FEB 08, 2019 9:11 PM PST

Bodybuilding Supplement Harms Brain Cells

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Researchers at University of Technology Sydney warn that the protein supplement, L-norvaline, could damage brain cells. The study was published in Toxicology in Vitro describes how at low concentrations, L-norvaline induces unhealthy cells in the brain. The was the first reporting to investigate the toxicity of L-norvaline in human cells with a specific focus on the health of brain cells.

L-norvaline is a widely used bodybuilding supplement and promoted as a compound that can boost workouts and aid recovery. Naturally, our bodies use amino acids from our diet to make new proteins—however, L-norvaline is one of the amino acids that are not usually used by our physiological system to produce proteins.

Learn more about bodybuilding supplements:

"Protein requirements are higher in very active individuals and proteins are considered to improve and increase performance. The demand for amino acids in supplements has expanded but in addition to the normal protein-building amino acids other 'non-protein' amino acids are being taken," explains lead author, Kate Samardzic, a PhD candidate at UTS School of Life Sciences. "Some non-protein amino acids are toxic because they can mimic protein amino acids and deceive the body into making faulty proteins; a property used by some plants to kill predators.

Although it has been known that L-norvaline helps to produce more energy, it is now believed to damage the machinery used to generate that energy—producing long-term consequences for anyone who takes the supplement.

“Some plants can even release non-protein amino acids into the soil to kill other plants so that they can have access to all the nutrients. Chemical warfare among plants is a wellknown phenomenon. Since there was evidence that L-norvaline has an antimicrobial and herbicidal activity we examined its toxicity in human cells,” said Samardzic

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
BS/MS
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
APR 15, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
First Drug for Sleep Apnea Shows Promise in Patients
APR 15, 2022
First Drug for Sleep Apnea Shows Promise in Patients
A new drug for sleep apnea could reduce breathing pauses during sleep by over 20 per hour. The corresponding study was p ...
APR 16, 2022
Neuroscience
A New Approach to Seizure Treatment
APR 16, 2022
A New Approach to Seizure Treatment
There are many types of epilepsy, a brain disorder that causes recurrent seizures or periods of altered behaviors or sen ...
MAY 13, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Multiple Mental Health Diagnoses are Increasingly Common. Why?
MAY 13, 2022
Multiple Mental Health Diagnoses are Increasingly Common. Why?
Mental illness has become increasingly common. The number of people with anxiety and depression, specifically, has stead ...
MAY 20, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Drug Shows Promise in treating Spinal Cord Injury
MAY 20, 2022
Drug Shows Promise in treating Spinal Cord Injury
A drug developed by AstraZeneca preserves 80% of nerve function following spinal cord compression injury. The correspond ...
JUN 10, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Are Cannabis Users Nicer?
JUN 10, 2022
Are Cannabis Users Nicer?
A study published in Nature offers evidence that cannabis has a positive effect on the psychosocial health of young adul ...
JUN 20, 2022
Health & Medicine
In a Small Study, Experimental Immunotherapy Drug for Rectal Cancer has a High Success Rate
JUN 20, 2022
In a Small Study, Experimental Immunotherapy Drug for Rectal Cancer has a High Success Rate
The New England Journal of Medicine published results from a small study by researchers at New York’s Memorial Slo ...
Loading Comments...