Myostatin: The Muscle Killer

More from my original research notes about the hormones that influence your fat loss and muscle gain:


yostatin is easily one of the most exciting discoveries of the past two decades. Its name literally means “muscle-stopping chemical,” and this couldn’t be closer to the truth. Researchers found that when myostatin was absent in animals, or its action was blocked, the animals displayed massive increases in muscle mass, and decreases in fat mass[1-9]. This was a huge development for nutritionists around the world.

Most internet “experts,” however, couldn’t pick out myostatin in a lineup.

In both animals and humans, when myostatin is found in higher than normal concentrations, muscle mass is decreased[10-18]. It’s also been associated with the muscle wasting experienced in old age (sarcopenia)[19] and AIDS wasting[20].

The muscle-building and fat-burning effects of human growth hormone are thought to be caused by GH’s interference with myostatin function[21], and the muscle destroying effects of cortisol appear to be associated with higher concentrations of myostatin[22]. Muscle disuse atrophy (when muscles shrink because they’re not being used—a condition typically affecting astronauts and bedridden people) has also been associated with elevated myostatin levels[15,23]—and it may be responsible for the differences in muscle and fat mass between males and females[2].

Finally, consuming calories at less than maintenance levels—which is what most people attempt to do when dieting—also increases the concentration of myostatin in muscles, leading to muscle wasting[24]. Only one paper I’ve seen at this point came to the conclusion that myostatin didn’t cause muscle wasting—stating instead that muscle wasting seemed to cause an increase in myostatin[25].

This has been a huge discovery, and myostatin may well be the most “evil” chemical in the human body. This could potentially lead to the development of medications specifically designed for people who need to lose fat—without sacrificing valuable muscle tissue—to reduce the risk of serious illness and disease. In both The Carb Nite® Solution and Carb Backloading™, I discuss how to decrease myostatin levels, preventing its adverse effects from derailing your progress.

References (click to expand)

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Physicist turned nutrition and performance scientist. Currently considered one of the industry’s leading experts on human metabolism.

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