HEALTH BENEFITS OF DEER ANTLER
deer antler velvet side effects  reviewed on August 25, 2011         
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ARTICLE INDEX
Background

Deer Antlers are the usually large and complex bony appendages on the heads of most deer species,
mostly on males; only caribou and reindeer have antlers on the females, and these are normally smaller
than those of the males. Antlers appear to act as large hearing aids. Moose with antlers have far more
sensitive hearing than moose without. Deer antlers of elk and deer are commonly used as a dietary
supplement or alternative medicinal substance in Asia.

Antler growth in the deer, its shape and subsequent mineralization are complex and at once rapid
processes. The antlers grow due to the so-called endochondral ossification process. In particular
climatic zone, growth is particularly rapid during a three month period, from April to June.
Two-centimetre daily growth makes the growing antler one of the most rapidly growing organs in
mammals. This requires the activation and collaboration of many types of cells, and stem cells play a
particular role in the initiation and continuation of the process.

Uses of Deer Antlers

It is believed that deer antlers extracts have the health benefits on immune system, athletic
performance, strength, muscle recovery after exercise, sexual functions. It is also believed that dear
antler velvet extracts may also have benefits on high cholesterol, high blood pressure, asthma,
indigestion, acne, cancer and other conditions. Some users believe deer antler-extracts are anti-aging
agents. However, these benefit claims have insufficient scientific evidence. Researchers from University
of Alberta even found that 10 week of elk velvet antler supplementation does not significantly improve
rowing performance nor alter hormonal responses at rest or after acute exercise than training alone. [Int
J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2005 Aug;15(4):366-85]

Potential Use of Deer Antlers (Scientific Research)

Patent Application No. 20100184217 New lines of stem cells from the growing antlers of deer
(Cervidae) have been developed to be applied on connective tissue, preferentially bone, cartilage or
adipose tissue, in humans and animals.

Patent Application No. 20090209653 This application suggests a method of enhancing testosterone,
including the steps of administering a composition comprising vitamin K, and enhancing testosterone,
wherein the composition further includes a testosterone enhancer chosen from the group consisting of
maca, deer antlers, extracts from plants and natural medicines, benzyl glucosinolates, benzyl
isothiocyanates, and substituted pyrazole compounds.

Regenerative Medicine Regenerative medicine in the recent years aims at explaining involvement of
stem cells in regenerative processes and applying this knowledge in fulfilling human needs to find new,
more efficient therapeutic methods. Growing antlers constitute a model organ for examining
regeneration processes of tissues because they are the only mammalian appendages capable of
regeneration. The rate of growth of deer antlers makes them one of the quickest growing structures in
mammals. The cells taking part in this process have a considerable proliferating potential. Researchers
from Medical University of Wroclaw found implanted antlerogenic cells were not rejected and possibly
took part in the reconstruction of missing sections of the scaffolding of the rabbits' ear cartilages.
[Xenotransplantation. 2008 Nov-Dec;15(6):374-83.]

Deer antler velvet side effects
Deer antler velvent has been used in traditional medicine for many years, it is probably safe for some
healthy people. Limited studies have been done with deer antler velvet, deer antler velvet side effects
are unclear. People who are sick should avoid deer antler velvet.


*Without extensive scientific evidence