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
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
JAN 15, 2020
Cancer
JAN 15, 2020
Hope for patients with AML
Research published recently in the medical journal EMBO Molecular Medicine brings hope for leukemia patients with a report that a common and cheap drug may...
JAN 16, 2020
Cancer
JAN 16, 2020
FLASH proton therapy: faster and more effective
A new technique called FLASH proposes a new type of radiation therapy. The technique is composed of an ultra-high dose rate of radiotherapy and uses electr...
FEB 21, 2020
Health & Medicine
FEB 21, 2020
Should You Really be Scared of the Coronavirus?
As of February 21st, the death toll for coronavirus reached 2,250, 55,707 currently infected, of which 12,066 (22%) are in a serious or critical condition....
FEB 21, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
FEB 21, 2020
New Antibiotics Found Using AI Technology
Using AI, researchers at MIT have found a powerful new antibiotic capable of killing some of the most dangerous drug-resistant bacteria known to man. ...
MAR 16, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
MAR 16, 2020
Critical Interleukin Leads to Drug Discovery
The immune molecule interleukin-2 (IL-2) is a growth factor that stimulates the immune system to produce T-cells. Their powerful effects have encouraged re...
MAR 29, 2020
Neuroscience
MAR 29, 2020
Anti-Inflammatory Injection May Prevent Memory Loss from Alzheimer's
Around 5.5 million people in the US suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease. Now, research has found that reducing the body’s inflammatory response may...
Loading Comments...