There is some evidence that deer antler spray may work for improving performance and physique. However, it seems that an individual needs to take very high doses in order for these benefits to occur. In studies where the supplement was effective, injections of very concentrated extracts were used. Injections may be the most effective, and likely the only, way that deer antler works. This is because IGF-1 is mostly destroyed when it passes through the digestive system. Because of this, swallowing deer antler supplements would practically be useless.

I have been using deer velvet to treat my arthritis for over 10 years. When I run out for a couple weeks, the pains increase and I lose mobility in my joints. And when I continue with the supplement, the pain goes away and the mobility comes back. Additionally it helps my over feeling of well being (I suspect it balances my hormones). I am a fan. I use 1000 mg of day of antler farms velvet from Ne ... Show Full Comment
As this supplement is derived from 'deer', the two most commonly used species of deer in mainland China include the Sika deer Cervus nippon Temminck and Red Deer Cervus elaphus Linnaeus; these species may be relevant.[1] 'Farming' of deers for antlers includes raising deer and sawing off the antlers under analgesia,[2][3] the annual yeild appears to be 120-150 tonnes and deer are not usually killed as antlers are capable of full regeneration.[3]
A 2015 study published in Evidenced Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine fed mice a diet containing 10 percent elk velvet extract (EVA) to test its effects on physical growth and bone development.  Researchers measured the mice’s body weights, blood chemistry, kidney and testis/ovary functions, and bone traits weekly. They found that “Mean body weights were higher in the EVA group at 4–8 weeks in males, and at 5 weeks of age in females.” The mice fed EVA also experienced changes in kidney function and increased femoral bone length by 5 weeks old. Levels of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) increased in EVA group.
A systemic review on human interventions[25] makes note of a study conducted on patients of osteoarthritis (Edelman et al. 2000; cannot be located online) which found improvements in joint pain symptoms relative to baseline in the Velvet Antler group and not placebo, although a lack of information on blinding and randomization precludes results that can be drawn from this study.