Salecan, a new sports supplement?
Chinese molecular scientists do animal studies with Salecan, a beta-glucan that is made by a bacterium. In Nutrients they tell us that a not so horribly high dose of Salecan increases the stamina considerably. How exactly? That is not clear.
Salecan is a beta-glucan. Beta-glucans are chains of glucose, which are present oatmeal, brewer's yeast and mushrooms. Beta-glucans stimulate the immune system, probably because they resemble the beta-glucans in the cell membranes of bacteria.
Salecan is a Chinese invention. It is a beta-glucan produced in bioreactors by Agrobacterium species ZX09.
The researchers experimented with 5 groups of mice. The first group did nothing at all, and received no special substances. [REST] On ons occasion, the mice in the other 4 groups had to swim to exhaustion. The researchers looked at how long the animals could keep swimming, and then subjected them to a thorough investigation.
During the 4 weeks preceding the swimming session 1 group received no supplementation, [Ctrl] while the resarchers supplemented the 3 other groups with Salecan. If the mice had been adult Homo sapiens, they would have received about 200 [MS] 400 [MS] or 800 milligrams of Salecan per day [HS] every day. The route of administration was oral; the researchers pumped the substance directly into the stomach of the animals.
Supplementation with Salican increased the time the mice could keep swimmming. The low, medium and high doses extended the time by 23, 63 and 89 percent respectively.
After the swimming session, the researchers found less glucose and glycogen in the muscles in the mice in control group, who had swum but had not received Salecan. Supplementation with Salecan diminished or prevented this decrease.
Because the supplementation did not appear to increase the activity of citric acid cycle enzymes such as pyruvate kinase [PK], mallate dehydrogenase [MDH] and succinate dehydrogenase [SDH], there were no indications that the muscle cells converted more carbohydrates or proteins into energy. Did the mice burn more fat? That is not clear from the publication.
Supplementation with Salecan also inhibited the increase in muscle repairers as creatine kinase [CK] and lactate dehydrogenase [LDH] in the blood of the mice. That was also the case with malondialdehyde [MDA], a marker of the activity of free radicals.
This was probably related to the activity of endogenous antioxidants such as glutathione [GSH] and superoxide dismutase [SOD], which were increased by Salecan.
"Strenuous exercise is a very energy-consuming process, which might result in the imbalance of the internal environment", write the researchers. "Fatigue induced by prolonged exercise not only leads to the decrease of exercise capacity, but also might be the cause of many diseases including vascular and heart diseases, and skeletal and muscular system diseases."
"Here, we demonstrated that Salecan could significantly alleviate exercise-induced fatigue. The beneficial effects of Salecan against fatigue may be due to its positive effects on energy metabolism and antioxidation capacity. Except for the traditional biochemical biomarkers for exercise-induced fatigue, other metabolites related to fatigue need to be further investigated to better understand the role of Salecan."
"These findings suggest a potential use for Salecan as an anti-fatigue dietary supplement in exercise or other factors inducing the fatigue symptom."
Nutrients. 2018 Jul 3;10(7).
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