Mustard May Help You Build Lean Muscles

November 21, 2011

If you’re trying to going from fat to fit, or from fit to even better fit you might want consider adding mustard to your diet. A recent research from the Human Health Institute, FBNS at North Carolina University in Kannapolis, N.C. has found that a compound called homobrassinolide (found in plants like mustard) helps proteins synthesis in muscles cells and this leads to increases in lean body mass, muscle mass and physical performance.

Mustard seeds

The study

As usual the study involved rats. These “poor” rats, which were fed with the plant steroid homobrassinolide showed a response in their bodies similar to the one triggered by anabolic steroid, minus the side effects.
The homobrassinolide increased protein synthesis and decreased protein degradation. In particular, results showed increased grip strength and an increase in the number and size of muscle fibers crucial for increased physical performance.
The study is still preliminary and the researches stressed that  we should avoid to be tempted to consider this as another quick fix to help you go from fat to fit.
As, in reality, this study identifies an important drug target for a wide range of conditions that cause muscle wasting.
"We hope that one day brassinosteroids may provide an effective, natural, and safe alternative for age- and disease-associated muscle loss, or be used to improve endurance and physical performance," Slavko Komarnytsky, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Plants for Human Health Institute, FBNS at North Carolina State University in Kannapolis, N.C. told "Because some plants we eat contain these compounds, like mustards, in the future we may be able to breed or engineer these plants for higher brassinosteroid content, thus producing functional foods that can treat or prevent diseases and increase physical performance."

Other health benefits of mustard

Even if there is not yet enough literature on this, using mustard is just a great thing to do as it is known for been high in antioxidants and it's dense with selenium (that has anti-inflammatory properties). Also, seeds have antiseptic as well as anti-fungal properties. This makes them very useful for purging the digestive system and increasing the body's natural defense system. Mustard seeds consumed on a regular basis have been found to be beneficial for reducing the frequency of migraines.
Calories wise mustard is also very good as one teaspoon scores only five calories but contains a whole array of precious minerals.

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When you’re at the stadium for a football game and chewing on that greasy hot-dog please consider that the only good thing in it is the mustard. So ditch the mayo and the ketchup and go for mustard instead!

The Iron You


  1. viva mustard! thank you for sharing!

  2. haha, didn't know that! interesting..

  3. I love mustard - I wonder if the leaves are equally good for you - I'm presuming this is about mustard prepared from the seeds?

  4. Hi Liz,
    you're correct, this is about mustard seeds as they contain the compound homobrassinolide that is supposed to help building muscle.
    I don't know much about mustard leaves but I will do some research on that!