Scientists have discovered a natural steroid occurring in mustard plants, that acts much like the synthetic versions, but with minimal side effects.
Mustard: A Steroid Without Side Effects?
So far you thought protein and maybe creatine was what you needed to build muscle. Steroids may have come to your mind as well, but of course they can have all sorts of rather nasty side effects.
Now scientists discovered that homobrassinolide, a type of steroid you find in plants such as mustards has a similar effect as synthetic steroids, just without most of the side effects.
The researchers from North Carolina’s State University took skeletal muscle cells from rats, exposed them to different amounts of homobrassinolide and measured protein synthesis. Protein synthesis increased, while protein breakdown had decreased.
More Lean Body Mass
To find out how living organisms reacted to it, they then took healthy rats and for 24 days gave them homobrassinolide, measuring changes in body weight, food consumption, and body composition. The rats receiving homobrassinolide experienced an anabolic effect and increased their lean body mass.
To find out what happens when the homobrassinolide goes together with high protein intake, the study was then repeated with rats fed a high protein diet. The results were similar.
Additionally, when rats castrated on the brink of puberty were given homobrassinolide, they increased their grip strength and the number and size of muscle fibers – despite being castrated, which normally hinders development of muscle cells.
Mustard For The Win
Before you now go out and buy every bottle of mustard available, keep in mind that a) this was with mustard seeds and the amount of homobrassinolide in the mustard you put on hot dogs is rather small, and b) that what works in rats doesn’t necessarily works in humans.
Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal,where the research was published, told the Eureka News Alert:
The temptation is to see this discovery as another quick fix to help you go from fat to fit, 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.
But, oh well, I can already see the “Mustard Muscle 9000” advertisements. If people only realized that building muscle is no rocket science.