Freedom, Business, Controversy and Fitness

Supplement Review: Does Deer Antler actually work or is it witch doctor bullsh!t

Last we talked about Shark Cartilage, I said are there any other animals we can grind up and ingest… Well it seems we can grind up and ingest Deer Antler, who would have known!

If this works local deer better be on the look out for a 275lb Italian guy jumping out of nowhere to chew on their antlers!

Does it raise IGF-1 levels (Growth Hormone) or is it another one of those scams? Well for $6 on Groupon lets put it to the test! $16 for 3 bottles sprayed under the tongue 2xs a day.. Lets give it a try!

It’s also said to be full of antioxidants and they added arginine and tribulus for added support.

Here’s a question for you: in the islands around Fiji where canibals roam, when unsuspecting shipwrecked travelers washed up, did they say: “YES!! WE GOT A VEGETARIAN! That means more antioxidants and vitamins to ingest, but low on protein!

What is this world coming to? If cloning someone and harvesting their organs and eating them were the key to everlasting life would we do it? You can count on it eventually the way we are going! Look at the 1930s and 1940s and today! Yes there were a lot of things going on behind closed doors, but society as a whole was much more civilized and naive. Now, even our presidents are on MTV and watching housewives!

However, the future collapse of society and canabalism isn’t the topic of this article. The topic is does deer antler work? If it does canabalism might be next, but I am sure deer antler is some bullshit witch doctor non working waste of money just like those Chakra enhancing stones and ionized bracelets! Magnet therapy may work but as a computer nerd, I don’t want to take that chance as I am still too poor to buy a solid state drive…

Does it work? Stay tuned!!

Christine Dell’Amore
National Geographic News
Published January 30, 2013

It may sound warm and fuzzy, but deer antler velvet is at the center of a new sports controversy involving Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

Lewis, who’s headed to the Superbowl in New Orleans this weekend, looked into using a nasal spray made of deer antler velvet to heal his torn right triceps, Sports Illustrated reported in their February 4 issue. Lewis denies the story, calling the rumor a “trick of the devil,” according to USA Today.

Made from male deer antlers during the stage when the antlers are covered in soft fuzz, the unproven performance enhancer is often used by athletes who believe it helps heal cartilage and tendon injuries more quickly and boosts strength and endurance.

However, it’s not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and is banned by the National Football League.

Even so, it’s a big business, especially in New Zealand, a major exporter of deer velvet, which ships tens of millions of dollars worth of the substance to Asia and the U.S. each year, according to the New York University Langone Medical Center.

Deer farming is a huge industry in the country, with about 2,800 farmers that own approximately 1.1 million deer, most of them red deer, elk, and red deer-elk hybrids, according to the company New Zealand Deer Velvet.

Before removing the velvet from a stag’s antlers, certified veterinarians or farmers give the animal stag a local anesthetic to minimize stress.

We asked a few medical experts to give us the facts on deer antler velvet.

What Is It?

Deer antler velvet is essentially a growth hormone called “insulin-like growth factor 1,” or IGF-1.

Growth hormones, which are naturally produced by the brain and liver, regulate how our bodies grow. If the body doesn’t produce enough growth hormones, dwarfism can occur; too much, and a person may get acromelagy, a type of gigantism. (See a human-body interactive.)

Doctors give growth hormones to young people with stunted growth, but they don’t recommend it for athletes or bodybuilders, according to Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

That’s because many athletes take several times the recommended dosage, which can result in adverse effects, Mezitis said. For example, too much IGF-1 may cause tendons to become too tight and break or may disrupt how the body metabolizes fats and sugars.

What Does It Do?

Early research shows that IGF-1 may be effective in healing some cartilage and tendon injuries, noted Leon Popovitz, an orthopedic surgeon and founder of New York Bone & Joint in Manhattan.

A recent study found that taking IGF-1 supplements is linked to improving cartilage damage in joints due to repetitive trauma, Popovitz said.

Even so, such studies are still very preliminary, and growth hormone research is still unproven, he cautioned. At the moment, deer antler velvet is available as an unregulated supplement.

“What often happens is these supplement companies grab these promising [hormone] factors, jump on them, and market them before the entire medical community has the ability to know the real detrimental effects,” Popovitz said.

How Does It Work?

IGF-1 affects how the body repairs itself. First, the hormone aids in building up a matrix or base—essentially a building block of protein—that’s needed for cells to grow.

Then, the substance increases the number of new cells that accumulate on that base, which get busy healing the injury.

What’s the Bottom Line?

