While it is obvious that both men and women could benefit from velvet deer antler intake, we can derive another important conclusion from research conducted on laboratory animals and humans.
That is simply the greater amount of velvet deer antler extract that is taken, the greater the positive benefits could be in terms of athletic performance, and as I will demonstrate later the greater the health benefits as well. Thus, dosage becomes an important issue. There is a minimum dose that is necessary in order to work towards achieving an improvement in endurance and muscle strength.
The question now arises, is there a maximum dose of deer antler velvet which people should not go beyond? In other words, is or can velvet antler be toxic?
This question was answered from a research paper conducted by Dr. Sonpon Wanwimolruk, Dr. H. Hugh Zhang and Dr. Peter Coville at the School of Pharmacy University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, trial monitor Dr. James M. Suttie at the Ag Research Invermay Agriculture Centre, Mosgiel, New Zealand completed in December of 1998, Varnz document, v.36.
Several types of toxicity studies were conducted in this experiment. One was acute oral toxicity in which five female rats were given doses of 5, 50, 500, and 2,000 milligrams for every 2.2 pounds of body weight. The animals were given the velvet antler in the form of a powder for seven days straight. No gross pathology findings were determined and none of the rats lost body weight after dosing with velvet deer antler. It is important to note that at the highest dosage of 2,000 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight, the animals did not show any signs of toxicity or gross behavioral changes.
Another phase of this study was the subchronic oral toxicity portion. In this phase, velvet deer antler at a concentration of 1,000 milligrams for every 2.2 pounds of body weight was given orally to a group of rats for 90 days. The results showed no signs of toxicity or gross behavioral changes. No significant differences in the average weights of the adrenals, kidneys, or brains were observed in the treated rats compared to the control rats.
Pathological examination did not reveal any unusual results in morphology of the heart, lungs, stomach, small and large intestines, liver, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, and spleen. There were differences in the average liver weights between the treated velvet antler group and the control group being a lower weight, 12.9 compared to the average control liver weight of 14.5.
Thus, at enormous levels of intake, which would be equivalent to an adult man at 200 pounds of body weight taking one-half pound of velvet deer antler per day there can be an abnormal liver response. This is an enormous difference compared to the recommended dose of between 3 and 4, 250-milligram, capsules per day or with the new liquid concentrate with the liposome delivery system, 3 to 6 sublingual sprays per day.
Without any other considerations, the economical constraints alone of taking one half pound of velvet deer antler per day would bankrupt most people within a week. From a clinical point of view, Dr. Peter Yoon, a Korean doctor of medicine, has stated that he has not seen a case of overdosing with velvet antler, nor has he seen any severe toxic side effects.
Dr. Peter Yoon continued to explain that if too much product is given there is a mild stomach upset in people and they simply stop taking it. This clinically would limit the use of the product before any possible liver toxicity could be induced.
In answer to the question, can velvet antler extract be toxic? The answer is simply yes. Any substance including water can be toxic if given in high enough doses. However, it is clear that exceeding labeled recommended dosages by a factor of 300 or even 400% will not be anywhere near a dose that could induce toxicity.
As a matter of fact, velvet deer antler could lead to enhanced metabolism in general. It could preserve and renew injured organs and tissues and help accelerate healing and recovery from injury. It also could assist the immune system and the ability of white blood cells to destroy invading microbes.
While accomplishing all of this, it may also have an anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic, and anti-stress effect. Doctors in Korea, China, and Russia have used velvet deer antler to work towards being an antihypertensive medication and it has been shown to potentially help ameliorate problems associated with impotency in men and infertility in women. Add to this, recent discoveries of a possible antiaging effect and you have what I consider to truly be the dietary supplement for all reasons.
Excerpt adapted from: Velvet Deer Antler: The Ultimate Antiaging Supplement by Dr. Alex Duarte, 2000.