I’ve been getting questions at the gym about certain supplements again.
And, as you might know, I’m a big believer in using some supplements to assist the athlete in getting stronger, training harder, performing better, or recovering quicker…..
Using that rule, I have added or deleted supplements from my daily regimen, until I have narrowed them down to a few I consider absolutely essential.
BCAA’s, Creatine, HMB, G-C-MSM, Glutamine, Beta-Alanine, Whey Protein is my short list.
And I’m the first one to try a new supplement if there seems to be some hope of it being effective.
Some supplements, however, just don’t make the cut.
They are manufactured, marketed and sold with only one criteria in mind — will it make money?
The companies marketing products like this do it, and get away with it, using several strategies.
A biggie is using the naiveté of young buyers — it’s a fact that most new sports supplements are sold to people with less than two years experience in the gym — who just don’t know better.
And while you might think that advertising using extravagant claims for these products, in magazines like Flex and Muscular Development, would have only limited appeal to the newbies and the unitiated,
In actuality, it also draws a large ‘one-timer’ market — the curious, the adventurous, and yes, those trying to break out of a rut, who will try anything once.
I admit that I sometimes fall into that category… somehow persuaded by the sponsored athlete, or the sponsored event, or the pseudo-scientific babble about double blind studies or results in mice.
I hate that.
Nothing makes me madder than spending my hard earned money on worthless supplements.
One of my buddies at the gym asked me about something he’s been taking for a couple months without results….
It’s called a ‘myostatin inhibitor’ —
I remember Patrick Arnold writing an article a couple years ago about how myostatin modulation was gonna be the next big thing….
But that the technology wouldn’t be ready for the market for ten or fifteen years yet.
In the meantime, of course, there would be supplements making tons of money pretending to be effective muscle building myostatin inhibitors …..
And guess what ……..
Before I continue, maybe I should explain what myostatin is, and the theory behind ‘getting big’ by inhibiting myostatin.
Myostatin, or GDF-8, is a protein that circulates in the blood, that prohibits the body from growing excessive musculature.
It’s levels are defined in the DNA of an individual.
You might have seen a TV show “World’s Strongest Toddler”–
Well, that kid produces myostatin, but his receptors do not uptake it like they should, hence, his large muscular frame, despite being just a child.
A certain breed of cattle, called the “Belgian Blue” ( also, another called ‘Piedmontese’ ) have a genetic dysfunction of myostatin, causing them to become much bigger than other cows.
Myostatin in the lab has also been shown to suppress the kinase AKT, another substance known to affect muscle synthesis.
So, now you might be thinking that, in the age of schedule III anabolics, that this would be a potential boon for those looking to add size and strength.
Maybe — it’s way too early to tell.
There’s a lot of other stuff that has to be tested and thought out first…..
For one, the Wyeth pharmaceutical company tested the most likely myostatin-inhibitor, an anti-body which neutralized myostatin, called MYO-029, or ‘Stamulumab’, in 2008, in the hopes of developing it for use in fighting muscle wasting disease, and decided NOT to pursue it further.
Now, when a big-pharma company won’t touch something they could make BIG profits from, you got to wonder why.
Here’s what they found:
” There were no improvements noted in exploratory end points of muscle strength or function ………
……… <despite> a trend in a limited number of subjects toward increased muscle size.”
( Abstract, Ann Neurol. 2008 May;63(5):561-71. doi: 10.1002/ana.21338. )
There are troubling issues about weakened cartilage and supporting tissues —
The aforementioned cattle with suppressed myostatin are more subject to injury, disease, compromised reproductive function, and even require a special diet.
There are no human studies currently on the effect such a drug would have on short or long term health or lifespan.
And the topper —
There is NO such thing being sold as a supplement in the U.S. or Canada.
The most popular supplement represented as a muscle building myostatin inhibitor has absolutely zero independent studies backing up it’s claims.
The one study that was offered as proof by a MHP rep on a popular muscle building message board—-
” Colker C., Effect on Serum Myostatin Levels of High-Grade Handled Fertile Egg Yolk Powder; Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Volume 28, No.3, Abstract 47; Page 309. October 2009. “
— was not even on the ACN’s site , and there was no page 309 in October, 2009.
And please note what this stuff really is — Egg Yolk Powder .
At eighty bucks a month, and for at least three months to see any results?
Hahaha… talk about a quick way to make $240.
I wanna remind you–
I’m not even saying this stuff doesn’t inhibit myostatin.
I have no way of knowing that.
Especially since NOBODY’s done any real science on it.
I’m saying it doesn’t work to improve muscle size or strength.
And I want to mention one more thing….
You can tell a lot from the way something is advertised,
…. about just how much of it is selling the steak, and how much is selling the sizzle.
Look at this ad pic for this product called MYO-X….
Top row– sad face, slumped shoulders, ugly ear thingees, stupid newbie shoes, black socks, distended stomach, hairy gorilla body.
Bottom row — moronic happy face, flared ( if you could flare those lats ) lats, straight posture, sucked in stomach, shaved soft body.
He did lose weight, sure..
…… but that’s NOT what the stuff is supposed to do, right?
So look at the picture, and tell me …
……………… are these the results you want for your $240 bucks?
proprietary picture used under “Fair Use” provisions of US Copyright Law.