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Only phosphatidic acid from soya speeds up muscle growth

A daily dose of 750 mg phosphatidic acid helps strength athletes build up strength and muscle mass faster. Sports scientists at the University of Tampa come to this conclusion in a sponsored study.

Phosphatidic acid
Phosphatidic Acid
Phosphorus is what helps muscle cells to grow. Anabolic signal molecules generally become active if cells attach a phosphorus group to them at the right spot. That's textbook stuff. So if you know that, and developed an obsession about your muscularity in adolescence, you've probably already wondered whether phosphatidic acid supplementation can boost muscle growth.

The researchers published in 2012 a study that did suggest, but didn't prove that phosphatidic acid does indeed possess semi-anabolic properties. The study published a few months ago was larger and produced strong enough evidence of statistically significant effects.

These effects are shown below. The subjects were young strength athletes, all of whom followed the same training programme for eight weeks. Half of them were given a placebo; the other half took 750 mg phosphatidic acid every day.

An asterisk (*) represents a significant effect in terms of the training period ('before' versus 'after') and a number sign (#) represents a statistically significant effect derived from phosphatidic acid versus the placebo treatment. Phosphatidic acid led to an extra increase in lean body mass and muscle strength.

Only phosphatidic acid from soya speeds up muscle growth

Only phosphatidic acid from soya speeds up muscle growth

The researchers did in-vitro research and discovered that phosphatidic acid activates the anabolic key molecule mTOR in muscle cells via the signal molecule p70. Armed with this knowledge they then measured the effect of a number of related molecules on p70.

S-PS = soy-derived phosphatidylserine; S-PI = soy-derived phosphatidylinositol; S-PE = soy-derived phosphatidyl-ethanolamine; S-PC = soy-derived phosphatidylcholine; S-PA = soy-derived phosphatidic acid; S-LPA = soy-derived lysophosphatidic acid; DAG = diacylglycerol; G3P = glycerol-3-phosphate; E-PA = egg-derived phosphatidic acid.

Only phosphatidic acid from soya speeds up muscle growth

As you can see, phosphatidylserine, lysophosphatidic acid and phosphatidic acid from soya are mTOR boosters, while phosphatidic acid derived from eggs has little effect.

"This could be due to the composition of the phosphatidic acid molecule", the researchers suspect. "For instance, Foster et al. have reported differing effects of phosphatidic acid based upon the structure of its fatty acid components; wherein, two saturated fatty acids promoted storage, yet one saturated and one unsaturated fatty acid promoted signaling."

"Thus, the higher unsaturated fat content of soy may explain these observations. This suggests that soy derived phosphatidic acid, lysophosphatidic acid, and phosphatidylserine are superior agonists of mTOR signaling, and therefore, they appear to be suitable candidates for augmenting the effects of resistance training on muscle mass."

The study was sponsored by Chemi Nutra, a manufacturer of phosphatidic acid and phosphatidylserine.

Nutr Metab (Lond). 2014 Jun 16;11:29. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-11-29. eCollection 2014.

Phosphatidic acid works for strength athletes 14.11.2012