Mustard compound key to becoming lean, muscular

Updated: Oct 04, 2011, 19:07 PM IST

Washington: A promising plant steroid found in mustard could help one become lean and muscular.

When given orally to rats, it triggered a response similar to anabolic steroids, with minimal side-effects.

Research by Slavko Komarnytsky, North Carolina State University, found that the stimulatory effect of homobrassinolide (a type of brassinosteroid found in mustard plant) on protein synthesis in muscle cells led to increase in lean body mass, muscle mass and physical performance, reports The FASEB Journal.

"We hope that one day brassinosteroids may provide an effective, natural and safe alternative for age- and disease-associated muscle loss, or be used to improve endurance and physical performance," said Komarnytsky, according to a university statement.

"Because some plants we eat contain these compounds, like mustards, in the future we may be able to breed or engineer these plants for higher brassinosteroid content, thus producing functional foods that can treat or prevent diseases and increase physical performance."

IANS