Extracts of velvet antler have shown to help work towards anti-inflammatory activity. Scientists have isolated compounds from velvet antler that are very effective in helping to reduce inflammation. Dr. James Suttie's team at Invermay has tested the effects of velvet antler on peritoneal inflammation in mice. They found that antler helped work towards suppressing an inflammatory response (neutrophil growth) caused by injections of thioglycollate.
In fact, some antler preparations worked as well as, or better than, some drugs that reduce neutrophil growth, dexamethasone (DEX). An important fact to remember here is that the anti inflammatory effects varied with the age and section of the antler used. Only 60-day-old antler caused a significant response. Furthermore, sections from the tip of the antler worked better than those from the base and note that a low density of cells is the desired response. The complete mechanism by which antler works is unknown. However the researchers note that velvet antler produces a number of different cytokines which could be responsible. A newly discovered 68 amino acid protein is believed to be the primary anti-inflammatory agent.
Antler Improves Longevity in Mice
Perhaps antler's protective effects on the organs stems from its ability to stimulate protein synthesis. Researchers note that the activity of RNA polymerase II is accelerated in liver nuclei when treated with velvet antler extract. This may result in the observed increase in liver protein content and the increased superoxide dismutase (a potent free radical scavenger) activity.
When senescence-accelerated mice were given 200 or 300 milligrams velvet per kilogram of body weight per day, there was a significant increase in serum protein, nuclear RNA synthesis in the liver, and RNA polymerase activity in the liver. These effects were seen at both the 200 and 300 milligram treatments. Remarkably, serum protein increased 49% above control values, while RNA synthesis and RNA polymerase activity increased 35 and 84%, respectively, relative to controls.
Excerpt adapted from: Velvet Deer Antler: The Ultimate Anti-aging Supplement by Dr. Alex Duarte, 2000.