IGF-1 has shown promise for helping kids with stunted growth or people with dwarfism, as well as for healing cartilage or tendon injuries. It should not be used without a doctor’s care, especially as a performance enhancer.

But as far as linebacker Lewis goes, since he’s “looking to improve his recovery, I don’t think he’s necessarily doing anything wrong,” noted Popovitz.

That said, “we have to be mindful that professional athletes are not typical athletes,” Popovitz said, noting some are known for taking extreme measures.

For your average weekend warrior, he said, “it’s a little too soon to be rushing to use it.”


Anthony V Fiore Jun 5, 2013
I am not impressed with this article either. And once I read all the other comments is seems to have made things even more confusing. I do know one thing, I think it works. I take several Chinese Herbs from a company called Immortal Herbs ( and their Energy and Longevity formulas have deer antler in them. Been taking them since March, I’m 39 years old, I am on my 30 triathlon, I’m doing a 500 mile enduro motorcycle race, and climbing Mount Rainier as well before the year ends. I also do A LOT of offshore sailing. I have taken deer antler and every other chinese herbs under the sun and it has had a huge positive effect on my life. I perform better. My POINT! There is very little research on Chinese Herbs compared to Western Medicine. So some say it works, others say it doesn’t. I am 100% certain it works….same with deer antler.

Dexter Benson Apr 14, 2013
i have been using the Dr Max Powers HGH spray for years (which contains the highest dosage of deer antler you can buy online). It is an integral part of chinese herbal, internal formulas. The spray works great and you will need to make sure you use the 3 pack, because the 3 month program is what makes a HUGE difference.

Curtis Fouts Feb 3, 2013
I am shocked that nation Giographic would do such a hack of a job. Deer antler velvet is not IGF-1. It is deer antler velvet. Deer antler velvet contains IGF-,1 Igf-2 and many more growth factors naturally.It is not banned in the NFL or Major league Baseball. IGF-1 is banned and the argument is that it has IGF-1 is in it. So on that school of thought milk steak and many other products have IGF-1 in them so what they are saying is if you drink milk or eat steak then you are cheating. The deer antler velvet extract is not a synthetic version of deer antler velvet. It is basically a concentrate of deer antler velvet. So it is all natural. Not synthetic like the gentlemen claim to try and sell you his product. Show me where the NFL or MLB officially stated it was banned. I can show you quotes from players that are taking deer antler velvet and are not hiding it. So why have they not been suspended if it is banned. I can show you statements from the NFL and MLB saying it is not banned. MLB is being sued right now for telling its player to not take deer antler velvet not because it was banned but because swat had contaminated product. Leave it to our media to never get a story right or to put the time or effort into writing the truth. I have lost all respect for national giographic. Used to be a quality publication. Lazy journalist.

Eric Knight Feb 3, 2013
@Curtis Fouts Curtis, deer antler spray is definitely synthetic. It is processed to isolate IGF-1 and then combined with other chemicals. Once all those alterations are done to a food product it is no longer “100% natural”, or in other words, synthetic. A natural source of IGF-1 is like you stated – milk, steak- and deer velvet antler capsules, which has only been dried and powdered.

And the contention that the deer velvet antler spray (sublingually absorbed IGF-1) is not banned in the NFL is contrary to every single report I’ve seen regarding the current controversy. IGF-1 is listed as a banned substance.

James Cuttance Feb 19, 2013
@Eric Knight@Curtis Fouts Eric you have some great points over this whole forward and back that is going on, but IGF spray is not ‘synthetic’.
IGF Spray is a bi-product of DAV, we all now know that. The IGF is extracted using alcohol and put in a bottle. Although not “100% natural” due to it being a bi-product, it is still not synthetic. It is not made in a lab!

The issue with the IGF Spray is it is tarnishing the DAV industry. DAV has been used in China for over 2,000 years and has some 390 active ingredients, IGF is just one of them. DAV is an amazing product with amazing benefits and can’t be put in the same category as Antler Spray.

Christine Dell’Amore Feb 4, 2013
@Curtis Fouts Thanks for your comment. I know it’s easy to use harsh words behind the veil of the Internet, but I just wanted to point out that I spoke to two doctors (an orthopedic surgeon and an endocrinologist) for this article, who also fact-checked the text. It was not a hack job.

james jenkins Feb 4, 2013
@Christine Dell’Amore Gotta love those Keyboard Warriors!

