Myostatins myotonic dystrophy and bodybuilding

Protein is a vital part of your diet. Consisting of a variety of amino acids, proteins compound and fuse to regulate virtually every aspect of your body. Genetics play an important part in how and where those proteins are used – and how long they endure. Different proteins aid muscle development and use. They also help cellular growth. Over the last decade, researchers have isolated some proteins that can hinder and harm muscles and cells. Some may occur in birth others occur in your life span. Myostatin is a probable protein compound that does both. It is part of the roots of muscle diseases from dystrophies to recent diseases like DDX3X that affect many lives. Isolation of myostatin as having a role is a small part of a huge puzzle thwarting treatments and cures.

Myostatins are a group of micronutrients that bodybuilders use to control muscle growth. Most people have them naturally but, through aging process, there is muscle loss. Myostatins have this strange side-effect. They aid in the eventual wasting of muscle growth.

Myostatin inhibitors have been a rage in muscular and fitness. Some competitive athletes were disqualified for using supplements or gene-doping to produce enhanced performance effects. There are many muscle issues with natural aging and an entire list of neurological and muscle wasting diseases. Is it worth the excitement?

Myostatin is a secreted protein that acts as a negative regulator of skeletal muscle mass. During embryo-genesis (within the womb), myostatin is expressed by cells in the myotome (group of muscles that a single spinal nerve innervates) and in developing skeletal muscle and acts to regulate the final number of muscle fibers that are formed. The MSTN gene provides instructions for making a protein called myostatin. Myostatin is found almost exclusively in muscles used for movement (skeletal muscles), where it is active both before and after birth. This protein normally restrains muscle growth, ensuring that muscles do not grow too large.

The general theories to stop this myostatin-based muscle wasting is to inhibit this protein from infecting those muscles. Myostatin inhibitors are found in foods as phytonutrients – naturally occurring micronutrients:

Green tea
Chocolate (especially dark chocolate and raw cocoa powder)
Broad beans (e.g. Fava Beans)

In the body, Myostatin is produced by the muscle tissue of the heart, and damage to the heart causes it to be released into the bloodstream. It is associated with potential muscle loss of heart tissue in people with heart disease. This may also be associated with producing naturally high LDL cholesterol levels within that group. It may also trigger low HDL and high triglyceride measurements within a cardiac lipid panel in repeated serum tests.

High myostatin levels are associated with muscle wasting and may be associated with many diseases. Research on animals indicate that Myostatin levels may be significantly higher in patients with diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Duchenne muscular dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy and multiple sclerosis, among other neurological and muscle diseases. Disease diagnosis usually demonstrates a genetic cause. Those myostatin levels and muscular atrophy may be the result of this genetic impulse. Myostatin levels may show why drugs for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy do not work.

So…it seems that myostatin inhibition might lead to helping people with muscle weakness but it isn’t easy. It’s very complicated. There are other proteins that have been influenced over time. For example, BP3 is a protein that may be involved in eliminating obesity. These proteins need co-factors to allow certain effects. Myostatin inhibition has to coincide with BP3 to trigger fat loss and muscle re-development.

One possible concern, according to Dr. Markus Schuelke, the pediatric neurologist at Charite University Medical Center in Berlin who discovered the myostatin mutation in the baby, is that blocking myostatin could interfere with satellite cells that help replace injured or dead muscle cells. It’s thought that myostatin helps keep the satellite cells at rest until they’re needed, and it’s possible that without myostatin the satellite cells could become depleted.

There are many conflicting opinions that myostatin blockers may be too targeted to boost muscle growth, as there are a variety of proteins similar to myostatin that also limit muscle growth.

There are several potential downsides to be aware of when using myostatin inhibitors for athletic enhancement.

One potential concern is that increased muscle growth will lead to an increased risk of injury due to increased stress on the muscle fibers. This is especially true for individuals using myostatin inhibitors as workout supplements instead of as part of a medical treatment for muscular dystrophy or other disorders. Muscle stress is linked with increased muscle atrophy among the various dystrophy illnesses.

