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Velvet Antler

Velvet Antler (usually from deer) is crushed antler that is orally consumed for preventative health purposes. Hailing from Traditional Chinese Medicine, velvet antler does not appear to influence hormones and is currently unsupported for muscle repair (although it may aid skin regeneration rates).

Our evidence-based analysis on velvet antler features 38 unique references to scientific papers.

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Summary of Velvet Antler

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Velvet Antler, commonly from deer but also obtained from elk, is the crushed antler base of the mammal's antlers; these antlers regenerate rapidly and commonly fall off, which then appear to have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for general preventative health purposes.

Repeated studies have been conducted on the interactions of Velvet Antler and hormones, and all studies have found that this supplement has failed to increase circulating hormone levels. One study found a highly variable increase in power output, which is antagonized by another study suggesting no significant increase in power. For the purposes of performance enhancement, the evidence does not currently support Velvet Antler as a supplement.

There is preliminary evidence for other possible benefits of Velvet Antler, and this supplement may potentially have a role in fracture/bone healing rates, anti-additive properties, and improving skin regeneration rates pending more research; all three topics show some promise right now.

Velvet Antler appears to be safe, but ineffective at the most commonly touted claims.

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How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

Due to a lack of human evidence to support benefits of this supplement, an optimal dosage cannot yet be ascertained. Two possible options exist:

  • 500 mg once daily, which is what seems to be used in most dietary supplements

  • 1,000-2,000 mg daily, which appears to be the recommendation from traditional chinese medicine

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Human Effect Matrix

Unlocked for Examine members

The Human Effect Matrix summarizes human studies to tell you what effects Velvet Antler has on your body, how much evidence there is, and how strong these effects are.

Full details are available to Examine members.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-b - Very High See all 3 studies
Repeated trials have failed to find an increase in testosterone associated with velvet antler supplementation
grade-c Minor Moderate See 2 studies
A lone study noted an increase in muscle torque associated with Velvet Antler supplementation, which needs to be replicated to see if it is a true effect.
grade-c - - See study
No benefit of velvet antler on aerobic cardiovascular exercise
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on anaerobic cardiovascular exercise capacity
grade-c - - See study
Velvet Antler has failed to alter libido in otherwise healthy older men
grade-c - - See study
No influence on erythropoietin with velvet antler supplementation
grade-c - - See study
No alterations in FSH levels have been noted with velvet antler supplementation
grade-c - - See study
Free testosterone was unaltered with velvet antler relative to placebo
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on growth hormone levels
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence of velvet antler on IGF-1
grade-c - - See study
No interaction between velvet antler and lean mass accrual
grade-c - - See study
There does not appear to be a significant influence of velvet antler supplementation on the libido
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on luteinizing hormone levels
grade-c - - See study
No significant interactions with prolactin and velvet antler noted
grade-c - - See study
No influence of this supplement on red blood cell count following prolonged supplementation
grade-c - - See study
No discernible effect on sexual function in older, healthy men.
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
No significant influence of velvet antler on symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

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Things to Note

Primary Function:

Also Known As

Deer Velvet Antler, Deer Antler, Elk Velvet Antler, Cervus, Lu Jiao Pan

Do Not Confuse With

IGF-1 (supposed constituent)

  • Although Velvet Antler may contain some hormones (not yet confirmed), they are most likely too low in concentration to matter.

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Click here to see all 38 references.