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Phosphatidic Acid May Help Boost Lean Body Mass

Phosphatidic acid—a compound found primarily in cell membranes—plays an important role in cellular communication and can increase protein synthesis and growth in muscle cells stimulated by certain kinds of exercise. And, according to a small study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, a phosphatidic acid supplement may boost lean body mass in people doing resistance training.

The double-blind study included 18 healthy, strength-trained men, ages 19 to 29. Researchers divided the men into two groups: the first group received a branded supplement containing phosphatidic acid as the main active ingredient and providing 750 mg per daily dose; the second group received a placebo. During the eight-week study, both groups engaged in a resistance training routine three days a week and were placed on an standardized diet consisting of 25% protein, 50% carbohydrates, and 25% fat. At the beginning and end of the study, the men performed exercises to test their strength, power, agility, endurance, and vertical jump. Researchers also measured the men’s lean body mass, fat mass, and thigh muscle mass. At the end of the eight weeks, researchers discovered:

  • Lean body mass increased by 3.1% in the phosophatidic acid group but only increased by 1.4% in the placebo group.
  • Upper and lower body muscle strength increased more in the phosphatidic acid group than in the placebo group (16.7% and 19.7% vs. 7.0% and 9.1%, respectively).
  • Changes in other markers of physical ability, thigh muscle mass, and fat mass were similar in both groups.

These findings suggest phosphatidic acid may aid bodybuilders in their quest for greater strength and a leaner physique. However, it’s very important to note this study was funded by the manufacturers of the branded supplement, and that the supplement was developed by one of the study’s researchers who is currently employed by the company. Therefore, more research from unaffiliated parties is needed before any direct association can be drawn between this supplement and increased strength and lean body mass.

Source: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition

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