Why Popeye may have been right about spinach


SOME may scoff at the notion that spinach – despite containing nutrients – builds muscles, but Popeye may have been on to something. A steroid found in leafy greens ramps up protein synthesis in muscles. A team led by Ilya Raskin of Rutgers University in New Jersey extracted phytoecdysteroids from spinach. When they placed the liquid extract on samples of cultured human muscle, it sped up growth by 20 per cent. Rats were also slightly stronger after a month of injections of the extract (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, DOI: 10.1021/jf073059z). Unfortunately,
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