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20.09.2015


Immunocal boosts maximal strength

Supplementation with Immunocal, a protein preparation containing extra cysteine, makes strength training more effective write sports scientists at the Université du Québec à Montréal in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging. According to the researchers, Immunocal results in a bigger increase in muscle power than casein does.

Immunocal
Immunocal boosts maximal strength
Immunocal is a patented whey-based protein supplement based produced by Immunotec. [immunotec.com] The proteins in Immunocal contain noticeably more of the amino acid cysteine than regular whey or casein do.

Cysteine is a building block of glutathione, a peptide that detoxifying enzymes need to be able to do their work. [Structural formula shown below.] Supplementation using Immunocal results in a higher concentration of glutathione in the muscles, and a number of studies paid for by the way by Immunotec show that it improves muscle function too. The Canadian study we're boring you with here was also sponsored by Immunotec.


Immunocal boosts maximal strength



Study
The researchers divided 67 subjects, all healthy and aged between 65 and 88, into two groups. One group consumed 20 g Immunocal every day for 20 weeks; the other group was given 20 g casein. During the supplementation period the subjects did resistance training three times a week, consisting of a basic workout that included exercises such as leg press, chest press, lat pull-down, shoulder press, biceps curl and triceps extension.

Results
The subjects in the Immunocal group built up a little bit more lean body mass and lost a little more fat than the subjects in the casein group, but the effects were not statistically significant.


Immunocal boosts maximal strength



The Immunocal group also developed more muscle strength than the casein group and this effect was statistically significant. The figure below shows the effects of supplementation on the amount of weight at which the test subjects could do just 1 rep of the leg-press.


Immunocal boosts maximal strength



Pomegranate seed oil on its own had no noticeable effect on energy expenditure, but did enhance the effect of lower doses of fucoxanthin on the body's metabolism.


Immunocal boosts maximal strength


Immunocal boosts maximal strength



The figure above shows the effect of supplementation on the maximal strength per kg lean body mass. Here the Immunocal group also made significantly more progression than the casein group.

Conclusion
"Our findings showed increases in muscle strength in both groups, despite no increases in lean body mass, after resistance training, however, significant additional increases were observed in muscle strength with the addition of a cysteine-rich whey protein (Immunocal) versus casein", the researchers concluded. "Therefore, healthcare professionals could consider recommending the combination of resistance training and a cysteine-rich whey protein supplement when planning nutritional and exercise intervention programs."

"Further studies may want to investigate the long-term effect of cysteine-rich whey protein supplementation and in combination with resistance training on changes in muscle strength and/or lean body mass in the elderly, which could provide useful information on long term outcomes such as functional capacity, quality of life and mortality."

Source:
J Nutr Health Aging. 2015 May;19(5):531-6.