What is Deer Velvet?
Velvet is the name given to the furry skin covering deer antlers in the early stage of their growth, before the antlers harden into bone. In this early stage of growth, antlers are soft tissues, but it is the inside of the antler and not the velvety covering on the outside that is used as a health product.
Male deer grow antlers every year, and unless removed at an early stage, before they harden, can be used as weapons, causing damage to the other deer. Mature deer antler is hard dense bone that can weigh up to 20 kilograms. It is deciduous and is shed or ‘cast off’ naturally in the late winter or early spring to make way for the next year’s set of antlers. New antlers will start growing again generally within 4 months.
How is it Collected?
Velvet removal is carried out by veterinarians or specially trained farmers using analgesic techniques to ensure stags feel no pain. Anyone who removes velvet must be certified under the National Velveting Standards Body programme to do so. The National Velveting Standards Body programme operates under the control of the Government's National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee.
What does Deer Velvet Contain?
Scientists have identified at least 12 minerals and elements, 30 free amino acids and many other compounds including growth factor agents and hormone like substances. These support some of the extraordinary values attributed to velvet. Clearly, for a substance like deer antler to grow, very special nutritional and other agents are required. Calcium levels are very high but the calcium is in a soft form prior to the antler calcifying. Some of these elements and minerals are as follows:
- Collagens – helps rebuild joint cartilage
- Chondroitin – relieves arthritis symptoms
- Pantocrine – increases muscle efficiency
- Glycosaminoglyans – lubricates the joints
- Uronic Acid –improves circulation
- Hyaluronic Acid – lubricates the joints
- Bone Morphogenic Protein – regulates bone growth
- Alkaline Phosphate – promotes tissue healing and cell repair
- Neutrophils – promotes the bodies resistance to disease and injury
- Omega 3, 6 fatty acids, - all essential amino acids, calcium, phosphorus, iron & zinc
It also contains minerals such as potassium, magnesium, nitrogen and selenium which are necessary components of a healthy diet.
Recent research has shown that deer velvet contains prostaglandins, important cell function regulators that play a key role in the body’s response to injury inflammation, infection and pain.
Built on over 2000 years of traditional oriental medicine, New Zealand deer velvet has emerged as a modern natural health product with many applications
What Research is there on Deer Velvet?
New Zealand is at the forefront of research into the properties of deer velvet. While a lot of initial work was done by Asian and Russian scientists, Deer Industry New Zealand and AgResearch Invermay have set up a research fund to continue the excellent work begun by AgResearch Invermay.
It has been widely accepted for thousands of years in Asian countries that deer velvet is, at the very least, an essential tonic. The continuing scientific work being done now is proving that.
Is Deer Velvet Safe and are there any side effects?
Clinical trials and other research have not shown any side effects to taking 100% natural deer velvet capsules but it is always recommended to follow the instructions on the container packaging as to the daily dosage or as prescribed by your practitioner.