Seaweed can be a surprisingly nutritious alternative to meat

Seaweed can be a surprisingly nutritious alternative to meat

Among the alternatives being studied are: A Meat based foodFrom a strict environmental sustainability standpoint, algae can be… A surprisingly nutritious alternative. In a new study published In the Journal of Nutrition, a team of researchers from the University of Exeter in England studied the effects of this compound on muscles. Great source of proteinwith the results Very positive Regarding the maintenance and growth of muscle mass.

A comprehensive study of meat alternatives

The work shows that algae can safely become so Important element From a sustainable diet. With more and more people watching from Reduce meat consumption For political or objective environmental reasons, obtaining protein from sustainable, non-animal sources is difficult Increasing importanceTherefore, the alternatives must be studied in detail to know their potential advantages and disadvantages.

The role of proteins in muscle maintenance and growth

Foods rich in protein and essential amino acids have the ability to stimulate Muscle protein synthesisWhich can be measured in the laboratory by determining Amino acid incorporation of the proteins found in muscle tissue and the rate at which they do so. It is known that Line animals Of proteins significantly stimulate the synthesis of muscle proteins during rest and after physical exercise, and in this study we wanted to investigate whether it is possible substitute With similar results.

IRTA works to improve the applications, profitability and sustainability of IRTA microalgae cultivation

Two highly commercial algae

In this work, the researchers focused on chlorella and spirulina, which are algae More marketablewhich are grown under controlled conditions in order to contain them High levels Micronutrients and rich in protein. Although its nutritional content is known, its ability to stimulate muscle protein synthesis in humans has not been known yet, which is why it was tested on humans.

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After the single-leg resistance exercise, participants drank a drink containing 25 grams of proteins from fungi, spirulina, or chlorella. Participants are drawn Blood and muscle samples Under normal conditions and after ingestion and exercise, to monitor blood amino acid concentrations and muscle protein synthesis.

Microalgae can be incorporated into any type of food irta
Microalgae can be incorporated into any type of food irta

Promising results

The results indicate protein intake of any type He increases Amino acid concentrations in the blood, but in a faster and peak manner Higher in the case of spirulina Compared to other protein sources. Moreover, in all cases, muscle protein synthesis increased in resting tissue and in exercised tissue, but at a higher rate in the latter tissue.

This study is the first of its kind to demonstrate that taking spirulina or chlorella strongly stimulates muscle protein synthesis. In a similar way to other high-quality non-animal proteins, such as mycoproteins. Based on this discovery, it will be possible to better study what role algae can play in the food of the future and what is the best way to use it to reduce meat consumption and thus Carbon footprint linked.

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