Going grass-fed to build muscle

As we grow older (and we all do) most of us tend to lose muscle mass, even if we’re exercising. Fortunately, properly done bio-identical hormone replacement can slow, or even stop, muscle loss for both men and women. But it’s just one of several natural muscle-saving tools available.

Just last year, researchers reported that essential-to-life nutrients known to stimulate ‘protein anabolism’ (muscle building) in animals do the same for humans. The title of the research article is a bit of a mouthful, but it gives us the conclusion right up front: “Dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis in older adults: a randomised controlled trial.”1 In other words, omega-3 fatty acids can help us build muscle as we age.

Also last year, researchers published another article about omega-3 fatty acids with the conclusion right in the title: “Red meat from animals offered a grass diet increases plasma and platelet n-3 PUFA in healthy consumers.” (For the non-technically inclined, ‘n-3 PUFA’ is just another name for omega-3 fatty acids.)

By now, it’s a well-researched fact that ‘grain-fed’ beef… the kind you get from factory farm feed lots… has much higher levels of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, and much lower levels of anti-inflammatory, muscle building omega-3 fatty acids.

Remember the nonsense about how ‘red meat is bad for you’? Not if it’s grass fed!

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Jonathan V. Wright
Nutrition & Healing

Volume 6, Issue 8 – August 2012

Full references and citations for this article are available in the downloadable PDF version of the monthly Nutrition and Healing issue in which this article appears.

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