Bodybuilders can recover faster if they supplement with Korean mistletoe

Supplementing with Korean mistletoe (Viscum album coloratum) has been found beneficial for building muscle, according to a study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. In the study, it was revealed that the plant is particularly helpful for muscle atrophy and muscle hypertrophy.

Researchers in Korea looked at the expression pattern of different genes related to muscle physiology in C2C12 cells in order to confirm the benefits of Korean mistletoe on muscle atrophy and muscle hypertrophy. In addition, they tested these effects in denervated mice model by feeding the mice with Korean mistletoe extract for four weeks.

The supplementation of Korean mistletoe extract resulted in the promotion of mRNA expressions SREBP-1c, PGC-1α, and GLUT4a in C2C12 cells. These expressions are known as positive regulators in enhancing muscle growth.

In addition, the treatment decreased the genes Murf1 and Atrogin-1, suggesting the treatment’s effect on improving muscle atrophy. Atrogin-1 promotes the degradation of MyoD, which is a key transcription factor of muscle, and elF3f, which is an enhancer protein of protein synthesis. On the other hand, Murf 1 regulates muscle structural proteins such as troponin 1 and myosin. The Korean mistletoe extract also inhibited atrogene expression in C2C12 cells.

In denervated mice, the treatment of Korean mistletoe extract led to the reduction of Murf1 and Atrogin-1 mRNA expressions. The treatment also increased the muscle mass and improved the grip strength of mice.

The findings of the study indicated that the treatment of Korean mistletoe extract is beneficial for muscle atrophy and muscle hypertrophy. Thus, the researchers concluded that Korean mistletoe can be used as a functional food to prevent muscle loss, increase muscle mass, and improve grip strength.

Other lean-muscle building foods

In addition to Korean mistletoe, there are other foods you can eat to optimize your lean muscle gains. Here are some of them:

  1. Apples – Apples contain polyphenols that boost muscle strength and inhibit muscle fatigue, enabling you to train harder for a longer time. These polyphenols can also increase fat burning. Apples are best eaten as a pre-workout carb source.
  2. Beef – Beef has B vitamins, cholesterol, iron, and zinc. Compared to conventionally raised cattle, beef from grass-fed cattle provides greater levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), enhancing the reduction of body fat and building lean muscle. (Related: Top 25 healthy muscle building foods.)
  3. Beets The betaine or trimethylglycine found in beets enhances liver and joint repair and increases muscle strength and power.
  4. Brown rice – Brown rice, a slow-digesting whole grain, offers longer-lasting energy throughout the day and during exercise. It also helps increase growth hormone levels, which are important for promoting lean muscle growth, fat loss, and strength gains.
  5. Cantaloupe – Low in fructose and a source of fast-digesting carb, cantaloupe is best eaten after workouts.
  6. Eggs – Eggs are not only beneficial due to their protein content but also because of their yolk that contains good cholesterol, enhancing lean muscle and strength gains.
  7. Ezekiel bread – Made from organic sprouted whole grains, this bread contains all nine amino acids that the body cannot produce and are essential for muscle growth.
  8. Oranges – As a pre-workout food, oranges can enhance muscle growth, strength, and endurance.
  9. Organic cottage cheese – Best eaten before bed, cottage cheese can prevent the muscles from being used as a source of energy while fasting at night because it contains casein protein, the slowest-digesting protein.
  10. Spinach – Spinach can boost muscle strength and endurance. In addition, it is rich in glutamine, which is essential for lean muscle growth.

Read more news stories and studies on Korean mistletoe and other medicinal plants by going to

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