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What is deer velvet?

Deer velvet is the growing antler of the male deer. It is called velvet because the soft outer skin has short hair, which resembles velvet cloth. When the antlers growth is complete, the antlers loose the velvet skin and become bone. The antlers fall off and grow each year.

Deer velvet is removed from the stags during the period of most active growth. This is when all the natural ingredients, which promote health and growth of the animal are at their peak. The deer velvet is handled and preserved carefully to retain the extra-ordinary potent activity. Deer velvet, which is in Glenfiddich Deer Velvet capsules, is the ground powder from the whole antler, not just the skin or velvet hair.

Glenfiddich deer velvet comes from red deer, which are carefully managed under extensive, natural, pastoral farming conditions in New Zealand. New Zealand is an ideal environment for the farming of deer because the climate is optimal for good grass growth, almost all year round, but the winters are cold enough to ensure best quality deer velvet growth. New Zealand maintains an excellent disease free status for all major diseases including BSE, TSE and Foot and Mouth Disease.

What are its benefits?

Deer velvet was well known as a Chinese medicine over 2000 years ago.

The Ancient Chinese recognised that deer velvet was a powerful medicine with the potential to speed up soft tissue repair, healing, and promoted strength, stamina and endurance.

Clinical evidence has come from countries such as Korea, China, Russia and New Zealand which clearly show that the earlier Chinese herbalists were correct. Deer Velvet has important benefits for human health. Studies have shown that deer velvet can improve both mental and physical performance, support the immune system, help improve joint function, help the body keep calcium in the skeleton (osteoporosis), and help with stress reduction. Deer velvet is also important in assisting with the keeping of good health and maintaining wellbeing.

What advantages does Glenfiddich have?

Deer velvet is composed of water, protein, minerals and fat. It is most likely that the active ingredients - those which provide the benefits are in the protein and fat components.

The deer at Glenfiddich Deer Farmsâ„¢ have been selected for the key indicator of high quality and activity i.e. a low ash content (a measurement for minerals), in the velvet.

Glenfiddich deer velvet powder is likely to have a higher level of active ingredients than other products which have not been selected in the same way.

The deer antler velvet is removed in specially designed holding facilities that minimise stress on animals. Glenfiddich Deer Farmsâ„¢ are certified for the removal of the antler under the code of practice of the National Velveting Standards Body of New Zealand.

We have total quality control of the velvet from growth through to the end shelf product.

Deer Velvet aids Athletic Performance

Studies have shown that athletes taking deer antler velvet capsules experience increased muscular strength and endurance in response to training and improved recovery from muscle-tissue damage associated with exercise.

Many of New Zealand's top athletes including triathletes, rowers, cyclists, swimmers and Surf Life Savers know from practical experience that deer velvet has a positive effect on their athletic performance.

The athletes say they feel less tired during training when using velvet. They also find that it helps prevent illness such as colds and flu by boosting the immune system.

Researchers in New Zealand and other countries are continuing studies into deer velvet's effects on athletic performance.

Deer velvet is a completely natural and safe substance to use.

Glenfiddich Deer Farms - The History

Glenfiddich Deer Farms has been owned and operated by the Swann family since 1974 when the first deer were captured live by helicopter.

Since then all the deer have been bred, and the velvet produced on three farms in South Canterbury and one in Northern Southland and currently at Ashburton.

When velveting commenced in 1976, for safety reasons, and a growing oriental trade, it was noted that some velvet antlers were of better quality than others. A careful breeding programme was established to retain and enhance these genetics.

This visual observation made many years ago has been confirmed by analysis made of Glenfiddich Deer Farms velvet at AgResearch, Invermay, showing it to be composed of a high amount of beneficial ingredients.