Deer Velvet May Be
Good For Athletes
February 23, 2000
WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Ground up deer
horn has been pushed for years as an aphrodisiac; now New Zealand deer
farmers plan a new tack with a more scientific backing -- promoting velvet
as a supplement to boost athletic performance.
Human clinical trials at New Zealand's
Otago University indicate a possible link between the velvet and improved
strength and endurance gains in training, the New Zealand Game Industry
Board said in a statement on Monday. At
the request of the industry group, scientists at Otago University Human
Performance Center compared the development of muscle strength and endurance
in male athletes taking a velvet supplement and others taking a placebo.
Deer velvet is the velvet-like substance that covers growing antlers.
"The group taking a powdered form
of New Zealand deer velvet showed greater improvements in isokinetic
strength and muscular endurance as a result of training than the
control group," the industry body said.
The ground-up velvet might also aid
recovery from muscle tissue damage, and athletes taking the supplement
reported less muscle soreness, it said.
Further research is planned in the United States, in a bid to set up
a credible body of research for that market, the board said.