A recently discovered compound called homobrassinolide, a type of brassinosteroid which can be found in plants, produces an anabolic effect and could increase the size and number of muscle fibers as well as increase muscle mass.
Researchers discovered it when homobrassinolide, which can be also found in the mustard plant, was fed to rats and obtained a response a lot like anabolic steroids with minimal side effects. The study also reveals that the stimulatory effect of this vegetal steroid on the synthesis of muscle cell protein resulted in a muscle mass increase, more lean body mass as well as improved physical performance.
The researchers exposed skeletal muscle cells to different quantities of homobrassinolide and measured the protein synthesis in cell culture. The result was decreased protein degradation and an increase in protein synthesis in these cells. Homobrassinolide was then given oraly each day for 24 days to healthy rats. Changes in body composition, food consumption and body weight were measured. All rats getting homobrassinolide incremented their intake of food slightly and gained more weight.
Maybe, brassinosteroids one day could offer us an effective, natural and safe alternative for disease and age-associated muscle lossing or be made use of to improve endurance, muscle mass and physical performance. Some plants we use to consume, like mustard, contain these substances. It could be possible to breed these plants with a even higher brassinosteroid content, obtaining functional foods which can prevent or treat diseases and physical performance and also increase muscle mass.
To measure body composition a Dual-emission X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) was used and, comparing it to those that weren’t treated, researchers saw an increase in lean body mass in animals that were treated. The research was conducted again in rats that received a high protein diet and obtaining much the same results. There was an increase in grip strength as well as increased size and more muscle fibers which is essential for an increase in muscle mass and physical performance.