What is Follistatin?
Follistatin is a naturally occurring protein that binds and blocks myostatin, a hormone that limits muscle growth. As an antagonist of myostatin, follistatin allows for increased muscle protein synthesis and skeletal muscle hypertrophy.
There are several isoforms of follistatin being studied, including the more potent FST-315 and FST-344 variants. Research shows supplemental follistatin administration, especially when combined with strength training, can induce significant muscle gains in animals and humans.
History of Follistatin
When it was first uncovered in the 1980s, scientists found that the protein follistatin helped control the production and release of follicle-stimulating hormone. But later studies revealed another key role for follistatin: regulating muscle growth by inhibiting myostatin. This sparked interest in using synthetic follistatin to boost muscle mass and strength for both performance enhancement and treating muscle wasting diseases.
Researchers discovered that by blocking myostatin, follistatin allows muscles to grow larger and stronger. This raised hopes that follistatin could help counteract muscle loss from aging, illness, and injury.
How does Follistatin work?
Follistatin works by binding to and inhibiting myostatin, thereby removing the brakes on muscle growth imposed by this hormone. Myostatin normally acts to suppress muscle protein synthesis and satellite cell differentiation. By blocking myostatin signaling, follistatin allows for accelerated activation of pathways controlling muscle growth like Akt/mTOR, increased myoblast fusion, and enlarged muscle fibers. This anabolic effect leads to sizable gains in lean muscle mass with follistatin supplementation.
Benefits Of Follistatin
Studies show follistatin can increase lean body mass, muscle strength, and physical function in several ways. Follistatin stimulates muscle growth, especially when combined with strength training. It aids recovery from injury and improves healing.
Increased bone mineral density and joint/tendon strength have also been noted. Some research suggests follistatin may also reduce fat mass by promoting a leaner physique. It shows the potential to counteract muscle-wasting conditions like sarcopenia.
Side Effects of Follistatin
At appropriate doses, follistatin is generally well tolerated with minimal side effects in research subjects. Some users report mild headaches, fatigue, nausea, and joint aches. There are risks associated with very high doses, including potential impacts on reproductive function. Proper cycling is important to avoid desensitization. Starting low and gradually increasing dosages can help minimize adverse effects. As with any investigational compound, oversight is advised.
Recommended Follistatin Administration Protocols
The optimal dosing strategy for follistatin administration depends on several factors and should be tailored to the needs of each research subject. While definitive human dosing guidelines are still under investigation, initial follistatin cycles often start at low doses of 100 mg per day and are gradually increased while monitoring tolerance and responses.
Splitting the total daily dosage into multiple injections is common to maintain stable blood levels due to the relatively short half-life.
Administration durations between 4 and 12 weeks are frequently reported in studies, followed by proper off-cycle periods to avoid desensitization. Combining follistatin with strength training appears to be key to maximizing the lean muscle-building effects. As with any investigational compound, closely following prescribing guidelines and modifying dosing based on individual reactions is crucial. Further clinical data is still needed to refine evidence-based protocols for safe, effective follistatin use.
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