(NaturalNews) The simple mustard plant and its seeds have been in the news a lot lately because of their ever-expanding list of known health benefits. And yet another new study has found that mustard and certain types of vegetables naturally contain a steroid-like compound that can help increase appetite, promote the development of muscle mass, and boost overall athletic performance.
Bodybuilders, aging individuals with wasting muscles, and even just young- or middle-aged people looking to bulk up often start out experimenting with a variety of muscle-building powders and supplements with the hope that these will help to improve performance and promote muscle growth. Many of these products do, of course, work as intended when combined with exercise and weight-lifting — but now it may be even easier to build muscle just by eating the right foods.
Dr. Slavko Komarnytsky, a researcher from North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Kannapolis, NC, and his colleagues recently conducted a study aimed at testing the effects of homobrassinolide, the mustard compound found to be responsible for producing an anabolic effect when consumed.
The team tested the substance on one group of normal, healthy rats fed a typical diet, as well as on another fed a high-protein specific diet. The team also fed a third group of castrated, peri-pubertal rats homobrassinolide to see how it might help restore androgen-dependent tissues following castration.
Published in The FASEB Journal, the findings from these tests revealed that in all three groups, homobrassinolide effectively helped boost appetite and food intake, increase lean muscle mass, and improve strength. Tests involving muscle cells alone also revealed an increase in the number and size of muscle fiber cells, indicating that homobrassinolide is an effective, natural way to increase strength.
“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 Dr. Komarnytsky.
Besides promoting muscle growth and improved strength, mustard also helps alleviate migraine headaches and prevent cancer. It is also a powerful anti-fungal and antiseptic compound.