Suttie et al. – RESEARCH ON DEER VELVET
The main objective of this experiment was to determine if deer antler products are able to enhance the strength gained by athletes undergoing self-determined training programmes.
Thirty-two males between the ages of 18 and 35 with at least 4 years of weight lifting experience were randomly assigned using a double-blind procedure into either a placebo or deer velvet powder treatment group. The placebo group received sugar capsules, and the velvet group received 1350 mg deer velvet powder, once in the morning and again immediately prior to bedtime. Random assignment was done in matched pairs (1 placebo; 1 deer velvet).
Prior to and immediately following a 10-week period of supplementation, each subject participated in a series of measurements. These procedures included the measurement of maximal aerobic capacity (VO2max & ), maximal power output on a cycle ergometer, a determination of maximal strength (1-RM) for the bench-press and squat, a comprehensive blood chemistry profile, body composition analyses (DEXA), and a 3-day dietary recall.
Results and interpretation
When normalized for kilograms of total body weight, the placebo group did not show any significant differences for the 1-RM measurements in either the bench press or the squat exercises. In contrast, the deer velvet group showed significant improvements in the 1- RM values both in absolute terms and relative to total body weight. In absolute terms, the 1-RM for the bench press of this group increased 4.2% (Pre: 120.0 ± 23.6 kg; Post: 125.0 ± 25.7 kg; P < 0.05) while the squat 1- RM improved 9.9% (Pre: 159.3 ± 42.7 kg; Post: 175.0 ± 43.5kg; P < 0.01). When expressed relative to total body weight, 1-RM values for the bench press and squat also significantly improved (P < 0.05) by 4.0% and 10.1%, respectively, in the NZDAV group. One of the most interesting findings of this study was the fact that there was also a significant improvement in aerobic capacity in the velvet treatment group, despite the fact that the athletes did not undertake any aerobic training. In litres/minute, VO2max & increased significantly by 9.8% from the pre- to post-treatment period (4.30 ± 0.45 to 4.72 ± 0.60 litres/minute P < 0.01). When expressed relative to total body weight in kilograms, VO2max & remained significantly elevated by 9.4% (46.5 ± 8.1 to 50.0 ± 8.9 ml/kg/minute) in the velvet group following the training-supplement intervention.
The results of this study suggest that deer velvet treatment may have positive effects on strength/power in men undergoing resistance training (Broeder et al., 2004). The observed enhancement of aerobic capacity without specific training was noteworthy, and this unexpected result warrants further investigation.
Research support for new uses and improved production of deer velvet
J.M. Suttie, S.R. Haines, D.E. Clark, J.A. Archer, M. O’connor1, C.E. Broeder2 And I.D. Corson - Applied Biotechnologies, AgResearch Limited, Invermay, New Zealand
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