Myostatin inhibits both growth and muscle mass gain. Inhibiting myostatin, both at the gene level and by inhibiting its effects on the body, usually results in marked muscle growth (hypertrophy).

The first articles on Myostatin were published in 1997 in a study describing the increase in muscle hypertrophy in mice lacking this protein (McPherron AC, Lawler AM, Lee SJ.). Later that same year it was reported that the lack of Myostatin was directly responsible for the exceptional development of some breeds of cattle.
Since research on myostatin has confirmed its role in regulating muscle mass development, degeneration of muscle tissue and regulating body fat, with myostatin directly linked to the increase in fat deposits (Artaza JN, Bhasin S, Magee TR, et al).



Decreased myostatin levels result in an increase in muscle mass and decrease in body fat. It is interesting to note that some Top body builders have managed to reduce the production of myostatin through different ways, all of these athletes have achieved exceptional levels of muscle development, certainly attributable, at least in part, to the inhibition of this protein.

Various degrees of natural inhibition of Myostatin, attributable to normal genetic polymorphism, are probably able to explain some of the differences found in muscle hypertrophy and in the ability of some athletes to obtain substantial increases in muscle mass.
An extreme example of what has just been said can be found in the medical literature in relation to a child born in Berlin in which the function of the gene that synthesizes Myostatin was lost by mutation (Schuelke M, Wagner KR, Stolz LE, Hubner C , Riebel T, Komen W, Braun T, Tobin JF, Lee SJ.).
At 4.5 years old, the child is reported to present themselves as a mini-body-builder, with marked growth in muscle mass and low levels of body fat. He is seven months old, the muscle hypertrophy was such that it was visible to the naked eye at the level of the quadriceps and calf.
In a recent study done on the well-known Belgian Blue cattle, muscle biopsy revealed that the lack of the myostatin gene caused an alteration in the composition of the muscle fibers of the muscle. The analysis showed a proportionate increase in fast type II fibers at the expense of slow type I fibers (Bouley J, Meunier B, Chambon C, De Smet S, Hocquette JF, Picard B).
An important function of Miostatin is to inhibit the growth of satellite cells. In this way it can be expected that the absence of Myostatin is involved in speeding up muscle regeneration. This appears to be true and confirmed by some studies on acute and chronic muscle damage (Kirk S, Oldham J, Kambadur R, Sharma M, Dobbie P, Bass J.). For example, the muscles of animals that do not produce myostatin when damaged regenerate faster than those of animals containing normal amounts of myostatin (Wagner KR, Liu X, Chang X, et al.).




Follistatin is a fascinating protein that can increase muscle mass beyond natural potential by suppressing myostatin.
Scientists first identified follistatin while examining the follicular blood of pigs.
Follistatin occurs naturally in the skeletal muscles of almost all mammals with advanced or developed characteristics, such as humans, rodents and cows.
Follistatin is elevated in non-essential amino acid cystine, but unlike most of the proteins discussed in the fitness world, follistatin has carbohydrates associated with it.
Follistatin, particularly Follistatin 344 (FS344), has rapidly gained popularity in the bodybuilding community as a potential “supplement” for rapidly gaining muscle mass.
Another protein, the follistatin-related gene (FLRG) acts on pathways similar to those of FS344 in terms of its muscle-building properties.
Increasing muscle tissue mass could give a bodybuilder an edge in a competitive environment.
Follistatin works by binding and inhibiting the transforming growth factor of myostatin peptides, which is responsible for regulating and limiting muscle growth.
It is also worth noting that myostatin may have a regulatory role in skeletal muscle fibrosis;
too much myostatin can impair tissue function and cause chronic diseases in vital organs, tissues and bone marrow.
In addition to suppressing the degenerative properties of myostatin, follistatin also suppresses the synthesis of the pituitary gland and the secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
High FSH levels in men can indicate that the testes are not functioning properly; this condition limits muscle growth, recovery and normal hormonal function.
However, FSH levels that are too low can also have a negative impact on health and reproductive capabilities.
While some myostatin inhibitors such as trichostatin (TSA) require daily administration, increased levels of FS344 have been observed up to 15 months after the initial injection.
The lack of the need for daily administration makes follistatin an interesting alternative to suppress myostatin.
The recent increase in attention in the scientific community on follistatin and other myostatin inhibitors is mainly due to the desire to find alternative means of treating muscle disorders; the most popular current option, androgenic anabolic steroids, which carry a number of side effects and long-term and medium-term health risks, could in the future be replaced by this substance.
However, the use of follistatin is not widespread in bodybuilders and other athletes.


Does follistatin really build muscle?


In short, follistatin builds muscle but not necessarily in humans.
Numerous studies support follistatin of muscular and anti-degenerative effects exclusively in rodents.
Unfortunately, there is no formal research that analyzes the use of follistatin in human subjects, at least official research, then on the web you can find some information on its use in the field of bodybuilding.
Human-grade follistatin is extremely expensive; costs more than 3,000 euros, for just 1 milligram.

Even websites that sell follistatin in bulk insist that it is only used for research and not used in humans.
However, this footnote does not stop bodybuilders from experimenting with this product;
online amateur registries typically dose FS344 at an injection of 100 micrograms (mcg) per day for any period between 10 and 30 days.
Some users have even experienced 200+ mcg but the developmental effects weren’t as noticeable.
In fact, most users found that the product did nothing.
A handful of users have claimed that FS344 injections have miraculous effects on mass gain, but when looking at the logs, FS344 appears to increase their appetite; some users increase their calorie intake from 4000 to more than 6000 calories.
Whenever you drastically increase your calorie intake above your daily calorie requirement, your weight will increase accordingly.
Users using FS344 with a fat loss goal have found that it does not help maximize fat loss or preserve muscle mass effectively.
It is also worth noting that all of these FS344 logs were on anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) with nearly all users running FS344 alongside numerous other prohormones and AAS.
In conclusion, follistatin is a protein that can play a role follistatin is a protein that can play an important role in reversing muscle loss and building new muscle mass, but given the cost and lack of research in human subjects, there are not enough concrete informatons to recommended iy for the average or even advanced athlete.


Gonzalez-Cadavid NF, Taylor WE, Yarasheski K, Sinha-Hikim I, Ma K, Ezzat S, et al. (December 1998). “Organization of the human myostatin gene and expression in healthy men and HIV-infected men with muscle wasting”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Saunders MA, Good JM, Lawrence EC, Ferrell RE, Li WH, Nachman MW (December 2006). “Human adaptive evolution at Myostatin (GDF8), a regulator of muscle growth”. American Journal of Human Genetics.

Joulia-Ekaza D, Cabello G (June 2007). “The myostatin gene: physiology and pharmacological relevance”. Current Opinion in Pharmacology. 7 (3): 310–315. doi:10.1016/j.coph.2006.11.011. PMID 17374508.

Hill, Joseph A.; Olson, Eric N. (eds.), “Chapter 79 – Myostatin: Regulation, Function, and Therapeutic Applications”, Muscle, Boston/Waltham: Academic Press, pp. 1077–1084, doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-381510-1.00079-x, ISBN 978-0-12-381510-1, retrieved 2022-04-23

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