who tout the "strongest" deer antler velvet extracts but can't tell how much growth factor is in their product. It most likely has very little to none.

To learn more about our processing methods, click on the products below.


What are the Benefits of Deer Antler Velvet?

Generally researchers agree that deer antler velvet stimulates the body’s own systems to protect, strengthen and restore functions that are out of balance.

Deer antler velvet can act as a natural adaptogen, restoring 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 complex 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.

Deer antler velvet is a 100% natural food. It is not a synthetic, foreign substance. Therefore, deer antler velvet is safer and better at bringing the body to homeostasis than any drug because it is a whole food that acts on the whole body.

Deer antler velvet has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 2,000 years. It continues to be a fundamental ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine today. Other countries in Asia, Europe, and America have also used deer antler velvet for a variety of conditions.

Modern scientific research indicates that deer antler velvet may have beneficial effects related to:
  • improvement in general health
  • increase in blood supply and circulation
  • reduction of blood pressure
  • increase in energy levels and endurance
  • increase in muscular development and strength
  • improvement in flexibility and joint mobility
  • increase in muscle recovery
  • prevention and reduction of inflammation
  • improvement in sexual health
  • development of the skeletal system
  • stimulation of the immune system function
  • improvement in mental health
  • anti aging effects

There is an increasing amount of scientific evidence supporting the benefits of deer antler velvet from decades of research carried out in Russia, Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. This research has given credibility to deer antler velvet’s traditional usage and validated recommendations for its inclusion as an everyday health supplement. Almost 250 papers have been published since 1930 on the manufacture, composition and biochemical effect of deer antler velvet. Studies on deer antler velvet and the corresponding findings are described below.

Athletic Performance, Muscle Strength, Endurance, Recovery

Research suggests that deer antler velvet has a positive effect on athletic performance- including increases in muscular strength, endurance, aerobic capacity and recovery time.

In Russia, Korea and China, deer antler velvet is widely used by athletes to enhance performance. In the United States, more and more athletes are looking to deer antler velvet as a training aid, a promoter of recovery after physical activity and injury, and possibly an injury preventative. Deer velvet could improve athletic performance in many ways, for example by assisting strength and endurance, by supporting the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, by facilitating minor tissue damage, and by boosting the immune system.

Russian bodybuilders have claimed to benefit from deer antler velvet by increasing muscle and nerve strength in the late 1960’s. Earlier studies found similar results in laboratory animals and athletes given pantocrin, an extract of deer antler velvet. Several studies show a positive correlation between consistent use of deer antler velvet and cardiovascular health. Human subjects who used deer antler velvet were able to endure larger work loads and experienced a shorter recovery time between exercises.

In clinical studies conducted by Tanejeva in 1969, the test subjects were placed on a stationary bicycle and their work rate was measured. One half of the men were given Pantocrin and the other half were given a placebo. The group that received deer antler velvet extract showed a greater increase in the total work achieved.

Tanejeva also tested the effect of deer antler velvet in athletes running three kilometer races. In the experiment, 50 men ran the distance and their completion time was recorded. Deer antler velvet extract was administered to half of the runners and the participants repeated the race.  The group receiving the Pantocrin completed the subsequent race in a faster average time.

A study (Yudin and Dobyrakov, 1974) on the effect of deer antler velvet extract on the static load-bearing capacity of subjects found that those who took the extract increased the time of work by 2-4 seconds compared to the control group. In tests of dynamic work using a veloergometer, the subjects who took the extract increased the work output 4 to 5 times more than the control group.

In 1989, fitness expert John Abdo, who trained numerous Olympic and world class athletes, visited the Institute of Physical Culture in Moscow to investigate Russian training routines. At that time, Russian athletes underwent a dramatic increase in the success in weightlifting competitions. John met with former Soviet weight-lifting champion Victor Sheynkin and training expert Yuri Verhoshansky. John learned that their athletes had experienced considerable improvement in performance with deer antler velvetDr Arkady Koltun, Chaiman of the Medical Committee for the Russian Bodybuilding Federation, and an expert on anabolic agents confirmed that deer antler velvet increases muscular strength and speeds recovery after exercise.

More recent tests (Slievert, 2003) confirm deer antler velvet’s effects on muscle strength and endurance. In a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled experiment, 18 males entered a 10 week strength training program. Those who took deer antler velvet showed an increase in maximal aerobic capacity, an increase in strength in the bench press and leg squat, and decrease in body fat relative to the placebo group.

