Sports nutrition supplements containing phosphatidic acid (PA), a lipid messenger, may stimulate increases in muscle size, lean body mass, and strength, says a new study using Chemi Nutra’s Mediator ingredient.
The effects are linked to PA’s ability to stimulate mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), which is known to cause muscle cells to increase protein synthesis.
According to data published in Nutrition & Metabolism , soy-derived PA stimulated mTOR signaling by a whopping 636%, compared with 221% for egg-derived PA.
In addition, the soy-derived PA (Chemi Nutra’s Mediator) was associated with significant increases in lean body mass (a 2.4 kg increase), and a 51.9 kg increase in leg press strength, compared with placebo. This phase of the study included 28 resistance trained volunteers with an average age of 21 who consumed either 750 mg PA daily or placebo during an eight week resistance training program.
The studies were all supported by Chemi Nutra using the company’s Mediator PA ingredient. Chemi Nutra’s Scott Hagerman welcomed the data. “Without doubt, activating the mTOR signaling pathway is the physiological key to addressing muscle mass and body composition in general,” he told us. “And Chemi Nutra's interest in muscle building / muscle maintaining via Mediator Phosphatidic Acid (PA) continues to build quite dramatically month by month.
“We are excited that this study showed such profound effects from oral administration of our PA, and we will continue to explore the attributes of PA in additional university sponsored research.”
A role in hunger management?
Prof Michael Roberts from Auburn University (co-author on the new study) presented data from a new animal study at the recent International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) conference which looked at PA's effect on muscle protein synthesis. The animal data, he said, reinforces the idea that PA feeding increases intramuscular anabolic processes (including mTOR signaling and muscle protein synthesis).
“Thus, in agreement with the two recent training studies showing that PA supplementation increases muscle mass, our data is the first in vivo data really confirming in vivo anabolic effects of PA supplementation.
“We’re now going to shift towards more mechanistic interrogations of PA feeding in regards to exercise,” he said. “For instance, we’ll try to answer questions such as ‘How much does PA feeding enhance the post-exercise anabolic window?’, and ‘Does PA supplementation enhance satellite cell activity after chronic training?’...do note that PA plays a role in cellular proliferation and differentiation, so this question begs to be answered.
“From there, I think that other intriguing and more human-health relevant questions need to be answered given that mTOR activation in the hypothalamus can reduce hunger. Hence, a great series of studies would be to examine if PA supplementation during hypocaloric states and exercise can spare muscle mass and reduce hunger cravings in overweight subjects. Given that PA has been theorized to play a role as a substrate for mitochondrial membrane formation, and mitochondrial pathology is a hallmark of metabolic diseases, clinical studies with PA and insulin resistance and/or liver fat accumulation may yield insightful information as well.
“Hence, we’re excited that we’ve mechanistically confirmed that PA feedings increase intramuscular anabolic processes and we’re really curious to see if PA supplementation can have these larger-impact effects that apply to other persons wanting to experience health benefits beyond building muscle.”
‘An efficacious ergogenic sports supplement’
Ralf Jaeger, PhD, FISSN, President of Milwaukee-based consultancy Increnovo LLC, and co-author of the study, added that previous studies from Profs Stout and Hoffman lab at UCF and Prof. Wilson's lab at the University of Tampa showed significant increases in muscle mass in resistance trained athletes.
“Two different labs, two identical findings seems to indicate that PA supplemention can be an efficacious ergogenic sports supplement resulting in improved performance,” added Dr Jaeger.
Source: Nutrition & Metabolism
2014, 11:29, doi:10.1186/1743-7075-11-29
“Phosphatidic acid enhances mTOR signaling and resistance exercise induced hypertrophy”
Authors: J.M. Joy, D.M. Gundermann, R.P. Lowery, R. Jäger, S.A. McCleary, M. Purpura, M.D. Roberts, et al.