(ORDO NEWS) — In films, we often see how a substance injected into the blood of people makes them super-strong. But who would have thought that such a connection actually exists.
In the future, in order not to lose muscle mass in weeks without training, we may use a product based on wintering bear whey proteins.
Bears’ incredible ability to hibernate for months at a time has inspired several interesting lines of research. In particular, biologists sought to understand why animals practically do not change muscle mass during hibernation.
Scientists in Japan have made a fascinating discovery in this area by demonstrating in human muscle cells how serum from sleeping black bears not only prevents atrophy, but also actively promotes muscle growth.
How Whey Builds Muscle
Humans can begin to lose muscle mass within a few weeks of inactivity, but sleeping bears can remain immobile for up to seven months without food or drink and without serious health consequences.
To do this, they overeat in the summer and fall to store fat, and then endure the winter doing little to nothing, resisting diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
In the new work, the authors focused on skeletal muscles, which are most susceptible to immobility-induced exhaustion.
Led by scientists from Hiroshima University and Hokkaido University, the research team took cultured human skeletal muscle cells and injected them with serum taken from the blood of sleeping black bears, which caused a significant increase in protein concentration after 24 hours.
It is important to note that the serum collected during the active summer bear season did not produce the same effects.
The scientists believe this is due to a factor in the serum of hibernating bears that inhibits the “breakdown mechanism” that underlies muscle degradation, which normally kicks in in the absence of exercise.
Bears are able to counter this phenomenon of muscle loss, which scientists attribute to the suppression of a protein called MuRF1, which activates the breakdown of unused muscles. In the next step, the scientists plan to find hormones and pathways that suppress this key protein.
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