Nate Whilk Feb 4, 2013
@Christine Dell’Amore @Curtis Fouts It’s also easy to use weasel words like “IGF-1 has shown promise” to avoid openly stating there’s nothing that proves the deer antler velvet product does anything. Plus, even if the product does contain IGF-1, there’s nothing to show that IGF-1 works when the product is taken. In fact, the article says “deer antler velvet is essentially IGF-1”, and then goes on to discuss IGF-1, disregarding the product itself almost completely.

And yet the title of the article contains “How Does It Work”, which assumes it does work, which has not been shown. So that phrase should read instead, “Does It Work?” Of course, the simple answer would be “there’s no proof it does”, and that would make the article much shorter.

After complaining about this article, I received an email from the author, and some of my comments are replying to it.

I notice that the user “Antler Farms” (as seen in earlier comments) has changed his name to “Eric Knight”. I questioned if there was a link between the original name and a commercial site of that name. One quick Google search turns this up: “Eric Knight, Sales Manager at Antler Farms reports that sales and inquiries were up dramatically since the SI article was published.” And now NGO has helped. Well, well. Perhaps we’ll see another user name change.

The author suggested I read NGO’s Terms of Service, noting it only forbids comments that are offensive or otherwise violate TOS, because to do more than that would be “censorship”. I did read the TOS, and I admit I didn’t see anything forbidding commenters from promoting a commercial product, whether the product is worthwhile or not. We’ll see if this comment violates TOS.

I was going to end this comment with this: “I’m sorry to see that NGO allows articles that are half PR release for an unproven product. I’ll read all their articles with that in mind.”

But at the last second I thought I’d Google the sentence in the article beginning “Deer antler velvet is essentially a growth hormone”. By some strange coincidence, that and the next sentence are VERBATIM on the page! And even the PICTURE of the deer (?) is the same! Somebody copied this, but who copied who, or did they both copy a common source?

This article sure does look like a hack job. It looks like the author took a press release AND the picture and consulted some experts and thought that was balance. NGO and the author should be deeply ashamed.

Eric Knight Feb 5, 2013
@Nate Whilk I originally posted as Antler Farms and was later notified by NGO that I could not post as a company, but I could post using my real rame as a company representative. That is why I changed the username, to comply with NGO’s request. I reveal my relationship to the company in the post below. There is nothing wrong with discussing deer velvet antler, by me or by NGO. It’s a topic that is very hot at the moment and there is a lot of misinformation out there.

Meghan Murphy moderatorFeb 7, 2013
Hi @Nate Whilk – Thanks for the comment. Our community rules do require that members use their real identities when posting and that they don’t post anonymously, which is why the name was changed. If you have any further questions about our Terms of Service or moderation policies, please feel free to email us at

Christine Dell’Amore Feb 7, 2013
@Nate WhilkThis story is based on interviews with medical experts who emphasize that deer antler velvet is not regulated and should be used by anyone unless under a doctor’s care. There was no press release used as a source for this story. The section “How Does it Work” refers to what IGF does in the body. It does not refer to how deer antler works as a performance enhancer. Finally, regarding the charge that my story features the same lines as copy on the website The site appears to have copied large parts of my story verbatim and without attribution.

James Cuttance Feb 19, 2013
@Christine Dell’Amore@Curtis Fouts I must agree in part with what has been said here (not the way it was said!), you have written a very basic article on one of the largest, most respected platforms in the world in NGO.
Your title reads”Deer Antler Velvet—What Is It, How Does It Work?”, but your article talks about IGF. IGF and DAV are two different things completely!

Also, the people you have interviewed clearly have little to no knowledge on DAV. Here is what was written “Deer antler velvet is essentially a growth hormone called “insulin-like growth factor 1,” or IGF-1.”. Who ever said/wrote this knows nothing about DAV. DAV is DAV, not IFG, it contains IGF and around 389 other active ingredients including omega 3, chondroitin, glucosamine, protein etc, etc, etc.

Christine I think it is great that you have written this article, but the information you have provided is very minimal and not on topic at all. Maybe change the title to “IGF—What Is It, How Does It Work?”.

Kristi Moe Apr 3, 2013
@Christine Dell’Amore @Curtis Fouts To be fair, there is definite misinformation in this article. You should add an editor’s note or some kind of follow-up to correct the implication you’ve made that deer antler velvet is the same as IGF-1 spray. The FDA does not consider IGF-1 spray as a deer antler velvet product, rather an IGF-1 product because it is no longer of natural origin but a synthetic, manufactured substance (which is banned by sports organizations). 100% natural deer velvet is not banned. As an importer of 100% natural deer velvet, my company is required to provide thorough documentation to the FDA in order for it be released by customs and sold in the US, that proves its biological origin. Deer Industry New Zealand put out a media advisory that helps to clarify what’s natural and what’s synthetic.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New Supplement from Deer Antler Velvet, CWD, and CJD there from ?

