Iron man Iron_Man_USA__September_2017 - Page 10

TRAIN TO GAIN ENGINEERED MUSCLE REGENERATION Scientists can now engineer muscle growth? Miqin Zhang, a University of Washington pro- fessor of materials science and engineering, leads a team taking a synthetic technique to muscle regeneration. The aim is to “create a synthetic, porous, biologically compatible ‘scaffold’ that mimics the normal extracellular environment of skeletal muscle -- onto which human cells could migrate and grow new replacement fibers.” MUSCLE RESEARCH This research was initiated because muscles have limited abilities to regenerate and repair themselves after certain types of damage. How- ever, this technology has seemingly farfetched implications that could become reality in the fitness industry. Food for thought: Cosmetic surgery is wildly popular. It helps people enhance their appear- ance in various ways. What if bodybuilders could use this muscle-generating technology to actually grow muscle groups they have difficulty with such as their calves? By Sarah Chadwell, NASM CPT VITAMIN D INCREASES MUSCULAR STRENGTH You may have heard that vitamin D is important for the regulation of calcium, bone health and metabolism, but a new study shows that it may be linked to much more; it could help optimize muscle strength. A team of researchers at the University of Birmingham investigated the roles of active versus inactive vitamin D in our bodies. They found that, “Individu- als with an increased lean mass, and muscle bulk, had a higher level of ac- tive vitamin D in the bloodstream.” One of the researchers, Dr. Hassan Smith, stated, “It may be that body fat is linked to increased levels of inactive vitamin D, but lean mass is the key for elevated levels of active vitamin D. It is vital to understand the complete picture, and the causal mechanisms at work, so we can learn how to supple- ment vitamin D intake to enhance muscle strength.” How does this impact you? If research shows that active vitamin D is now linked to muscle health, it may be time to make sure you’re supplementing with appropriate amounts. It literally takes years of diligent training and proper diet to build your body. If researchers can engineer muscles to grow more quickly via an implant that actually allows your cells to grow on and replace muscle fibers, that’s a game changer. You could defy genetics, which is a leading factor in determining how quickly you build mass. Though this research wasn’t intended to help bodybuilders get massive, but rather to help those who have been severely injured, it doesn’t seem likely that it’ll be available to the masses – until someone sees that it could be just as profitable as cosmetic surgery. However, it’s not as easy as just taking an over the counter supplement. To have active vitamin D in your blood- stream, it must be synthesized in both your liver and kidneys. This process requires sunlight to get kick started, so take your workouts outside. Then your body can begin the process of creating active vitamin D and help you to opti- mize the full potential of your muscles. 9 8 SEPTEMBER 2017 | ironmanmagazine.com The number of years younger your cells could appear if you engage in 40 minutes of sweat- filled workouts five days a week, according to a Brigham Youn