It has been noted that drugs that induce myostatin inhibition may lead to higher probable risks of injury.

Other possible side effects of myostatin inhibitors include increased the chance of tendon rupture, heart failure due to inflamed cardiac muscle, and rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of muscle fibers that often leads to kidney failure.

Meanwhile, vitamin supplement shelves have many products offering myostatin inhibitors in a bottle. They have many ingredients. Neither of these have been thoroughly tested by the FDA or European health organizations.

If myostatins and concordant protein compound interactions of the weaknesses of myotonia bring clues, treatments and cures are even more sophisticated as transport pathways may differ. Are transport pathways different because age or disease exist? Or were those pathways results from genetic instructions? Anyway, key muscles just do not work properly. That is myotonia.

Myostatin is a statin compound. Statins may irritate and amplify the effects of muscular dystrophy. Those with muscular dystrophies heart disease are told to avoid statins. The misuse of statins can produce some very insidious muscle effects without muscular dystrophy incidence.

According to WebMD, possible statin side effects among average people may be:
Difficulty sleeping
Flushing of the skin
Difficulty sleeping
Flushing of the skin
Muscle aches, tenderness, or weakness (myalgia)
Nausea or vomiting
Abdominal cramping or pain
Bloating or gas
Nausea or vomiting
Abdominal cramping or pain
Bloating or gas
Memory Loss

If muscle aches and weakness occur in people without muscular dystrophy, you might imagine how myostatin may effect those with muscular dystrophies.

The problems lie in the etiology or source among what makes muscles weak. For those with muscle wasting diseases – congenital and adult – the fantasy that myostatin inhibitors may work brings glimmers of hope. But will it heal the damages already done? There are research studies and results that are still clinically inconclusive. It may still be a long process ahead with many pathways. How myostatin works, how inhibitors work, and how dystrophic muscles vary are just a few of many questions that need thorough answers.

As I wrote this article, new DMD1 research is coming from UK using Tideglusib, as a pharmacological approach:

AMO-02 (tideglusib) is in development for the treatment of congenital myotonic dystrophy and has potential for use in additional CNS, neuromuscular and oncology indications. AM0-02 is positioned to enter clinical stage development for the treatment of the severe form of congenital myotonic dystrophy known as DM1 or Steinert disease. In cellular and animal models of DM1 and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, as well as in muscle biopsies from patients, activity of glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3ß) has been shown to increase. Inhibitors of GSK3ß have been shown to correct the activity of regulatory proteins, such as CUGBP1 in animal models of DM1. AMO-02 is an inhibitor of GSK3ß that has demonstrated pre-clinical efficacy in transgenic models and reversal of muscle cell deficits in ex vivo tissue samples in patients with DM1.

I will follow this and see how it develops.

Cholesterol management with evolocumab or alirocumab

New cholesterol management magic aims at a specific gene mutation. Two drugs are competing for FDA acceptance – evolocumab or alirocumab. They hope to be new weapons at lowering bad cholesterol blood levels. Is this a good promise for high-cholesterol patients?

So the bartender says, “Ready to pick your poison?” Cholesterol management prescription drugs have gone through many stages. When diet and exercise don’t help maintain healthy blood levels, classes of cholesterol drugs are unleashed as weapons targeting bad cholesterol levels. Each of these have certain side effects and conditions. Some of those could be more harmful for those who have chronically high cholesterol blood levels.

Cholesterol is actually good for your body. Your liver secretes cholesterol as a lipid that helps maintain cells and lubricate body parts. It is natural and organic. Cholesterol management comes to the forefront when high levels of bad cholesterol create plaque on the walls of your arteries. While good cholesterol helps reduce accumulation, increased plaque can block arteries and result in heart attacks and strokes.

You can blame diets for high cholesterol levels but even vegetarians may have heart attacks and strokes. Sometimes it’s part of your family’s history that you inherit through genes. It may not be a specific gene but one that, for several reasons, developed mutations. Cholesterol management failures may not be your fault. Researchers are exploring how to lower cholesterol when it’s on a genetic level.