New Deer Antler Velvet Extract Changes the World of Supplements

Eric Knight Feb 1, 2013
@Terry Singeltary Thanks, Terry. It’s important for consumers to know that deer velvet antler from Canada and the United States has a risk of Chronic Wasting Disease.

There is no risk with Antler Farms deer velvet antler, which comes from healthy New Zealand red deer.

Robert Such Feb 3, 2013
@Eric Knight @Terry SingeltaryNot true. New Zealand does not test for CWD, thus does not know the risk. In NA and particularly my province of Alberta we 100% test slaughter and all dead on farms – and have found one sporadic case in 60000 on farms. Besides many elk have been imported from NA to NZ. So in reality NA product is proven safer.


Eric Knight Feb 3, 2013
@Robert Such @Eric Knight @Terry SingeltaryNew Zealand is free from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), scrapie and chronic wasting disease of deer (CWD). These diseases are known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or TSEs. As a country with an economy reliant on its large livestock industry, New Zealand must protect its TSE-free status to facilitate trade.

MAFBNZ runs a comprehensive TSE preventive/surveillance programme to both prevent the entry and spread of TSE agents and to verify to international markets that New Zealand’s animal products are free of BSE, scrapie and CWD. There is a targeted surveillance programme of susceptible livestock – cattle, sheep, goats and deer. As well contingency plans have been developed for dealing with any suspect cases in livestock.

The targeted surveillance programme involves testing the brains of animals that show signs of neurological disease. These brains are submitted by veterinarians to laboratories where they are screened for endemic and TSE diseases. As well, MAFBNZ is evaluating collecting and testing tissue from sheep and goats that have been found dead on farms, for evidence of scrapie.

James Cuttance Feb 19, 2013
@Robert Such @Eric Knight @Terry Singeltary Yes true! NZ is free of CWD……..

Robert Such Feb 3, 2013
@Terry Singeltary Careful with the leaps of logic. We in the industry refer to the research study noted as the “Franken Science” study. Simply researchers had tried everything transmit CWD to humans or any other animal like chimps and mice. No oral route works, and in fact there are lots of examples of native bands and one regularly cited southern US wedding party 10+ years ago that served positive CWD venison – all with no transmission results. So if you actually read the study -they had to genetically alter the mice with deer DNA, and then had to inject the prions directly into the brain to get an effect! Hardly natural. Yet they did finally prove something the North American industry has responded to with increased testing and surveillance.

Note these diseases are also very rare, and CWD acts more like scrapie in sheep – very specific to the animal and apparently not transmissible to humans. So the reality is that we can not prove something does not exist, but that study came as close as you can.

Eric Knight Feb 1, 2013
An important distinction when talking about deer velvet antler products is that there are capsules of dried velvet antler and there are extracts (sprays). Ray Lewis is alleged to have used both.

However, the extract is a synthetic concentrate of IGF-1 that is mixed with other chemicals, such as alcohol, and sprayed under the tongue. The extract is banned by the NFL.

The capsules, on the other hand, are a 100% natural, whole food. It is allowed by the NFL. It will never be banned because it would be like banning meats and organs. The capsules contain a wide variety of nutrients that have restorative actions. These are not found in the extract.

mark holm Jan 31, 2013
I have been using Buckpower- deer antler velvet in a pill form- for years now, and I noticed great improvement in my performance and strength, as well as my recovery time decreased significantly. I get it at Vitamin Shoppe.

Eric Knight Jan 30, 2013
There is a mistake in the description of deer antler velvet. Deer antler velvet is not the fuzzy covering of the antler, it is the antler itself in its growing stage (before it hardens). The ‘velvet’ like covering is removed before processing (sterilizing, drying, and milling). Additionally, it is not only the IGF-1 that is beneficial for consumption. There are nearly 40 key ingredients in deer antler velvet.

Thanks for the clarification! I made the fix. Cheers, Christine

Deer antler velvet is essentially a growth hormone called “insulin-like growth factor 1,” or IGF-1.’

“Essentially”? Do you mean the commercial product? If so, what percent of the product actually is IGF-1?

I searched Google for “deer antler velvet” and the first result is this article, which gives it authority. The first two pages have a lot of sites selling the stuff. Also, there are a few variations on the term used, such as “velvet antler” and “deer velvet antler”.

“” is a commercial site, and I’d like to know if user “Antler Farms” is connected with it.

I’d really hate to see NGO uncritically promoting a commercial product for which there is currently little evidence of effectiveness.

