Intelligent plant-based peptide outperforms milk protein in muscle health trial

By Asia Sherman

- Last updated on GMT

© Cecilie_Arcurs / Getty Images
© Cecilie_Arcurs / Getty Images

Related tags plant-based peptides muscle health Nuritas

Fava bean peptides isolated by artificial intelligence performed better than traditional milk protein to improve muscle conditioning, according to a study supported by Irish biotechnology company Nuritas.

“We’re delighted with the results of the clinical trial, but we’re not surprised by how well the plant-based peptides performed on muscle health,” said Dr. Nora Khaldi, CEO and founder of Nuritas. “At Nuritas, we believe that nutritional approaches to muscle loss should not be our only focus any more. Advances in AI technology allow us to go beyond nutrition and create intelligent cell-signaling ingredients that are muscle building, combat muscle loss and support healthy inflammation levels after exercise.”

The study was conducted by the University of Maastricht using a Vicia faba​ peptide network isolated by Nuritas’ artificial intelligence technology platform and marketed as PeptiStrong. 

Intelligent plant peptides vs. traditional milk protein 

Peptides are short chains of amino acids that play a critical role in signaling many biological processes in the body, including muscle growth and maintenance. While previous studies support the potential of animal-derived peptides from sources like creatine, beta-alanine, whey and collagen, Nuritas says that plant-based peptides unlocked from fava beans, using precision-technology, may offer “the most effective solution ever discovered for muscle health”.

“In the quest to live better for longer, it’s becoming increasingly clear that plant-based solutions are making huge strides, some even starting to outperform animal proteins on their own battlefield: muscle health,” the company said in a statement. “Muscle health is the next frontier of aging, manifesting in the form of loss of strength, loss of muscle mass and soreness after daily activities or challenging training sessions, at every age.” 

The University of Maastricht study pitted PeptiStrong against a traditional, high-quality milk protein to compare the impact of the plant-derived protein (generally considered to be less anabolic than meat-derived alternatives) on the loss and regain of muscle size and strength during immobilization and subsequent remobilization.

Study details

For their randomized, double-blind clinical trial, the Dutch researchers recruited 30 young healthy men who were subjected to one week of single-leg immobilization followed by a two-week recovery period. 

Participants consumed either 10 g of the Vicia faba​ peptide network (PeptiStrong) or a milk protein control twice daily throughout the study. Leg muscle size, leg muscle strength and daily muscle protein synthesis rates in both groups were assessed prior to and after immobilization and following the two weeks of recovery. 

“No differences were observed between the Vicia faba​ peptide network (NPN_1) or milk protein (MPC) supplementation for the loss of muscle size and strength during short-term immobilization or the regain of muscle size and strength during subsequent remobilization,” the researchers wrote in the Journal of Nutrition​. “However, NPN_1 supplementation resulted in significantly higher muscle protein synthesis rates during the remobilization period when compared with milk protein supplementation.”

In a follow up study published in journal Nutrients​, also funded by Nuritas, a research team led by Dr. Andy Franklyn-Miller, director of sports medicine at the Sport Surgery Clinic in Santry, Ireland additionally found that a 2.4 g dose of PeptiStrong improved muscle recovery and reduced muscle fatigue in healthy males. Dr. Franklyn-Miller highlighted far-reaching implications for sports performance but also for injury recovery and healthy aging. 

“The identification of peptides that may give improvements in both restoring muscle function after exercise but also in a rehabilitation group of volunteers who might struggle to regain muscle strength, particularly females in the perimenopausal stage, is a potentially massive innovation in both rehabilitation and sports performance,” he said. 

PeptiStrong on the market

PeptiStrong is marketed as a next-generation muscle health booster with applications across a wide range of consumers including sports enthusiasts, menopausal women and weekend warriors.

Recently launched in the U.S. market, it is already featured as active anabolic ingredient in several products including muscle-builder Anomaly by Glaxon​, performance-enhancer Cellular P6 by Nutrabolt​ and most recently in anti-aging supplement Longevity by Healthgevity.​ 

Nuritas will showcase PeptiStrong at the Natural Expo West trade show on March 9-11 in Anaheim, CA.

Source: Journal of Nutrition
“Vicia faba Peptide Network Supplementation Does Not Differ From Milk Protein in Modulating Changes in Muscle Size During Short-Term Immobilization and Subsequent Remobilization, but Increases Muscle Protein Synthesis Rates During Remobilization in Healthy Young Men”
doi: doi.org/10.1016/j.tjnut.2023.01.014
Authors: Michelle E.G. Weijzen et al.

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