In another randomized, double blind, placebo controlled experiment (Broeder, 2004), 38 males, all of whom were experienced weightlifters, entered a 10 week strength training program. Those who took deer antler velvet experienced an increase in peak torque and average power relative to the placebo group. They also experienced unexpected improvements in aerobic performance.

Other studies reported an increase in heart strength and volume of blood pumped, while cardiac output, heart rate, mean arterial pressure, pulse pressure, central venous pressure and other parameters remained unchanged. Researchers suggest that the polysaccharides in antler may reduce the blood’s tendency to clot, improving circulation, decreasing stroke risk and boosting general cardiovascular health. Researchers theorize that the deer antler velvet may improve blood supply to muscles or act as an anti-inflammatory, allowing athletes to recover faster from training sessions.

In an experiment (Gerard, 2004) conducted to study muscle damage and repair, 20 males ran for 35 minutes on a downhill treadmill. The participants, who were not trained runners, were pre-treated with deer antler velvet or a placebo 14 days prior to the run. The subjected treated with deer velvet showed that their creatine kinase levels, a marker of muscle damage, was significantly lower than the control group. Also, muscle soreness on average was reported to be gone 24 hours before subjects in control.

Deer antler velvet has the potential to increase growth hormones and testosterone levels.

Deer antler velvet's effects on cell growth and repair have been investigated in several areas. Deer antler velvet may be a natural source of hormones for those seeking aid to muscle growth and development. Research has identified various growth factors in deer antler velvet including IGF-1 (Insulin–like Growth Factor-1), IGF-2 (Insulin–like Growth Factor-2), and EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor).

Many people confuse IGF-1 with HGH. The two hormones are very closely related. HGH is a precursor to IGF-1. The pituitary gland produces HGH, which travels to the liver and other surrounding tissues where it begins the synthesis and stimulates the production of IGF-1. It is a well-known fact that IGF-1 levels are significantly correlated to HGH levels.

IGF-1 is responsible for the anabolic reactions to HGH. It binds to receptors inside the muscle’s cells, which stimulates cell growth. IGF-1 promotes both muscle hypertrophy (growth) and hyperplasia (formation of new muscle cells). Herein lies an important distinction between IGF-1 and anabolic steroids. Although anabolic steroids increase muscle cell growth, it does not create new muscle cells.

In childhood, IGF-1 is important for growth (the highest levels in humans occur during puberty). In adults, it has anabolic effects. IGF-1 aids growth and stops cell death in normal ranges. The hormone stimulates growth in most cells of the body, including skeletal muscle, cartilage, bone, nerves and skin. It increases the number and size of cells. This makes IGF-1 very important for building muscle and for reducing muscle loss due to aging or disease. It should be noted that because IGF-1 stimulates growth of all types of cells without differentiation, people with cancer or people who are prone to cancer should never take IGF-1 as it can very negative effects.

IGF-1 also plays a role in recovery and fat loss. It speeds cell repair and muscle regeneration. It reduces body fat by stopping insulin from moving glucose through the body, resulting in the body using fat as a source of energy instead of glucose. Therefore, increasing the levels of IGF-1 in the body can increase the body’s ability to build muscle, recover from injury or workouts, and burn fat.

A study conducted by Suttie and Haines in 2000 found that animals fed high levels of active deer antler velvet extract grew significantly faster than a control group. The animals also experienced increased liver weight and a higher bone calcium content.

In a randomized, placebo controlled test in 2004, researchers at the University of Alberta, Canada, placed 18 males from the Edmonton Police Force into a 9 week strength training program. The results showed that deer antler velvet increased the strength and endurance of the subjects relative to the control group. The researchers found that use of deer antler velvet significantly increased blood plasma testosterone levels. 

Similar clinical studies performed on players from the University of Alberta football team also showed that deer antler velvet supplementation increased the levels of testosterone, and built and toned muscle.

New Zealand research has shown that deer antler velvet can help promote the growth of new blood vessels, which accelerates wound healing and recovery from major surgery.

Research has been conducted on the potential use of deer antler velvet for healing of wounds. In Russia (Arapov, 1969), Pantocrin was administered to patients with surgical and internal wounds. The study reported that there were a number of positive effects, including the normalization of arterial pressure, reduction in surgical complications, and becoming active quicker. In tests on rats (Wang, 1985), bone fracture repair was accelerated. A recent study by Bubenik found that antler helped heal epidermal wounds in rats. In another study by Takikawa, et al., researchers reported observing new bone formation following experimental whiplash injuries in rabbits. Pretreatment in rats reduced cell degradation and improved recovery times from extreme temperature and electric shock exposure. 