Deer velvet antler itself contains many nutrients. But velvet antler EXTRACT is a concentrated form of IGF-1, as described in a few posts above. is a producer of 100% pure deer velvet antler capsules, and I am a representative of the company.

Velvet Antler extract is not the concentrated form of IGF, IGF extract is the concentrated form of IGF.

There seems to be a definitive mis-understanding here.

Not only is Deer Velvet contain very little amounts of IGF-1, oral consumption of IGF-1 is useless. Proper dosage of IGF-1 is not only very expensive ($5000+), but also administered via needle.

You can see the actual evidence for velvet here: – it’s completely useless in any anabolic fashion. Even in TCM it was used for healing/regenerative purposes, not for anabolism.

And? Sol there are two subjects here –
1-Deer Velvet (Antler Velvet, Deer Antler Velvet etc etc)
2-IGF Spray.

1-DAV is a powder made from the antlers that grow on male deer. This powder form contains hundreds of active ingredients, including IGF-1 and 2. People who take DAV are not just looking for IGF. DAV is beneficial for hundreds of ailments and has been used for over 2,000 years.

2-IGF Spray is a bi-product of DAV made by extracting the IGF from the DAV using alcohol. This product is nothing like DAV powder and I am not sure how well it works.

Please try remove the two before writing this stuff.

You can’t inject DAV, it is a powder. DAV is not useless in anabolic form because it does not come in anabolic form.

am confused, do you remove the shedding antlers like a moult that comes off easily? how do you remove the antlers, and then what is done to the antler itself

Yes, the lingering questions for me is, is the practice of obtaining deer antler velvet animal friendly? Does it hurt them physically to remove their antlers? Does it impede their function in some way?

This link describes the processing of deer velvet antler at Antler Farms and has a video as well.

deer are the only mammal that can repeatedly grow an appendage. The removal of velvet is very safe and is well regulated in New Zealand.

If you google deer antler velvet removal you will find what you are looking for in the top couple of results.

Yes, the velvet comes off like a molt. The antlers are removed with a cutting instrument while the deer are under local anesthesia so it does not hurt the deer. Then the antler is sterilized, dried under low heat, and milled into a powder.

Ok I took this stuff last night for the first time. The spray is so strong like a cheap mini hairspray bottle that the stream coming out tickles/stings the bottom of your tongue (nice job manufacturer! Dumbasses)

Ok on to the product as I said I took it last night and this morning I woke up with lets say a raging stiffy. I normally wake up with a stiffy but this one was a raging stiffy! Like if I had a girl next to me she would have been f’ed to death and I would be crying to the police “it wasn’t me, it wasn’t me it was the deer antler’ the deer did it” and I would probably be sent to a mental facility for saying a deer f’d her to death!

Ok so on serious note: do I think this stuff works? Yes I do, does it work enough for the money? Well I spent $16 for 3 bottles on groupon so the answer is yes! Is it worth it after those 3 bottles are gone? Idk, I googled the company and it seems they are out of business! Will I wake up like that every morning? Idk lets find out tomorrow! If I do, then this shits worth it’s weight in gold!! And I be killing bitches with my wang! All over the place! Lol just kidding… Or am I! 😳

**Update** January 7th 2013
Since JS asked for an update here it is:
I’m still using it a couple times a day! However!! I bought the American Formulators deer antler velvet extract pictured above and finished them. I searched the net and couldn’t find anymore and Groupon didn’t have anymore, then Groupon put up a new spray:

Deer Rage! So I bought 2 bottles (more expensive then the others) when I received them I looked at the label and to my surprise:

Look how far down the label the extract is! 4th ingredient!!! WTF I don’t want a niacin and aloe Vera juice spray I want deer antler velvet!

Now lets look at the cheap label:

Bang! First ingredient!

So the moral of the story:
The deer antler works only if you actually get deer antler! So be careful of what you buy! Always see or request the label first!

4 responses

  1. I’m IN for this review!!

    June 28, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    • Act now it’s on Groupon! You can try it with me! Be forewarned it probably tastes like crap and you have to hold under your tongue for 30 seconds just to have it not work! YUK!

      June 28, 2013 at 10:27 AM

  2. Hows this working for strength gain and recovery??

    July 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    • Haven’t received it from groupon yet. Groupon has the world’s worst shipping department! It takes weeks to get your shit! Opposed to Amazon’s best ever shipping department usually in 3 days! I so love Amazon!! I remember when they were unless (only books) now you can get everything even the kitchen sink!

      July 7, 2013 at 10:49 AM

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