Antler Improves Heart Function
Clifford et al (1979) measured the effect of alcohol velvet antler extract on a number of cardiac measures including cardiac output, stroke volume, heart rate, arterial pressure, and central venous pressure in anesthetized dogs. They found significant increases in stroke volume, compared with untreated dogs, but no other consistent, significant changes were observed. Sano et al (1972) found that (V AE) could possibly reduce heart rate in isolated guinea pig atria. In contrast Reshetrikova (1954) found that V AE could improve the operation of the heart (increased pulse and heart tone) in sick children. This may be consistent with an overall tonic effect rather than a specific effect on the heart itself.
Tevi (1969) studied the acute hypotensive effect of alcohol velvet antler extract. His crucial finding was that velvet antler extract could potentially act on the peripheral vascular system through the parasympathetic nervous system. In doing so velvet antler extract could counteract the effect of previously administered adrenalin. The author concluded that velvet antler extract potentially works similar to a cholinergic substance.
It can be concluded, at this stage, that velvet antler extract could act like a heart tonic and may influence blood pressure by acting on peripheral blood vessels and the kidney.
In the previous section, evidence was given that velvet antler extract could act to lower blood pressure acutely by acting on the peripheral vascular system.
Albov (1969) presented case histories of treatment for high and low blood pressure in a wide variety of patients. He neatly side-stepped the mechanism by stating that velvet antler extract effects varied with the condition of the patients' nervous system. He did indicate that treatment with velvet antler could be more successful in patients which had not suffered perturbation in blood pressure for an extended period (10 years or more).
Albov studied more than 30 people with high blood pressure caused by menopause or obesity. For 20 to 30 days, they received velvet antler extract either orally or by injection. After the injections, they were examined by a physician. 26 of the patients reported possibly lower blood pressure. Also, the same 26 thought there was an improvement in their condition. Those who had no improvement had high blood pressure for 9 to 10 years.
The same author also looked at using velvet antler extract on 13 patients with hypertension caused by the heart. The patients were given 20 daily injections of velvet antler extract and were examined 10 days after the last received treatment. Eleven of the patients showed an improvement (84%). In both studies dose levels were 2 milliliters per day by injection or 4.5 milliliters orally. Mainly female patients were studied but successful treatment of men were also reported. In women treated for premature menopause, menses returned in most. One serious deficiency was that there was no data from control patients presented; this means that the findings, although promising, are not conclusive yet.
Wang (1996) has shown that one active ingredient in terms of hypotensive action from velvet antler is lysophosphatidyl choline.
Perhaps one of the most important discoveries in the last 30 years is the phenomenal work of Dr. Arthur Johnson of the University of Minnesota at Duluth. Dr. Johnson discovered that there is a small-molecular-weight protein that has the unique ability to modulate the immune system. This means that if the immune system is depressed, this protein can dramatically improve it. And if it is overactive, it can reduce it into a normal range. It was Dr. John Prudden's work that showed that some immune systems could be preserved and those people who suffered from allergies in which the immune system was overactive could possibly reduce it into the normal range as well.
Scientists now know that extracts of velvet deer antler could stimulate phagocytic (microbe devouring) function in macrophages in mice, including immune deficient animals. Dr. James Suttie's team tested the effects of extract on human peripheral lymphocytes (white blood cells) in culture. They compared these results to those of human recombinant interleuken 2 (IL-2), which is a natural growth factor for Tlymphocytes. The team found that all concentrations, antler ages, and antler sections tested could have a proliferative effect on the lymphocytes. As was the case for the anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects of antler age and section could affect the efficacy of the extract. The most potent immunopotentiation was seen in the upper part of antler harvested at 85 days. The effect of this extract was so strong that it approximated the results seen from IL-2.
Excerpt adapted from: Velvet Deer Antler: The Ultimate Antiaging Supplement by Dr. Alex Duarte, 2000.