It seems that medical research is finally accepting that cholesterol management with the current drugs is nearly impossible because high bad cholesterol may be genetic. It takes diet, exercise, drugs to attempt bringing those levels to the point that doctors feel reduces risks of vascular heart and stroke diseases. The culprit behind it is the PCSK9 gene and a new class of prescription drugs may be released in 2017 to target the genetic catalyst. These genes somehow underwent mutations in family lines and may have something to do with elevated cholesterol in blood results.

The PCSK9 gene provides instructions for making a protein that helps regulate the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is produced in the body and obtained from foods that come from animals. In some people, this gene doesn’t function properly.

PCSK9 works to maintain a balance of bad and good cholesterol levels. Researchers have identified several PCSK9 mutations that cause an inherited form of high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia). These mutations change a single protein building block (amino acid) in the PCSK9 protein. The new class of drugs (evolocumab or alirocumab) may help fix the problem. It is not clear, however, what side effects and what long-term efficacy this new class of drugs can do.

It sounds so very simple that PCSK9 is the menace for genetic high LDL cholesterol. How do you answer all the variants among people struggling with cholesterol management? Familial hypobetalipoproteinemia (FHBL) is a disorder that impairs the body’s ability to absorb and transport fats. This condition is characterized by low levels of a fat-like substance called cholesterol in the blood. The severity of signs and symptoms experienced by people with FHBL vary widely. Most cases of FHBL are caused by mutations in the APOB gene. FHBL may effect 1 in 1,000.

Genetics play significant roles as the incidence of hypercholesterolemia tends to show up in family members who might trace origins to certain regions and are region-specific even though generations have moved to other areas. Mutations may form over several generations and erase after another several generations.

Prescription drugs can be very good weapons against symptoms (like high bad cholesterol) but many have side effects of individual-specific magnitudes.

Statins, for example, are dangerous to people with degenerative muscular diseases. They have been the highly touted cholesterol management drugs over more than 20 years. Sadly, the best studies to demonstrate the efficiency were sponsored by Pfizer, Merck, and Astra-Zeneca, the manufacturers.

Exciting results were published in New England Journal of Medicine on 3/15/2015 that cited evidence that Evolocumab may significantly lower blood-level LDL cholesterol. The study was small and also sponsored by Amgen, the manufacturer of the new PCSK9 weapon.

The previous article is followed by an NEJM article of the Efficacy and Safety of Alirocumab in Reducing Lipids and Cardiovascular Events, with positive results. Funded by Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer, has, ironically, demonstrated an equally potent PCSK9 weapon.

In a society where prescription drugs for vaginal insensitivity and erectile dysfunction air on prime-time with lists of possible nasty side effects, the power of the research lobby and media reporting seem to cover that science has become a sham with regard to new wonder pills.

You body, genetically or dietary, may produce high levels of bad cholesterol. The reasons may be covert or obvious. As your body tries to maintain balance through complex homeostasis mechanisms, are these two new drugs the ingredients that will enhance or ruin the flavor or consistency? These have yet to be answered.

A new class of weapons supporting cholesterol management, with the possibilities of reducing vascular diseases behind heart attacks and strokes, is very significant. If only it can prove the claim. With significances of about 100 million other Americans coping with cholesterol management, the manufacturers of this new class can’t wait to get a chunk of the cholesterol drug pie. After all these media stories hoisting these wonders, can fully independent studies be conducted in the United States?

Now we have the FDA or the USA Federal Drug Administration possibly observing some neurocognitive side effects of these PCSK9 cholesterol management weapons. What does the FDA do? They ask the manufacturers to investigate them further?

The dilemma is who is actually responsible for the research predicting efficacy and effects of the drug? Should it be the manufacturer or an independent study? The manufacturer seeking profit can invest in larger studies as little government funding is available for modeling representational large independent studies. Europeans are also examining PCSK9 inhibitors as possible for cholesterol management.

