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Thursday 14 September 2000
New Zealand Althetes Taking Deer Velvet at the Olympics
When Hamish Carter, lines up on Sunday to represent New Zealand in the triathlon event at the Sydney Olympics, 4 500 New Zealand deer farmers will be cheering extra loudly.
Carter, number 1 ranked triathlete in the world, has been taking New Zealand deer velvet for about two years now. He is convinced this dietary supplement adds to his own huge training efforts by assisting with his strength and endurance, and providing him faster recovery after training.
"Since taking New Zealand deer velvet I have found that my recovery from training, competition and even travel has been greatly enhanced" Hamish comments.
A completely natural substance, deer velvet provides many important benefits in traditional Chinese medicine and has been used consistently for over 2000 years. More recently Russian athletes have taken an extract of deer velvet to improve their athletic performances.
A joint venture between the New Zealand deer industry and AgResearch directs investment of over one million dollars per year into research on deer velvet to understand what makes it special.
The latest round of human clinical trials conducted by the Otago University Human Performance Centre has produced statistically significant results. The trials 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 fact we have seven athletes at the Sydney Olympics who are taking New Zealand deer velvet," says MJ Loza, General Manager Marketing at the New Zealand Game Industry Board, "including 1998 Commonwealth Games champion cyclist Glen Thomson, and Olympic bronze medalist Gary Anderson.
The athletes take New Zealand deer velvet because their experience has shown them that it helps them recover faster after training, so they are back on the road, in the water, on the track or in the gym faster" Loza explains.
In addition to its potential to enhance athletic performance, deer antler velvet may also have anti-inflammatory effects and may help prevent illness such as cold and flu by supporting the immune system. Both of these uses are important to athletes who often have weakened immune systems and joint-related ailments due to their heavy training schedules.
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