London: Working out in a gym to look toned and muscle-bound could be a thing of past, as scientists in Australia have found that blocking a protein can promote muscle growth - without any exercise involved.
By blocking the function of Grb10 - nicknamed the ‘Hulk’ protein - while mice were in the womb, they were considerably stronger and more muscular at birth than normal mice, the researchers said.
The study, published in the September issue of the respected FASEB Journal, has important implications for a wide range of conditions such as muscular dystrophy, Type 2 diabetes, and problems produced by muscle inflammation, the Daily Mail reported.
Grb10 seems to have a significant role in promoting muscle growth without any change in activity, diet, or adverse health effects, according to researchers.
“By identifying a novel mechanism regulating muscle development, our work has revealed potential new strategies to increase muscle mass,” said Lowenna J. Holt from the Diabetes and Obesity Research Program at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney.
Holt and her colleagues compared two groups of mice, one with the Grb10 gene and the other where it was blocked.
Researchers examined the properties of the muscles in both adult and newborn mice and discovered that the increase caused by the loss of Grb10 had mainly occurred during prenatal development.
These results suggested that it may in future be possible to alter muscle growth and help faster healing, as the processes involved in muscle regeneration and repair are similar to those for the initial formation of muscle.