This study investigated the physiological and potential performance enhancing effects of velvet antler supplementation in men. Thirty-two males between the ages of 18 and 35, with at least four years of weight lifting experience, were randomly assigned using a double-blinded procedure into either a placebo or velvet antler treatment group. The placebo group received sugar pills while the treatment group received 1500 mg of velvet antler once in the morning and immediately prior to bed time.
Prior to, and immediately following the 10-week supplementation use, each subject participated in a series of measurements. These included maximal aerobic capacity, maximal power output on a cycle ergometer, a determination of maximal strength for bench press and squat, a comprehensive blood chemistry profile, body composition analyses and a 3-day dietary recall. At the start of the study, there were no significant differences between the groups in their respective body composition profile variables.
The study found that those on velvet antler had significant declines in percent of body fat and trunk-to-limb fat weight ratio. The treatment group also showed significant improvements in absolute bench press and squat performance. One of the most interesting findings was that there was a significant improvement in the aerobic capacity of the group using velvet antler. There were no differences in the placebo group. The researchers concluded that velvet antler may have positive effects on body composition and strength/power in resistance training men.
The results of this research open up potential opportunities in the professional and recreational sports markets. Not only can professional athletes benefit from velvet antler, but the product can also be used for enhanced performance among animals such as sled dogs and race horses. The other intriguing market may be for troops in the battlefield. Soldiers taking velvet antler may not only benefit from improved stamina and strength, but also from the protective and healing powers of the product.
(The Effects of Deer Velvet Antler Supplementation on Body Composition, Strength, and Aerobic and Anaerobic Performance by C.E. Broeder (Benedictine University), R. Percival & T. Willis (East Tennessee State University), J. Quindry (University of Florida), L. Panton (Florida State University), D.D. Browder (University of Idaho), C. Earnest (The Cooper Institute), A. Almada (Imagine Nutrition and MetaResponse Sciences), S. R. Haines & J.M. Suttie (NZ AgResearch).