Bone and Joint Health

Osteoarthritis is caused by the loss of cartilage in bone joints. In normal joints, cartilage serves as a buffer between bones. Usually the body replenishes cartilage as it wears away, but when osteoarthritis occurs, cartilage deteriorates faster than the body can replace it. Eventually, the bones begin to rub together, causing pain, swelling and loss of joint mobility. Most treatments for osteoarthritis attempt to reduce pain and maintain joint function, but these treatments do little to restore joint health.

Researchers believe that the imbalance between cartilage erosion and regeneration in osteoarthritis suffers is caused by a lack of glycosaminoglycans. Glycosaminoglycans play a vital role in the structural integrity of cartilage. The compound appears to inhibit enzymes that deplete cartilage nutrition. Chondroitin sulfate molecules are long chains of sugars and sulfur that create tiny spaces filled with fluid. These spaces protect and cushion joints.

Several studies indicate that deer antler velvet can reduce or even eliminate symptoms associated with osteoarthritis.

New Zealand research reports that although the mechanism is unknown, deer antler velvet shows strong anti-inflammatory effects. Recent clinical tests suggest oral ingestion of glycosaminoglycan-peptide complex, or components such as chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate — both found in deer antler velvet — may help stimulate cartilage repair.

In a double blind study (Edelman, 2000), 54 patients with arthritis in the knee were given deer antler velvet or a placebo and assessed at 1, 3 and 6 months. Patients treated with deer antler velvet showed improvement in pain and physical global assessment at 3 and 6 months. No significant improvement was observed for the placebo group for any of the parameters examined.

In 1999 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of deer antler velvet as a scientifically supported and compliant treatment for its beneficial effects in treating arthritis “to support healthy joint structure and function.”


Deer antler velvet helps support healthy sexual function.

According to modern research, deer antler velvet has shown gonadotropic activity. Studies by both Fisher and Wang indicate that deer antler velvet may increase testosterone levels in men and can help prevent some conditions associated with aging. The estrogen hormone most affected by deer antler velvet is estradiol. Estradiol is a precursor to testosterone.

WebMD notes that deer antler velvet is used to increase libido, treat male erectile dysfunction, and improve fertility. Traditionally, deer antler velvet was used to remedy sexual disorders in men such as premature ejaculation, watery semen and impotence.

For women, deer antler velvet can help ease the symptoms associated with pre-menstruation by relieving cramps, suppressing mood swings, and raising energy levels. It is also used to treat vaginal discharges, uterine bleeding, menstrual disorders, infertility, and menopause. Russian researchers claim that compounds found in deer antler velvet can ease the effects of menopause in women.


Research suggests that deer antler velvet supplements inhibited the activity of some enzymes associated with aging.
Also, it increases the synthesis of liver and kidney protein by promoting activity of other specific enzymes. Reviews report that this research is strong evidence of the anti-aging influence of deer antler velvet.

Recent studies in Japan show that deer antler velvet reduced signs normally associated with senility. This is probably due to its hormonal effects. Deer antler velvet has shown marked effects on biochemical parameters related to aging in mice, a model for senility.

Wang Ben-Ziang (1988) found that deer antler velvet decreased activity of enzymes associated with aging process, increased levels of liver superoxide dismutase, a free radical scavenging enzyme, and increased liver and kidney protein synthesis by enhancing enzyme activity. These effects are general evidence of anti aging.

Blood Pressure Control

Research has shown that deer velvet supports the oxygen carrying capacity of blood, facilitating healthy blood pressure and circulation. Blood pressure reduction is due to velvet antler's ability to increase dilation of the peripheral blood vessels.
Deer antler velvet can lower blood pressure in people with normal blood pressure and stabilize abnormal blood pressure.

Russian and Japanese researchers have conducted experiments using deer antler extract and found that it appears to lower blood pressure in both human subjects and laboratory animals. A series of clinical case studies (Albov, 1969) were conducted in which the effects of Pantocrin on cardiac patients were assessed. In one test involving 32 subjects with high blood pressure caused by cardiac disease, early onset menopause or obesity, blood pressure was lowered in 81% of patients. In another study involving 13 patients with hypotension caused by disorders of heart muscle activity, blood pressure was lowered for 84% of patients.

Deer antler velvet has been shown to stimulate red blood cell synthesis in induced anemia in laboratory animals. The polysaccharides in deer antler velvet have been linked to biological activities, such as improving circulation, reducing the blood's tendency to clot, decreasing risk of stroke, and improving general cardiovascular health.

