Sport & Exercise Science

Keen as mustard

If you are looking to get ripped, lean out and add muscle mass, a new research report published in Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal suggests that you might want to look to your garden for a little help.

Scientists at North Carolina State University, have found that when a specific plant steroid was given orally to rats, it triggered a response similar to that of anabolic steroids and with minimal or no androgenic side-effects.

In addition, the research found that the stimulatory effect of a type of brassinosteroid found in plants such as mustard on protein synthesis in muscle cells led to increases in lean body mass, muscle mass and physical performance.

“We hope that one-day brassinosteroids may provide an effective, natural, and safe alternative for age- and disease-associated muscle loss, or be used to improve endurance and physical performance,” said Slavko Komarnytsky, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work.

“Because some plants we eat like mustards, for example, contain these compounds, in the future we may be able to breed or engineer these plants for higher brassinosteroid content, thus producing functional foods that can treat or prevent diseases and increase physical performance.”

“The temptation is to see this discovery as another quick fix to help you go from fat to fit,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, “and to a very small degree, this may be true. In reality, however, this study identifies an important drug target for a wide range of conditions that cause muscle wasting.”

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