Deer velvet

background

Deer velvet, also referred to as antler velvet, refers to antlers that have been removed during the growth stage, when they are covered with soft velvet-like hair. After removal, the antlers are dried and ground. In Western countries, the ground powder is sold as a dietary supplement that purportedly improves sexual function and overall energy, decreases stress, and strengthens the body. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), deer velvet has been used as a yang tonic for the endocrine and immune systems, energy metabolism, growth, and sexual function.
There is currently insufficient available clinical evidence to support the use of deer velvet for any medical use. High-quality clinical studies are needed before safety can be assessed and firm conclusions can be made.

Related Terms

Androstenedione, anti-complementary polysaccharide (DWA-2), antler, antler velvet, ash, bone, Cervidae (family), calcified cartilage, cartilage, Cervus elaphus,Cervus nippon, chondroitin sulfate, deer (Cervus elaphus), deer velvet, dehydroepiandrosterone, dermis, elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni), estradiol, European red deer (Cervus elaphus L.), lipids, pantocrin, pilose antler of Cervus nippon, progesterone, protein, red deer, Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphusnelsoni), rulondin, Sika deer, Temminck, testosterone, velvet antler, velvet deer antler.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
 
Aerobic fitness (Grade: C)
Historical uses of deer antler include enhancing energy, stamina, and strength. Preliminary human research showed that deer antler powder may increase some measures of strength and endurance. Additional research is needed before a firm conclusion can be made.
Sexual function / libido / erectile dysfunction (Grade: D)
In both traditional and popular use, deer velvet has a reputation as an aphrodisiac that may improve sexual energy by potentially strengthening and balancing the body and restoring overall energy. Preliminary human research showed a lack of effect of deer velvet on sexual functioning in middle-aged men. Additional research is required before conclusions can be drawn.