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New Zealand researchers have found clinical support for the belief that deer antler velvet (a revered tonic in Traditional Chinese Medicine) may be useful in improving muscle endurance and recovery time after exertion.
These preliminary findings indicate that deer antler velvet may work synergistically with creatine, a popular supplement that builds muscle. In phase one of the study, New Zealand athletes who took New Zealand deer velvet supplements showed almost twice the improvement of the placebo group in the amount of work they were able to do in a strength test.
While the results were not statistically significant, they identified a strong trend. These results form the basis for phase two of the study now underway.
The Research Study
The 10-week, double-blind phase one study was conducted at New Zealand’s Otago University in conjunction with AgResearch Invermay (an agricultural research organization owned by the New Zealand government). Researchers tested 24 physical education students for changes in body composition.
Results showed that while all the students lost body fat as a percentage of their body weight, the group taking deer velvet lost more body fat than the control group. Although this effect was not statistically significant, the overall trend supports the idea that deer velvet is a useful supplement for athletes.
"Contrary to popular misconception, the study indicates that improving muscle strength may not necessarily require increasing muscle size," says Dr. Jimmy Suttie of AgResearch Invermay and an internationally recognized expert in deer antler composition and physiology.
Deer Velvet Antler: A Natural Substance
A completely natural substance, deer antler velvet has been one of the most prized health tonics in traditional oriental medicine for over 2000 years. In addition to its potential to enhance athletic performance, deer velvet may also have anti-inflammatory effects and help prevent illness such as cold and flu by boosting the immune system.
In the West, deer velvet is commonly thought to have a positive effect on sexual function but this may merely be a pleasant side effect of deer velvet antler ís more general health-promoting action. Deer antler velvet grows each spring on male deer and the fully grown antler is later cast off in winter. Removal of deer velvet antler causes no harm to the animal. A local anesthetic is administered to deer before a veterinarian or specially trained and certified farmer removes the velvet. Within hours of removal, deer are back outside free to graze on open prairie lands.
The Athletic Benefits
New Zealand, Russian and Chinese studies have shown that deer antler velvet may play a valuable role in sports during training, performance, recovery, and in the treatment of injury. Studies indicate that deer velvet antler supplements may improve athletic performance by:
strength and endurance,
New Zealand is a world leader in the production of deer antler velvet. New Zealand deer velvet antler operations adhere to rigorous quality assurance regulations to ensure consistent high levels of active ingredients.