A new study into the health benefits of drinking deer milk has found it improves muscle mass, physical performance, and bone density in older women.
The 18-month-long clinical trial found that deer milk has significantly higher calcium and protein contents than other options.
Massey University’s Pamela Von Hurst was one of the researchers involved in the trial.
"It actually has a much higher concentration of calcium which is so important for our bones as we age, and it also has a much higher concentration of protein than cow's milk, so it naturally provides these extra nutrients within the same volume," she said.
The clinical trial, conducted by Pāmu New Zealand and Massey University, involved 120 women over the age of 65.
Half of them consumed a glass of deer milk daily for 10 weeks, and the other half were given a supplement.
Those drinking the deer milk reported an improvement in physical strength, energy, and skin health.
“Further observations were that deer milk may support bone health in postmenopausal women by reducing bone breakdown and bone loss over time,” von Hurst said.
The findings from the study could now help open up a lucrative market for New Zealand farmers. Pāmu NZ's Hamish Glendinning said it could be a pricey option.
"It sells for around $80 a litre, so it's not something that you'd be putting on your cereal."
New Zealand already exports deer milk across the globe in places like Asia and Vietnam, but Glendinning hopes that with this new research, more Kiwis will be interested too.