addition to adding an excellent and pleasant flavor to meals, our traditional
herb mustard can help one go from fat to fit.
A recent research
conducted by Debora Esposito and colleagues from the Human Health Institute at
North Carolina University in Kannapolis, USA, suggested that a compound called
homobrassinolide, found in plants like mustard, helps to increase the lean body
mass, muscle mass and physical performance in mammals.
(HB) is a brassinosteroid (steroid found in plants from Brassica family) that
has a potent plant growth promoting property but has no known function in
mammals. The researchers of this study, however, found that homobrassinolide produces an anabolic effect in mammals as well,
that is, it helps increase protein synthesis within cells resulting in the
build up of cellular tissue which in turn increases appetite and muscle mass
along with the number and size of muscle fibers in animals.
involved healthy rats receiving an oral administration of hemobrassinolide
daily for 24 days. Changes in their body weight, food consumption, and body
composition were measured using dual emission X ray absorptiometry analysis.
The analysis showed an increased muscle mass in treated animals over those who
were not treated.
increase in the muscle mass means a higher basal metabolic rate. A high BMR
assists in a greater caloric burning even at rest and thus helps one to stay
lean and fit.
Homobrassinolide was seen to increase
protein synthesis and inhibit protein degradation. The research clearly
exhibited an increase in the number and size of muscle fibers which is
important for increased physical strength and endurance.
Although the above study and results
are cited to be still a little unexplored, the study does bring forth many
future interventions and prospects in the medical and nutrition science.
suggest that plants like mustard could be engineered for a higher
brassinosteroid content producing functional foods which could help one stay
lean, increase muscle mass and prevent disease.
supplements or medicines incorporating brassinosteroids could also be developed
to provide a safe and effective cure for age and disease associated muscle
loss. It could also be used as a safe alternative to synthetic steroids with
minimal or no side effects by the general population or athletes to build
strength and endurance.
In terms of caloric content also mustard leaves score high as
they are extremely low in calories. They are high in antioxidants and have anti
inflammatory properties. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, iron,
magnesium, phosphorous and selenium.
Mustard could be an integral part of the diet in the form of
the vegetable prepared with the leaves or seeds used in salads, curds and for
tempering. Conscious efforts could be made to consume at least 1 teaspoon of
mustard with water or as a part of food to enjoy its benefits.
Esposito D, Komarnytsky S, Shapses S, Raskin I. Anabolic effect of plant
brassinosteroid. FASEB J. 2011 Oct;25(10):3708-19. Epub 2011 Jul 11.