There are no evidence-based recommendations for the appropriate dosage of deer antler velvet. However, it has been used for 2,000 years by Chinese traditional medicine practitioners, which may suggest that it is reasonably safe for consumers to take.
The dosing of medications and supplements is complex but is typically based on the person’s age, medical conditions, current medications, and properties of the drug/supplement. It is important to follow the directions on product labels and consult your physician or pharmacist before taking anything new.
Deer Antler Velvet Dosing
A typical recommended dose of deer antler velvet consists of one or two 250-350 mg capsules per day for maintaining health.
Higher doses are recommended for therapeutic usage. For those seeking healing or performance enhancement,1-3 grams may be taken per day, divided into 2 or 3 doses.
- 1000 mg (2 capsules daily) for maintaining general health.
- 2000 mg (4 capsules daily) for therapeutic effects.
- 3000 mg (6 capsules daily) for athletic performance.
The capsules can be taken with or without food and should be split into two doses taken in the morning and evening. It may take several weeks to months to see the full effects of the deer antler velvet. Consistent use will provide the maximum benefits.
Deer Antler Velvet Extract Dosing
Dosing for deer antler velvet extract is more complex as the potency of extracts is highly variable depending on the nutrient content of the raw material, the method of processing, and the overall bioavailability of the product. It is generally believed that many commercially available extracts contain little to no nutrients due to poor inputs or destructive processing.
The Russian made deer antler velvet extract known as Pantocrin is prescribed internally in doses of 25-40 drops, 1-2 tablets twice daily, taken one half hour before eating.
Antler Farms suggests the following dosing for their deer antler velvet extract:
- Liquid (1 ml twice daily) for competitive performance.
- Tablets (1 tablet daily) for professional performance.
Both the liquid and tablet extracts are taken sublingually (under the tongue) and should be taken on an empty stomach. The liquid contains 25,000 ng of IGF-1 and the full growth factor matrix per bottle. The tablets contain 100,000 ng of IGF-1 and the full growth factor matrix per bottle.
Deer antler velvet products should not be taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding because information regarding safety and efficacy is lacking.
Women with hormone-sensitive conditions, including breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids, should not take deer antler velvet because it may have small amounts of estrogen.
Birth control pills containing estrogen should not be combined with deer antler velvet. It may contain small amounts of estrogen, which may reduce the effectiveness of the birth control pills.
Adverse Drug Effects
Data concerning reported adverse effects from deer antler velvet are lacking. However, a rare case of liver injury was reported in a 38-year-old male with a history of testosterone-drug-induced liver damage.
Deer antler velvet may contain prions that cause chronic wasting disease in deer and elk. A case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease associated with the consumption of deer antler velvet supplements has been confirmed in a 61-year-old male.
Use as Part of a Health Plan
Deer antler velvet should only be used as one part of an overall health plan. It should not replace prescription medications or proper nutrition. Since evidence-based data is lacking regarding the safety of deer antler velvet, it may not be safe if taken before surgery or other medical procedures. It is important to inform your doctor about any herbal remedies, vitamins, minerals, or other supplements you are taking.