F.A.Q - Frequently asked questions about Deer Antler Velvet.

Table of Contents

What is Antler Velvet?
The generic term 'Deer Velvet' is the name given to the antlers of the male Deer and Elk (Wapiti) while they are still in the soft growing cartilaginous stage. The remarkable growth rate of the animal's antlers is unique in nature. What is also different about it is that it is a cyclic event that takes place each year during the life of the animal from the time it reaches approx. 9 months old until death at perhaps 12-18 years of age.

Each year the old antler is caste by the action of the new growth initiating from the pedicle, and each year until age 10-12 generally they will grow a bigger heavier set until in their declining years. After age 12-14 the antlers tend to also decline in size and statue.

As the new growth grows it developes the tynes or points that assist in making the antlers so successful as offensive and defensive weapons. While that is taking place the immature antler, or Velvet as it is called, is soft and warm to the touch, is a lot larger in diameter, and the growing points or tips are a lot more rounded than those of the hard full grown Antler.

The growing antler is made up of cartilage protected by the 'furry' skin covering from which it gets it name. Blood flows up the outside of the Velvet just under that skin to carry the rich supply of nutrients, proteins, and building blocks to the rapidly growing tissue tips before returning to the animals body down the center of the antler beam.

If allowed to complete their growth cycle (approx.120-125 days) hormonal activity cuts off the blood supply and the animal completes the calcification of the antler into hard bone and then proceeds to strip the dying skin covering from the antler in preparation for the breeding season.

For use as a premium health supplement or tonic the Velvet must be harvested when it is still in its actively growing stage, before calcification begins to set in. This is usually at the half grown stage just before the development of the top fighting or dagger tynes, at between 60-65 days growth.

How does this removal affect the animal?
These animals are very valuable and the welfare of the animal is therefore paramount. The removal of the Velvet Antler from the animal is carried in compliance with a strict Velveting Code of Practice by either Veterinarians, or Qualified persons under veterinary supervision, and the effect on the animal is minimised and minimal.

It is a relatively quick and painless proceedure and the animals are immediately released to graze. However if the weather is inclement they are kept inside and hand- fed to avoid any risk of infection or stress.

Quite apart from removal of the antler for its health supplement properties, it has been accepted practise to remove it to avoid animals damaging or injuring each other by fighting; getting caught up in fences and injuring themselves, or perhaps causing their own death. It is also done to avoid risk to those farming and handling them.

What is its history?
Velvet Antler has been known about for over 2,000 years. Its medicinal value was recognised by the Romans and central Europeans as promoting wellbeing and good health.

No one knows exactly when Antler Velvet was first used for medicinal purposes in Asia but Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has used as a medicinal herb for centuries and its use in therapeutic formulas is second only to Ginseng. It is said to fortify the Yang and to increase the natural flow of chi (vital energy) through the kidneys thereby assisting to regulate the function of the adrenal cortex and restore a person's natural vitality.

The aged in China and Korea have traditionally taken a course of Velvet as a pre- winter tonic to bolster their Immunity. Few realise that in Korea 10% of Velvet is consumed by children, given it by parents concerned to safe guard their health and to promote their growth and vitality.

Russia recognised its value as a health supplement and therapeutic tonic, and as a sports performance enhancer, leading the research in to its properties, energy and stamina enhancement, and Pantocrin or Velvet Extract.

This traditional usage is now being shown by research to have significant therapeutic effects, validating its use and making a compelling case for its inclusion as a supplement in our every day life.

Why should I use Antler Velvet?
Betty Kamen, PhD on the cover of her book 'The Remarkable Healing Power of Velvet Antler" states - 'Natures link to: Arthritis Relief, Vitality, Growth Factors, Sexual Function, Immune Enhancement, Athletic Performance' and there in lies the reason. Quite simply there is no other single product, either natural or man made, that of that we know can rival Velvet Antler's potential benefits to both health and wellbeing.

We will go further and say that if you are considering taking a health supplement then the most beneficial natural product you could take is Antler Velvet for the very reasons outlined above.

What is Antler Velvet used for?
Traditionally Velvet was, and still is, regarded as a superior tonic for promoting strength and endurance; for maintaining and enhancing good health and preventing illness; stimulating the Immune system; increasing both physical and mental energy; enhancing the vitality of the circulatory system; and enhancing sexual function.

