The stuff from black cumin can grow muscles 💪

A small post to add to the topic of muscle loss (sarcopenia). I mentioned that there are natural substances that affect myostatin, a protein that suppresses muscle growth from the TGF-b superfamily of proteins. Now, one of these substances may be sulforaphane from broccoli. But, I once came across an article by bioinformaticians who were screening natural compounds for binding properties to the myostatin receptor. I learned from them that a substance from black cumin (Nigella Sativa, Black Cumin) has such properties. This substance is Dithymoquinone.

In the study, a library of phytochemical compounds consisting of about 2000 compounds derived from various traditional medicinal plants was established. These compounds were taken mostly from published studies on disease treatment and screened for potential anti-MSTN (Myostatin) agents. For analysis, the compounds were taken from PubChem database.

Based on the results of modeling (PatchDock,GROMACS, those who know will understand 🤓) four best compounds were selected based on their drug-like properties. Of these four compounds, Dithymoquinone had the best binding free energy (-7.40 kcal/mol). As a result, Dithymoquinone was found to be the most potent inhibitor of myostatin.

Of course, this is not an in vivo study, but it is an important first step in the search for therapeutic properties. What is also interesting is that this substance has been attributed antiviral properties. Links to the studies are below.