Myostatin Inhibitor

Nonessential Micronutrient

OVERVIEW

Summary

Myostatin is a gene found in skeletal muscle that’s thought to be responsible for inhibiting the growth of muscle tissue in animals. Researchers suggest that if you remove or block the myostatin gene, muscles are able to grow significantly larger. Now, of course, it comes to no surprise that some supplement marketers are quick to suggest that humans can experience the same muscle growth by decreasing levels of myostatin in their bodies. As of yet, there’s no evidence we can actually accomplish this.

Other names for Myostatin Inhibitor

Cytoseira canariensis, Fraction C

Where to find Myostatin Inhibitor

The only source presently being promoted as a myostatin inhibitor is called Cytoseira canariensis, which is found in a specific marine algae.

PERFORMANCE BENEFITS


Why athletes use Myostatin Inhibitor

In theory, an athlete would use a myostatin inhibitor to increase the number of muscle fibers and muscular size. This would also lead to a reduction in bodyfat and a serious increase in size and strength. But so far, all we have is theory — no strong (or even weak) support.

Ways that Myostatin Inhibitor can enhance Muscle Gain & Recovery:
  • Allegedly increase muscle tissue by inhibiting the gene that is responsible for slowing muscle growth
Ways that Myostatin Inhibitor can enhance Fat Loss:
  • Supposedly increase the rate bodyfat is burned by increasing metabolism due to an increase of muscle mass

HEALTH BENEFITS

Signs of Myostatin Inhibitor deficiency

No deficiency conditions are known to exist.

Potential uses for Myostatin Inhibitor

Research indicates that Myostatin Inhibitor may be useful in the treatment of:

  • Catabolism (muscle wasting)

DISCUSSION

More about Myostatin Inhibitor

Myostatin is a gene found in skeletal muscle that’s thought to be responsible for inhibiting the growth of muscle tissue in animals. The true effects of the gene were discovered in 1997 when scientists at John Hopkins university knocked myostatin out of embryonic mouse cells and then reinserted the cells into a host mouse embryo and finally implanted the embryo into a female mouse. When the little genetically engineered mouse grew up, the result was what they called their miniature Schwarznegger Mouse (and later, mice). The mice showed a dramatic and widespread increase in skeletal muscle mass due to an increase in number of muscle fibers (called hyperplasia) and thickness of fibers (known as hypertrophy) because of the lack of myostatin in their cells.

The researchers concluded from this study that the myostatin gene lessens the growth of skeletal muscle and, thus, if you remove or block the myostatin gene, muscles are able to grow significantly larger. A more recent study done by the same team at Hopkins revealed that it may be possible to get the same incredible growth effect by blocking the gene, rather than completely knocking it out as was done in the original mice embryo experiments.

Interestingly, there are also certain breeds of cattle that are naturally born without the myostatin gene. For example, both the Belgian Blue and the Piedmontese are missing this gene: they’re also some of the largest, most muscular cattle you will ever see.

Now, of course, it comes as no surprise that some supplement marketers are using this astonishing news (the myostatin-free mice and cows) to absurdly suggest humans can experience the same muscle growth by decreasing levels of or blocking myostatin.

How does it block/inhibit mystatin?

In the successful experiments with mice, the gene was literally taken out before birth, but now, we’re hearing suggestions that there’s a supplement called Cytoseira canariensis that actually binds to myostatin in the same way as a known myostatin binder, heparin. You may be thinking, “Why not just take heparin?” Well, apparently, the amounts of heparin needed to bind to myostatin would cause serious side effects, even death. But it’s believed that cytoseira binds to myostatin safely! By binding to myostatin before it reaches its receptor site, the theory is that cytoseira, in effect, blocks it.

What about effects in humans?

It is clear when humans have certain muscle diseases, there also appears to be a direct correlation with increased myostatin levels. For example, AIDS patients experience severe muscle wasting, which may be a result of excess myostatin.

So in theory (a big theory), if you could block the myostatin gene in humans, you could have the answer to many muscle-wasting diseases, and it would be a strength athlete’s dream. What you won’t read in the current advertisements is that myostatin inhibition in animals was successful via genetic engineering, not from a pill or powder.

Still, a recent study did indicate that there is a role for myostatin in adult humans; in fact, their conclusion reads, “…the detection of myostatin in post-natal skeletal muscle, combined with studies of humans with wasting diseases, provide strong circumstantial evidence for the role of myostatin in regulating muscle growth after birth, and future studies will be crucial in the further understanding of myostatin.” But make no mistake, the supplement Cytoseira canariensis suggested to cause myostatin inhibition lacks any human research. So although there’s definite evidence that myostatin has a powerful impact on muscle growth in humans, there’s no evidence that we can, as of yet, take advantage of that knowledge.

In conclusion

There is no doubt that this is an exciting breakthrough in the field of not only genetic science but also muscular enhancement, and if companies promoting their myostatin inhibitors surprised us all, including the gene technologists, and they really have found a way to block myostatin with their supplements, then we may experience a new era of strength and muscle enhancement. But, until there’s some scientific support to back these claims — that is, human studies using supplement forms, not mice having cells implanted into them — then it’s probably best to wait. Rest assured, as any new information becomes available, we’ll be sure to let you know.

NOTES ON USAGE

Amount

500 mg 2 to 3 times per day is typically recommended.

Timing

There is no specific timing for best results. It can be taken throughout the day, with or without food.

Synergists of Myostatin Inhibitor

Consume with increased amounts of protein to maximize muscle growth.

Toxicity of Myostatin Inhibitor

No known toxicity.

Bans and restrictions

None reported.

RELATED RESEARCH

  • John Hopkins Magazine, June 1997.
  • Kambadur, R., et al., “Mutations in Myostatin (GDF8) in Double-Muscled Belgian Blue and Piedmontese Cattle,” Genome Res 7.9 (1997) : 910-15.
  • McPherron, A.C., and Lee, S.J., “Double Muscling in Cattle Due to Mutations in the Myostatin Gene,” Proc Natl Acad Sci 94.23 (1997) : 12457-61.
  • Sharma, M., et al., “Myostatin in Muscle Growth and Repair,” Exerc Sport Sci Rev 29.4 (2001) : 155-8.