Musclin: The New Exercise Hormone

Musclin: The New Exercise Hormone

It is known that exercise does wonders for the body. Athletes want to train harder and for longer periods of time to improve their performances. People with slightly sedentary lifestyles want to be able to tolerate longer workouts. Either way, the discovery of a new hormone that promotes physical endurance brings great news to exercisers and non-exercisers alike!

In a study conducted on mice at the University of Iowa, scientists found a peptide called musclin, which is a hormone-like substance made by skeletal muscles and released into the bloodstreams in response to physical activities. They concluded that this "exercise factor" is responsible for building the muscle’s capacity for energy production and, therefore, may help increase endurance. That means people would be able to exercise for longer periods of time and, for athletes, at greater levels of intensity.

Scientists found that when supplemented with musclin, the mice began exercising on their own and behaving like those with naturally-occurring musclin. After a week, they actually started exercising for longer periods of time and at a higher intensity than the placebo mice. Researchers went on to say that the musclin signaled increased production of mitochondria, the power production center of the cell, improving muscle performance and increasing the aerobic capacity in the mice.

While the research is still ongoing, it’s exciting to know that exercising could be easier. Athletes and sedentary individuals could potentially benefit greatly from further investigation into musclin. Although knowledge of this peptide would not replace exercise, it could make exercising more enjoyable and sustainable for those who find it challenging. And if working out felt easier, people would no doubt be encouraged to exercise more, ultimately taking better control of their health.

Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, Triathlon Coach


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