(-)-epicatechin inhibits myostatin and strengthens muscles - Mind And Muscle

Myostatin builds mass monsters

Myostatin builds mass monsters

Myostatin is a functional protein in animals that has a lot of properties…one of which is to regulate the growth of muscle.  Myostatin is public enemy #1 when it comes to putting on more mass because it signals the body to tear down muscle cells in an effort to reduce the energy load on the body.  Luckily, Mexican researchers found that epicatechin, a flavonoid in Cocoa, can inhibit myostatin and reduce the amount produced in the body. This in theory should translate to more muscle mass on the average man.

Myostatin blockers have been of interest in the bodybuilding world for over a decade. Professional bodybuilders have been injecting Follistatin for years to give them an edge over their competition.  Sadly, no one really knows the long term effects of gene therapy to knock out myostatin gene expression. On the other hand, it is difficult to look past the mass monsters of the past 10 years who have been deactivating these messengers. What this supplement offers is the ability to get this effect without the nearly permanent changes that can occur with follistatin injections or gene therapy.


What the Mexican researchers found is that by giving the flavonoid epicatechin to mice of various ages, they could build more muscle mass.  The administration of this compound on both young and old mice caused in increase in muscle growth.  The doses to get a good response were pretty low which makes it compelling. The research dose was 1-2mg per kilogram, which translates into 12mg for an average man. Usually the data translates into higher doses for humans then from mice models. With compounds like this, the dose for humans is typically much higher (due to the enzymes in the gut) so expect to take 100-200mg orally to achieve a good response.  The mice showed a reduction in myostatin and an increase in Follistatin which is precisely what the researchers were hoping to see. This brought on an anabolic effect in the mice that was not seen in the control groups.


The Mexican researchers wanted to test their theory on real people so they gave 6 people in their forties and 6 people in their seventies two daily doses of (-)-epicatechin for one week.  The doses given were 25mg of the flavonoid twice per day.  Seven days really isn’t enough time to test the effects of the supplement on muscle mass, but it provided some interesting results.  There was a 49.2% increase in the ration of follistatin to myostatin (showing a net decrease in myostatin activity) and grip strength went up by 7% in the seven days.  This shows that a relatively modest dose of the supplement can have an effect in humans that is similar to that which is found in the mice.


It doesn’t appear that myostatin reduction alone will give men a silver bullet for gaining muscle. but combining it with other supplements like prohormones, creatine (in a good preworkout) and a healthy dose of hard work you may have a key weapon in your ability to gain the body you desire.

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