The New Zealand Game Industry Board and AgResearch are working hard to prove scientifically – that New Zealand deer velvet may have a positive effect on athletic performance.
Although requiring further examination, the latest human clinical trials (conducted by the Otago University Human Performance Cente on behalf of NZGIB and AgResearch) do indicate a possible link between New Zealand deer velvet and improved athletic performance on two fronts; improved strength and endurance in response to training, and improved recovery from muscle tissue damage associated with exercise.
In the first study, scientists at Otago University Human Performance Centre compared the development of muscle strength and endurance in groups of males taking different forms of New Zealand deer velvet to a control group taking a placebo. In the study, 51 male athletes undertook a 12 week period of supervised training during which strength and endurance were monitored. The group taking a powdered form of New Zealand deer velvet antler showed greater improvements in isokinetic strength and muscular endurance as a result of training than the control group.
The second study was designed to determine what role New Zealand deer velvet antler has in athletic performance by affecting recovery from muscle injury. A substance found in the bloodstream called creatine kinase, was used as an indicator of muscle tissue damage. more.
The thirty athletes in the trial ran downhill on a treadmill to induce muscle tissue damage in the muscles at the front of their thighs. Muscle biopsies and blood samples were then taken.
Those athletes who had been on a course of New Zealand deer velvet powder for two weeks previously showed significantly reduced elevation of creatine kinase levels in their bloodstream, possibly indicating less muscle damage.
A trend also emerged in which athletes taking powdered New Zealand deer velvet reported a recovery from muscle soreness 24 hours earlier than the subjects receiving a placebo. The benefit of this is that they could return to training more quickly. While not yet being a complete picture, the statistically significant results bode well for further research.
Deer velvet is one of the few products where New Zealand accounts for the majority of world trade and any significant advances in the uses of deer velvet will be excellent news for the industry and the New Zealand economy as a whole.
Awareness of New Zealand deer velvet antler and its benefits is already high among New Zealand athletes. Hamish Carter, currently number one ranked triathlete in the World, is a firm advocate.
For further information please contact:
Michael-John (“MJ”) Loza, General Manager Marketing, NZGIB Ph (04) 381 6012 Mb (021) 993389
Mark O’Connor, Velvet Manager, NZGIB Ph (04) 381 6013 Mb (025) 743 624
Dr James M Suttie, AgResearch Invermay Ph (03) 489 9228