Mental Performance and Mood

The effect of Pantocrin, a deer velvet extract, on mental performance was tested (Taneyeva, undated) on men aged 18-23 years old. The subjects were asked to make corrections to text by substituting letters. The subjects who used pantocrin scored higher than the control group.

Clinical studies suggest that deer antler velvet can function as an antidepressant and mood regulator.
A study by Chen found that deer antler velvet inhibits monoamine oxidase activity in the liver and brain tissues of aged mice. Monoamine-oxidase inhibitors prevent breakdown of monoamine neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and serotonin. Antler apparently allows these vital neurotransmitters to be available longer to the brain structure, enhancing mood.

Stimulation of the Immune System

Deer antler velvet can stimulate the immune system and has been found to be a natural source of immunoglobulins, which fight infection and disease.
Research in Korea, New Zealand and China has shown that deer antler velvet can stimulate the immune system. Extracts of deer antler velvet were variously shown to increase macrophage activity, stimulate the production of lymphocytes and increase the number of red and white blood cells. Each of these effects may directly complement the body’s ability to resist or fight disease and so promote and maintain health and an associated feeling of well being.

A Russian study indicated that the amino acids, polypeptides and other compounds found in antler increased the survival rate of mice with cancerous tumors as much as 40 percent. In addition, a study conducted by the East-West Research Institute in Korea found that deer antler velvet appears to increase neutrophil levels in mice, which boost the body’s ability to fight injuries and disease. The mice with tumors lost less weight and suffered lower levels of kidney damage than those treated with drugs.

Tests with preparations of deer antler velvet have shown it to increase production of both red blood cells and white blood cells. A New Zealand study (Suttie, 1994) found compelling evidence that extracts of deer antler velvet stimulated the human immune system, as measured by increased white blood cell production.


Who Can Benefit from Deer Antler Velvet?

Almost everyone - men, women, young and old - can benefit from deer antler velvet.

Deer antler velvet can be used for a variety of reasons:

Deer antler velvet is a natural, well tolerated, non-toxic dietary supplement. Men and women of all ages can benefit from consumption because it supports the whole body’s ability to adapt to and resist stress, diseases, degeneration and toxins. Deer antler velvet helps bring the body's systems back into balance.

Research suggests that deer antler velvet has a positive effect on athletic performance, including increases in muscle strength, endurance and recovery. Bodybuilders and athletes can thereby take deer velvet supplements as part of their regular training programs.

Due to deer antler velvet's ability to support healthy joint structure and function, the elderly can improve their stability and mobility by using deer antler velvet. There are also potential anti-aging properties in deer antler velvet. 

Deer antler velvet's positive effects appear to be most apparent on people who are unhealthy. Deer antler velvet's active ingredients can help ailing body systems on sick people.

Deer antler velvet can be given to pets to prevent and treat arthritis and other joint issues in dogs, cats and other animals. Read more here.


What is the Dosage for Deer Antler Velvet?

For general health and therapeutic use: deer antler velvet capsules For athletic performance and recovery: deer antler spray For competitive and professional athletes: deer antler velvet extract IGF-1 tablets

The recommended dosage for our deer antler velvet capsules is:

Capsules may be taken with or without meals.
We recommend taking half the daily dose in the morning and half the daily dose in the evening.

The recommended dosages for our deer antler velvet extracts are:

Our extracts, taken sublingually, have a high absorption rate.

Deer antler velvet 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.

Deer antler velvet extract tablets 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.

These doses are supported by research in New Zealand and experience with regular users of deer antler velvet.  Deer antler velvet’s efficacy is generally dose dependent which means taking more produces greater results. 

Deer antler velvet's effects are gradual, cumulative and develop over time. Use deer antler velvet products on a consistent basis to receive the full benefits.

Response time will depend on a number of factors including personal constitution, the health of the individual, and diet. Because of the nature of deer 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. The average response time is between 3-4 weeks.

Studies have shown that using deer antler velvet supplements at the recommended doses is nontoxic.

Caution: Symptoms of deer antler velvet overdose include bloody nose, dizziness, headache or red eyes. Some people report upset stomach. In these cases, reduce the dosage or discontinue use. Information regarding safety and efficacy during pregnancy and lactation is lacking, so please avoid use during these times. Xylitol, a natural sweetener contained in our deer antler velvet extract, is toxic to dogs. Do not give deer antler velvet extract to pets.