Munson Health
 
Cystoseira canariensis

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Alternate Names/Related Terms

  • Brown Seaweed
Due to the high emotional stakes involved in both amateur and professional sports, pharmaceutical and supplement manufacturers continually seek to find products that might add a competitive edge. Findings from test tube studies suggested that an extract of the brown seaweed Cystoseira canariensis might inhibit a substance in the body called myostatin. 1 Myostatin inhibits the growth of muscle cells. It is believed that some animals, and some people, produce relatively less myostatin, and therefore develop stronger muscles even without much exercise. Consider chimpanzees that live in a cage but are nonetheless much stronger than similarly sized humans. If a substance could be discovered that effectively blocks the action of myostatin, that substance might logically be hypothesized to aid muscle growth.
Therefore, based on findings that can only be characterized as far too preliminary to rely upon at all, cystoseira became a widely marketed sports supplement .
Due to the high emotional stakes involved in both amateur and professional sports, pharmaceutical and supplement manufacturers continually seek to find products that might add a competitive edge. Findings from test tube studies suggested that an extract of the brown seaweed Cystoseira canariensis might inhibit a substance in the body called myostatin. 1 Myostatin inhibits the growth of muscle cells. It is believed that some animals, and some people, produce relatively less myostatin, and therefore develop stronger muscles even without much exercise. Consider chimpanzees that live in a cage but are nonetheless much stronger than similarly sized humans. If a substance could be discovered that effectively blocks the action of myostatin, that substance might logically be hypothesized to aid muscle growth.
Therefore, based on findings that can only be characterized as far too preliminary to rely upon at all, cystoseira became a widely marketed sports supplement .
 

What Is the Scientific Evidence for Cystoseira canariensis ?

In this 12 week, double-blind study, 22 males were randomly assigned to receive either placebo or 1200mg/day of cystoseira. 2 Both groups underwent intensive resistance training (weight-lifting) for the duration of the trial. The results showed no difference in outcome between the treatment and the placebo groups.
While a single study cannot prove lack of efficacy, this outcome does clearly demonstrate that cystoseira has been brought to market prematurely.
 

References

1
Ramazanov Z, Jimenez del Rio M, Ziegenfuss T. Sulfated polysaccharides of brown seaweed Cystoseira canariensis bind to serum myostatin protein. Acta Physiol Pharmacol Bulg. 2003;27:101-6.

2
Willoughby DS. Effects of an alleged myostatin-binding supplement and heavy resistance training on serum myostatin, muscle strength and mass, and body composition. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab . 2004;14:461-72.

 

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