Drug companies have evolved into international conglomerates so that Europe’s research can be tainted by sponsorship funds.

Arterial disease do not account for all heart attacks. Age is the largest risk factor. Lifestyle choices such as smoking cigarettes or use of recreational drugs (cocaine and meth) may contribute to vascular and heart spasm issues. Other contributors may be hypertension, emotional pain, stress, and anxiety, and excessive exposure to heat or cold. Exercise, when unfit, may result in aheart attack. Some of these variables might result in a possible stroke – a common brain attack.

Cholesterol management, for some, may be as stressful as some of the most stressing things you can confront. It never ends. As a chronic condition, drugs don’t necessarily allow normal lifestyles. Diet and exercise to a religious extent are always part of the treatment plan. It can be a strain when socializing at parties or looking at the pastries in a window of the corner café. It is possible.

Choosing the aid of cholesterol lowering drugs is sometimes your responsibility over your doctor’s. You need to weigh concerns about side-effects and your blood’s cholesterol levels. No doctor can be an authority. Succeeding cholesterol management is a team dynamic with your healthcare providers. If your numbers are high, try more frequent blood tests. Sometimes cholesterol levels may change seasonally.

As you age, there are other ways of determining if there are cholesterol plaque deposits impairing your performance. A supervised stress test is one measure. A CT coronary angiogram is a non-invasive method that helps define artery blockages using a numeric score. These are ways to help determine if those elevated cholesterol numbers are causing potential problems. These may show that, perhaps, prescribed drugs may not be as beneficial as touted.

Most of all, there will always be new cholesterol lowering drugs. These are very profitable weapons but they may not be suitable for you. What excites the media may be filled with dire consequences. These genetic mutation inhibitors may lower your cholesterol but you may not remember the reasons why or recall your qualities of living.

Are cholesterol drugs for you? It’s voluntary but, if you survive an early heart attack or stroke due to arterial plaque deposits, you may find yourself more attracted to those drugs for your cholesterol management. Educate yourself on which might be better for you. It’s a gamble but you want to be on the winning side.

Cholesterol management may not have to depend on drugs. Whether you or your doctor pick the poison, results may be risky either way. Chronic and safe cholesterol management is a tough lifestyle choice and a disability amidst those that have no problem. They are very tough choices and nothing or something is a sure thing to guarantee longer life or better living.

New 2013 cholesterol guidelines

Sometimes it may be the binge eating you had before your medical exam. Other times it may be the dietary recommendations that eating chicken and fish are healthier than red meat. Any animal-source food has cholesterol. According to the Center of Disease Control, 71 million Americans or 1 in 3 have high LDL or bad cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol is associated with lining arteries with plaque that may lead to organ damage, particularly leading to heart attacks and strokes. For some people, it is dietary, and is easily controlled. For others, these may be familial, chronic conditions. There’s no wonder why cholesterol management is a big topic and essential indicator examined on general blood tests. When the American Heart Association announces new guidelines for cholesterol management, doctors listen. The new report promotes high statin dosage to control high LDL levels.

A group of researchers from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association put their weight on new cholesterol management guidelines. Their emphasis is to increase statin treatments to more people who might be at risk of having a heart attack. The origin of these reports were designed to effectively care for those who already had some level of a cardiovascular episode.

As with all cases, the panel took a traditional approach. As with all patients, they emphasized lifestyle guidelines (i.e., adhering to a heart healthy diet, regular exercise
habits, avoidance of tobacco products, and maintenance of a healthy weight). They cited that use of one of the 4 statin groups would help those who can’t manage to keep their LDL at a normal range. They did not discuss HDL/LDL ratios.

Establishing a target range under real circumstances still remains vague but they deemed that an LDL-C of 190 is considered threatening.

