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Muscle growth

mTOR - Discover the key protein behind muscle building and rejuvenation

Monday, October 24, 2011 by: Dr. David Jockers
Tags: muscle growth, proteins, health news

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(NaturalNews) The latest science has proven that a special protein called mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) holds the key to muscle building and rejuvenation. Dysregulation in mTOR pathway leads to accelerated aging and early mortality. Certain natural lifestyle interventions modulate and stabilize this powerful mTOR pathway.

When mTOR is activated, it causes muscle cells to increase protein synthesis. This leads to skeletal muscle hypertrophy. mTOR integrates cellular information regarding intracellular nutrient status and energy and oxidative stress levels. When it deems that energy levels are high and the muscle cells are stressed, it activates in order to help the cells heal and rebuild in a stronger manner.

mTOR Activators

mTOR is activated by certain factors such as insulin, growth factors (IGF-1 & IGF-2), oxidative stress, mechanical overloading and amino acids. mTOR is part of the insulin pathway, and normalized function depends upon healthy cellular insulin sensitivity. Elevated circulating insulin levels cause a rapid increase in mTOR. However, as people begin to lose normal cellular insulin sensitivity, they also lose the ability to effectively utilize mTOR.

This mTOR pathway is known to be dysregulated in many diseases such as diabetes and cancer. These diseases are characterized by elevated insulin and oxidative stress. When the body encounters excessive insulin and oxidative stress it dysregulates the mTOR pathway and leads to abnormally coordinated protein synthesis.

This pathogenesis of mTOR dysregulation creates the window of opportunity for cancer cells to grow larger and replicate faster while the rest of the body goes into wasting. We classically see this with diabetics who undergo skeletal muscle wasting due to insulin resistance. Cancer patients experience cachexia (or body wasting).

The most effective ways to regulate mTOR activity are through fasting, high intensity exercise, and intake of branch-chain amino acids. All of these actions help to improve cellular insulin sensitivity, as does eating an anti-inflammatory diet that is rich in phytonutrient rich fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and grass-fed animal products.

Fasting reduces the body's need for insulin signaling. This reduction in insulin gives the body time to heal cell membranes and improve receptor sensitivity. It also allows the body to detoxify of wastes, old proteins & other weakened cellular compounds. It allows the body the chance to rest and rejuvenate itself.

High intensity exercise directly after fasting creates a natural anabolic effect in the body and dramatically improves insulin signaling within muscle cells. Additionally, this form of exercise after fasting boosts human growth hormone (HGH) which has powerful anti-aging effects.

Exercise Intensity is a Critical Factor

The exercise intensity should be very high to overload the muscle mechanoreceptors, boost testosterone and create an anabolic drive. This session should be short in duration (5-30 minutes) to keep oxidative stress levels from inflicting too much damage. If the exercise session goes on beyond 45 minutes or so, heavy amounts of oxidative stress form and the body secretes cortisol which is catabolic in nature.

It is very important for an individual to have a fast assimilating protein directly after exercise. This protein should have a substantial amount of the branch chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, & valine. These BCAA's promote greater HGH levels, healthy muscle growth/recovery and fat burning post-workout. The best form of fast-assimilating non-synthetic, whole-food based BCAA's is through the consumption of non-denatured grass-fed whey protein.

Several natural compounds also help to modulate mTOR expression. These compounds include epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC), caffeine (used moderately), theobromine, curcumin, & resveratrol. ECGC and caffeine can be found in Green Tea. Raw cacao or minimally processed dark chocolate contain ECGC, resveratrol and theobromine. The Indian spice turmeric is loaded with curcumin. Resveratrol is found in the skin and seeds of grapes.

Sources for this article include:
Hofmekler, Ori. Unlock Your Muscle Gene. North Atlantic Books. 2011

About the author:
Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.

His website features great articles on natural health and incredible recipes. He is the author of the best-selling book SuperCharge Your Brain - the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory and mindset. He has over 50,000 active followers on his social media and email newsletter and is a big influencer in the Primal Health movement.

Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance consultations and health coaching to help you beat disease and reach your health goals. For more information got to www.drjockers.com

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