Study: supplementation with schisandra maintains your muscle mass as you age
The inventors of Anafuse from Vital Alchemy, Infrared Energy from ATP Science or other bodybuilding supplements with schisandra are right. Extracts from the berries of Schisandra chinensis, a plant that grows in the North-East of the Asian continent, could indeed stimulate muscle growth. Pharmacological researchers at Gachon University in South Korea draw this conclusion from experiments with mice.
The Koreans divided young-aged 16-month-old lab mice into 2 groups. For 4 months the researchers gave half of the mice standard chow [Con], and the other half chow enriched with a homemade alcohol extract from the fruit of Schisandra chinensis [SFe].
Between their sixteenth [16M] and twentieth month of life [20M] the mice in the Con-group became fatter. Moreover, they lost muscle mass. This did not happen in the SFe group. Supplementation with Schisandra chinensis kept their body composition intact.
Click on the figure below for a larger version.
After 4 months, the researchers compared the muscle tissue of the rats in the control group with that of the rats in the experimental group. They saw that Schisandra chinensis increased the concentration of anabolic proteins such as MyoD, Myf5, MyoG and MRF4.
These signal proteins stimulate stem cells in muscle tissue to develop into fully-fledged muscle cells, so that muscle fibers remain intact or grow.
At the same time, the extract reduced the production and concentration of catabolic proteins such as myostatin [MSTN], MuRF-1 and atrogin-1.
"The dietary supplementation of Schisandra chinensis-extract to aged mice [...], increased muscle mass [...] through enhanced muscle regeneration, and reduced muscle degradation in aged mice", write the Koreans. "We suggest that Schisandra chinensis-extract or components of Schisandra chinensis-extract may be a potential nutraceutical components for healthy aging."
Mice are of course not humans. But the human equivalent of the dose that the Koreans gave to their test animals was not extreme: 800-950 milligrams per day.
Almost forgot. The South Korean government paid for the study.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019;2019:5642149.
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