Antler Velvet can best described as a protective, nutritive, restorative and rejuvinative

  1. supplemental tonic.
  2. Today Antler Velvet is being used to encourage:
  3. Arthritis relief and joint health.
  4. Muscle development and increased strength and stamina.
  5. Red blood cell production to correct anemia.
  6. Increased capacity of blood to carry oxygen.
  7. Faster recovery from injury and surgery.
  8. Stress relief.
  9. Enhanced Immune system activity.
  10. Boosted levels of certain Anabolic hormones for anti-ageing.
  11. Fertility.

What's in it that’s so beneficial?
Velvet Antler represents the only known renewable form of cartilage. Science has identified at least 12 minerals and elements, and many other compounds and nutrients, that give antler velvet its unique composition and support the extraordinary values attributed to it.

Antler Velvet is a fast growing biologically active tissue, and a rich source of amino acids, fatty acids, steroids, and growth hormones. It contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium, potassium, and sulphur; as well as the trace elements iron, zinc, manganese, copper, and selenium. Importantly all of these are in a readily Bio-available form.

It is loaded with beneficial collagen (types 1 and 2), linolenic acid, choline, prostaglandin, phospholipids, proteoglycans, polysaccharides, gangliosides, peptides, nucleotides (RNA, DNA), both chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine sulphate, and growth factors (IGF-1&2, TGF, FGF8, BMP4&NT3).

It is important to realise that these compounds etc are all naturally occurring together and that they all work together in harmony. The resulting combination, or synergy, is greater than the sum of its individual constituents and this one of the factors that makes Antler Velvet the unique supplement that it is.

What makes it so special and how does it work?
Antler Velvet is unique in that it is the only mammalian organ that naturally regenerates each year until the animal dies.

It is what is known as an 'Adaptogen'. An adaptogen is defined as a natural substance that has the ability to normalise an organisms biological activity should it be out of balance. By doing this it enhances its ability to adapt to and to resist; stress, disease, degeneration, toxins, and external influences that can cause major problems to our health and wellbeing.

Antler Velvet is a powerful natural Anti-inflammatory and stimulant for the Immune system. Its anabolic growth factor content has important anti-ageing properties and it has therapeutic effects on the circulatory system as well as stimulating energy and stamina enhancement.

Antler Velvet stimulates the bodies own systems to protect it and restore those functions that are out of balance, rather than introducing a foreign substance, i.e. a drug, to force a physiological parameter in a particular direction.

The active ingredients in Antler Velvet are mostly precursors, or raw materials, that are required by the body to process substances that maintain its health and wellbeing, and stimulate its natural control systems to move in the direction of normalcy.

Who can take Antler Velvet?
Everybody can. Antler Velvet is a natural, safe, non-toxic dietary supplement. Men and women of all ages can benefit from its positive effects in protecting, energising and strengthening wellbeing and from its Immunostimulation properties.

Few realise that in China and Korea children are traditionally given Velvet to promote vitality and healthy growth. In Korea 10% of all Velvet consumed is consumed by children.

Because of its bio-availability and digestibility it is also an excellent tonic for the elderly in stimulating resistance to disease, illness, osteoporosis and stress. It is highly valued for its anti-inflammatory effects and its ability to provide relief from the symptoms of Arthritis and joint conditions.

Is Antler Velvet Safe?
Yes it is a safe, non-toxic, natural product. To date no adverse effects have been shown to result from taking Antler Velvet in the recommended dosages. It is possible to take very high doses of velvet with the only possible negative effect being an upset stomach which disappears when the intake is stopped, or lowered to the recommended level. There should be no reason to take more than the recommended dose anyway as it would be simply a waste of money.

As a natural tissue that has been taken for centuries, Antler Velvet has had ample time to show if it has any negative effects or reactions. Dispite that we advise any one taking Velvet for the first time, or considering taking Velvet with any other medication, who has any doubts or concerns what so ever to consult their medical professional.

How soon can I expect results?
That depends on the product that you take. If you are taking Pure Antler Velvet or a Pure Antler Velvet based product then you should not expect results before about 4-6 weeks as the active ingredients have to build up in the body to a level that is effective. PAV is the natural supplement and the body only absorbs up to 15-20 % of it and so therefore it is slower acting.

Antler Velvet Extract on the other hand is a highly refined product that has gone though a triple extraction process. Because of that refinement, which concentrates the proteins, amino acids and IGF factors, it is more easily assimilated. The body will absorb up to 80% of the Extract giving noticeable effects within 14 days. Some people have had quite spectacular results after only 3 days. Every body's metabalism is different so there can be no exact prediction. The above answer is based on our own experiences and those of our clients that have been relayed to us. The results are more readily noticeable with some conditions than others e.g. Arthritis v Cholesterol.

