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Myostatin: How to make the Incredible Hulk August 6, 2008

Posted by Matt Brown in Human Enhancement, Strength.
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This story is a little old but it’s still pretty interesting.  A few year ago a child was born to a Michigan family.  I was apparent pretty quickly that something was different about this kid.  At 5 months old he could perform an iron cross, a gymnastics maneuver usually only performed by top gymnasts.  It turns out that the kid, Liam Hoekstra, had a rare genetic mutation that inhibits myostatin in his body.  Myostatin is a protein that inhibits muscle growth, seemingly by keeping muscle stem cells from being utilized.  When myostatin is turned off or blocked the result is muscles that most bodybuilders would kill for.  This kid has a natural mutation but scientists are currently working on an artificial myostatin blocker that has the potential to be a serious boon when it comes to treating muscle wasting diseases like muscular dystrophy.  It also has the potential to replace steriods as an athletes preferred doping drug.  Apart from the enormous muscle development inhibiting myostatin seems to have no side effects, the kid is a normal little boy in every other way, which would make it ideal for both purposes.  The original article can be found below.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070530/strong_toddler_070530/20070530

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Comments»

1. Will P - February 8, 2009

question: does myostatin inhibition produce just big muscles or strong muscles as well? I’m not talking about the strength that comes along bigger muscles but the strength to weight ratio (relative strength) can a myostatin deficient athlete that weighs 300+ pounds perform the strength feats that elite gymnasts are able to perform?

allaroundathlete - March 12, 2009

What myostatin does is inhibit muscle stem cells from becoming muscle fibers. Inhibit myostatin and you allow the stem cells to become new muscle cells. As such, inhibiting myostatin will increase the size of the muscle, by adding new fibers, thus increasing a person’s strength.

2. Dr H - October 28, 2009

He was able to do the iron cross so I guess it does have something to do with strength as well.


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