The new guideline recommends moderate- or high-intensity statin therapy for these four groups:

1) Patients who have cardiovascular disease;
2) Patients with an LDL, or “bad” cholesterol level of 190 mg/dL or higher;
3) Patients with Type 2 diabetes who are between 40 and 75 years of age
4)Patients with an estimated 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease of 7.5 percent or higher who are between 40 and 75 years of age (the report provides formulas for calculating 10-year risk).

Chronic use of statins may have negative effects on neuromuscular systems, particularly peripheral myopathies. While Cleveland University research cites that 72.5% of statin-intolerant patients may be treated with statins. There are those that have diseases like muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis for which statin use may be almost fatal. Recommendations of high stain dosages may be more dangerous holistically than cardiology specialists realize.

For example, many people suffer from rheumatism and fibromyalgia. These involve muscle pains, affecting over 10 million people, that have no succinct etiology to infer causality and results. There is little data to support that high-dose statins may induce more extreme pain or inflammation. While cholesterol management is vital, average cardiologists may not take these other common diseases into consideration when prescribing statin drugs.

Specialists that read these guidelines may take easier approaches at high-dosing statins to force cholesterol management to those that may not need it. The November 2013 guidelines of the American College of Cardiologists and the American Heart Association seems to sanction this. Most cardiologists adhere to the average and this report definitely targets the average. Patients are then forced to seek out cardiologists that see patients as individuals instead of group numbers. Groupings are attractive at writing presentations. Patients as clients require more specific attention.

Yet statins are touted well beyond cholesterol management with research demonstrating efficacy in treating cancer and other diseases. It’s as if all the leading drug companies that produce cholesterol are behind all the experiments. In some respects, companies like Merck and Pfizer are using cardiologists as drug pushers, especially when two major heart organizations sanction high dosages of statin medications to help lower LDL cholesterol.

I have genetic cholesterol and management requires an almost vegan diet along with exercise. Because of a form of muscular dystrophy, all statins have been proven toxic. I use Source Natural Cholesterol Complex on a daily basis, along with non-statin prescription Zetia and Lopid. Policosanol is a key ingredient in my supplement mix and policosanol research shows that 20mg can help reduce LDL cholesterol by nearly 30%. For people that suffer from statin intolerance, statins are not the conclusive treatment.

Cholesterol is only one of many indicators that may lead to heart disease. Relying on statins to lower LDL cholesterol levels may be great for many people. For those that exhibit statin intolerance, there are other routes and physicians should understand and study these.

Sifting through this 80 page document from November, it’s a rather unimpressive work and further extends that the two leading organizations continue to fail at examining holistic approaches to cholesterol management. Cholesterol levels correlate differently with age and this report didn’t cover that well. As people rise over 70, 190 to 200 LDL is more tolerable than that of a 25 year old.

Prescribing high intensity statins as a rule instead of an exception, may actually harm some patients in those groups due to side-effects. The fervent faith in statins for cholesterol management that seems to be shared by traditional cardiologists may be taking cardiovascular care in wrong directions. There must be more exploration into alternative approaches that place responsibilities on both doctor and patient.

Finding a reasonable target that I can maintain without statins is my goal. In the overall wellness mix, I prefer to be in control. Control requires an active goal-oriented approach. That control persists between routine visits to my practitioner.

Patients, as drug consumers, will accept statins and will likely not report intolerances. While statins for lowering cholesterol may be beneficial, the overall goal is to help patients (as clients) pursue healthy lifestyles and feel well. On the patient’s side, you must be willing to take necessary drug-free steps to improve your heart and cardiovascular health. Ultimately your health is your responsibility!

As to the new stricter standards proposed by the ACC and AHA regarding cholesterol borderlines and statin medications, everything and anything is subject to change. Each year new studies and interventions lead to new perspectives of how to approach cardiovascular conditions. The ACC and AHA are traditionalists and are likely to follow Statins as a holy sword. Statins are not exclusive. Seek out other options and, if possible, find integrative health centers that offer more holistic and educational approaches to help resolve what may be a chronic condition. There are lifestyle choices that can help you manage your LDL cholesterol levels.