Phosphatidic acid may boost lean body mass for strength-trained men: Study

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

Image © iStockPhoto takoburito
Image © iStockPhoto takoburito

Related tags: Lean body mass, Muscle

Adding supplements of phosphatidic acid (PA), a lipid messenger, to a resistance training program may boost lean body mass more than exercise alone, says a new study from researchers at California State University and Max Muscle Sports Nutrition.

The study, which used Chemi Nutra’s Mediator ingredient in the commercially available MaxxTOR product from Max Muscle Sports Nutrition, found that lean body mass increased by 3.1% in the MaxxTOR group, compared with an increase of only 1.4% in the placebo group. The study was funded by Max Muscle Sports Nutrition and Chemi Nutra.

In addition, increases in leg press strength were significantly greater in the PA group (19.7%), compared with placebo (9.1%), according to findings published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition​.

Bench press strength also increased more in the PA group (16.7%), compared with placebo (7.0%), said the researchers.

“The findings of this investigation further confirm the studies performed on the potential efficacy of PA for improving lower body strength, upper body strength, and lean body mass,” ​wrote the authors, led by Guillermo Escalante from California State University- San Bernardino.

Phosphatidic acid

The beneficial effects of PA are linked to its ability to stimulate mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), which is known to cause muscle cells to increase protein synthesis.

A previous study, published in Nutrition & Metabolism​, reported that the soy-derived PA (Chemi Nutra’s Mediator​) stimulated mTOR signaling by 636%, compared with 221% for egg-derived PA.

In addition, the soy-derived PA 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.

The new study looked at the effect of PA in a finished branded product, which also contained L-Leucine, HMB, and vitamin D3. The researchers note that these other ingredients could also have contributed to the effects seen.

Study details


Escalante and his co-workers recruited 18 healthy strength-trained males and randomly assigned to them to receive either placebo or the MaxxTOR supplements (providing 750 mg of PA per day). Participants underwent resistance training for three days per week for eight weeks. Immediately following the exercise, all of the participants also received 24 grams of hydrolyzed collagen protein powder (Peptiplus XB agglomerated, Gelita) to allow the researchers to control for post-exercise meals between the groups.

Results showed that lean body mass increased significantly in the MaxxTOR group, compared to placebo.

Additionally, there was a significantly greater increase in leg press strength and bench press strength in the active intervention group, compared with placebo.

MaxxTOR Supp Facts
The participants took 3 capsules of MaxxTOR 30 min before resistance training and 2 capsules immediately afterwards

No significant differences between the groups were observed for push-ups to failure, vertical jump performance, pro-agility shuttle time, peak power output, or fat mass, said the researchers.

“The results of this eight week trial suggest that the addition of MaxxTOR to a 3-day per week resistance training program can positively impact [lean body mass] and strength beyond the results found with exercise alone,” ​they concluded.

Source: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
2016, 13​:24, doi: 10.1186/s12970-016-0135-x
“The effects of phosphatidic acid supplementation on strength, body composition, muscular endurance, power, agility, and vertical jump in resistance trained men”
Authors: G.Escalante et al. 

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