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Keratin May Help Boost Lean Body Mass

Lean body mass is a measure of the total weight of a person’s bone and muscle, minus their fat weight. Having a higher lean body mass is healthier because muscle is more metabolically active which increases your metabolic rate. A recent study suggests that keratin supplements may help increase lean body mass in cyclists.


Participants in the study included 15 trained male cyclists between the ages of 18 and 50. All of the participants participated in endurance cycling at least three times per week in the three months before the start of the study. The researchers took body composition measurements and cycling performance measures at the beginning and end of the study.


For the first four weeks, half of the group took a casein supplement, while the other half took a keratin supplement. That was followed by an eight-week washout period, after which the groups switched interventions. Casein and keratin differ in their protein fractions, so the amount of supplement given in each intervention was calculated as giving the desired protein content, rather than as a certain amount of supplement.


At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted a significantly greater increase in bone-free lean mass with the keratin supplementation, when compared with casein. There were no notable changes in performance, total body mass, or percentage body fat.


Researchers from the Massey University in New Zealand conducted the study. It was published on September 27, 2018, in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.


Keratin is an insoluble fiber most commonly used to improve the appearance of skin and hair. Eating lean meats, poultry, fish, and dairy products can help encourage keratin production while vitamin C boosts keratin absorption.

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