Is it a scientifically proven product?
Yes it is. An increasing list of poitive scientific results are joining the decades of research carried out in Russia, Korea, China, Japan, and more recently New Zealand. This research has given credibility to its traditional usage and validated recommendations for its inclusion as an every day health supplement.

This research has covered such areas as Immunostimulation, anti-inflammatory effects, anabolic effects, anti-ageing and circulatory function. Clinical testing for use in anti-cancer and AIDS treatment is ongoing.

In 1999 in compliance with USFDA regulations, research and clinical studies substanciated that Antler Velvet 'supports healthy joint structure and function'.

In the late 1960's and early 70's Russian scientists showed that Pantocrin (Velvet Extract) increased work dynamics, accelerated the restorative processes after intense activity, increased the bodies resistance to unfavourable external influences and concluded that it showed marked anti-inflammatory activity.

Research points to Antler Velvet's ability to reduce the inflammation and pain of Arthritis by addressing the real causes of the condition, something modern medicine has not been able to accomplish.

As an Athlete can I benefit from Antler Velvet?
Yes you can. Ask New Zealand's Olympic Gold medalist in single scull rowing, Rob Waddell or our own 2 sponsored road cyclists. They all say the same. Increased energy, strength and endurance; faster recovery time from training, competition and injury are all noticeable benefits.

Although not widely known in the West, Russian Athletes have used it as an essential part of their training regime diet for decades and in fact a deal of their success in international competition has been attributed to the benefits to strength and endurance gained from its use.

New Zealand research has substanciated this and noted that Antler Velvet use induced enhanced red blood cell formation and stimulated increased muscle mass. Combined with the anti-inflammatory action and reported enhanced lactic acid removal efficiency, these effects help to enhance muscle composition, endurance, and recovery time.

Should I take Extract or Pure Antler Velvet?
That depends on your reason for taking it.

If you are wanting to take it purely as a health supplement or for its protective effects then our advice is to take a Pure Antler Velvet product.

If you are wanting to take it for a specific condition such as say Arthritis or for therapeutic effects then we would definitely advise taking the Extract.

We would also advise those seeking athletic performance enhancement to take the Extract as the preferred option.

How much should I take?
Adhere to the recommendations on the label as to take more is generally considered wasteful, especially if its Extract. The body will only absorb what it needs and the rest will be excreted via the alimentary canal and the kidneys.

A common problem, as we see it, is that in a lot of cases those looking for therapeutic benefits are advised to take amounts that fall short of the required dosage to achieve that and then wonder why they are not seeing the results possible. We recommend that for maximum protective effect the equivalent of 900-1200mg of Pure Antler Velvet be taken in a split dose night and morning and for therapeutic effect the equivalent of 1500-2000mg of Pure Antler Velvet be taken in the same way.

It should be taken either an hour before or an hour after food to achieve the best result.

These recommendations are supported by Invermay Research Centre findings.

What is the difference between 'standardised' and natural Antler Velvet?
All Antler Velvet when it is taken of the animal is not created equal. It may look the same but there can be a natural variation in its potency for a variety of reasons. Some of those are health, food, climate and stage of removal.

That Variation can range from a level of 130ng per gram to 630ng per gram.

As a supplement that range is not as important as it is if you are taking the product for a therapeutic response. However it still has an effect on the effectiveness of the product.

Some people prefer the pure and natural product with as little done to it as possible while others want a guaranteed response from every capsule that they take and continuity of that level of response.

With that in mind therefore, we analysis the level of Active in the antler during production and then add highly concentrated IGF to it if it is below our required level set. This applies to both Pure Antler Velvet and to the Extracts.

'Standardised' means that the Active ingredient in the product is at a guaranteed level that provides consistancy between batches and capsules.

We recommend the 'Standardised' product.

Is Antler Velvet really an Aphrodisiac?
Antler Velvet's long history of effective use as a treatment for sexual dysfunction initially caused it to be classified as an aphrodisiac by western physicians studying Eastern medicine. It is suggested that this may have delayed investigation into its application for other fields and explain why such a potent therapeutic natural substance has taken so long to become popularised in North America.

For Libido, the long term tonic action of Antler Velvet has been stipulated to have a beneficial aphrodisiac result. Research has shown Antler Velvet to increase testosterone hormone levels in athletes.

Where can I learn more about Antler Velvet?
By reading all the information on this site and by contacting us at info@velvetproducts.co.nz.

We also strongly recommend that you purchase a copy of the book " The Remarkable Healing Power of Velvet Antler'' by Betty Kamen PhD and Paul Kamen. It is available from amazon.com.