Spinach strengthens the muscles

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Spinach for more muscle power

According to a study by researchers from the Swedish Karolinska Institute, regular consumption of spinach can help build muscle strength. In the future, the team of researchers concluded that green vegetables with nitrate contained could be used to strengthen weakened patients or athletes.

Spinach strengthens muscles
The comic book hero of the "Popeye" series grew stronger after eating spinach through his pipe, making it unbeatable. Scientists at the Karolinska Institute found out that there is actually a connection between spinach and muscle strength in a study. In an experimental setup, mice were given the nitrate contained in spinach and other green vegetables for a week with the regular drinking water. A second group of rodents continued to drink normal water. In the study report, the authors sum up in the journal "Journal of Physiology" that "the addition of nitrate was able to significantly strengthen the muscles. Mice who received nitrate regularly had much stronger muscles as a result. "

The daily amount of nitrate added was in proportion to the amount that a person consumes when eating around 200 to 250 grams of spinach per day, the study leader Andrés Hernández explained. However, the salt could not have a positive effect on slowly twitching muscles. "Nitrate had no effect on slow-twitch muscle fibers," the researchers write. The special fibers are used when low-threshold efforts are carried out. One effect could be observed with the fast twitching "Fast-Twitch fibers". These are activated when greater efforts have to be made. "We were able to measure significant changes," said the author Hernández.

Nitrate activates muscle protein
The researchers suspect that nitrate increases the concentration of two proteins in the muscles. The strengthened proteins apparently cause an increased concentration of calcium in the muscles. This in turn strengthens muscle growth. The results could now be used for further studies. Hernández thinks of the uses in the sports sector or in the treatment of muscle diseases or muscle weakness in old age. Therefore, further clinical investigations will follow, as Hernández emphasized.

However, the question of the doses in which nitrosamines make sense remains unanswered. Further investigations must clarify which amounts of nitrate are optimal in order to prevent undesirable side effects. However, “nitrates have an unfair reputation,” as the study authors explained in a previous study. The regular but moderate consumption of spinach or green vegetables can already be recommended to athletes. (sb)

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Image: Maja Dumat / pixelio.de

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Video: Do NOT eat SPINACH. It has Side Effects


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