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International Symposium on Velvet Antler Science

   Scientists and researchers at the first International Symposium on Antler Science and Product Technology will discuss technologies that utilize velvet antler for nutrition and non-prescription medical uses. Nearly 40 world authorities on velvet antler - a product from the antler of elk, will present technical papers and participate in discussion topics at the conclave in Banff, Alberta, in April.

   The symposium was created because there is a growing body of international scientific evidence showing velvet antler as a highly effective nutraceutical. The use of velvet antler to relieve clinical symptoms of osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis has been documented by scientists in most Asian and many European countries.

   "The immediate aim of the symposium is to lay a solid scientific foundation for the antler industry," said Dr. Jeong Sim, symposium chair and faculty member at the University of Alberta. "We have researchers coming from eight or more countries where antler science is a highly respected discipline."

   The symposium consists of three plenary sessions and two workshops. Plenary sessions include: Antler Biology and Growth Factors; Antler Chemistry and Bioactives; and Antler Clinical Medical Efficacy. Participants in the first workshop will discuss newly emerging antler harvesting technology. Speakers come from New Zealand, Korea, and Canada. The second workshop, Antler Nutraceuticals, will include papers by nutritionists and international medical researchers. There will also be a poster session and industry exposition.

   Dr. Sim said the symposium brings together researchers from as far away as New Zealand, Russia, and Korea. The 32-member scientific advisory committee has been planning the symposium for more than a year. "Our goal is to create synergy among the scientific community and credibility for antler science among industry leaders and consumers," he said. "With the interest in alternative medicines, it is time to make people aware of the benefits of velvet antler."

   Sponsors for the four-day symposium include nutraceutical firms, universities, and elk breeders. One of the major sponsors is the North American Elk Breeders Association with support from the American Elk Products Board.

   The symposium will be held at the Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta, Canada, April 9-12, 2000. More information on the symposium is available at



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