Myostatin-disorder: Super Strength

This is the second installment of my real-life superhumans series. I’m excited to share stories with you about disorders that have created real world super-humans. In this post, I will be discussing Myostatin-Disorder, a condition that gives the individuals affected super strength.

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What is Myostatin?

Myostatin essentially regulates muscle growth. It is a protein that is created by the MSTN gene in humans, and it helps to control the growth rate of muscles and tissues. This protein’s job is to ensure that muscles do not grow too large.

What is Myostatin-Disorder?

Myostatin-Disorder is a deficiency of the Myostatin protein. The condition is genetic and it is extremely rare. So rare in fact, that there are only a few known cases. Also referred to as Myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy, this condition can increase the muscle mass in individuals by twice the normal size. Muscle strength is also increased in affected parties.

Does this Condition have Negative Side Effects?

At this time, there looks to be no negative effects from the condition. The brain continues to function normally, and there are no known effects aside from increased muscle mass and strength. At one time doctors were concerned that the increased strength could lead to heart problems later in life, however, in the few cases studied this was not the case. Because the condition is so rare, there are not enough individuals to study. This means there is not enough data to completely rule outside effects, but the information currently available suggests there are no negative effects of the disorder.

Someday you could have Super Strength too

Researchers have found that blocking the production of Myostatin can, in fact, increase muscle mass. While trials have not been done on humans, scientists have tested dogs and pigs with promising results. While creating super-humans is likely not the desired end game for researchers, we could be looking at a cure to muscular dystrophy that stems from this protein. And who knows? Maybe we’ll create some new superhumans in the process.

A Notable Case of Myostatin-Disorder

Liam Hoekstra was diagnosed with Myostatin-Disorder at a very young age. By 5 months old he could do a difficult gymnastics move called the iron cross, and by 8 months old he was able to do a pull-up. His parents then took him to a specialist who confirmed that he in-fact had Myostatin-Disorder. By the age of 3 years old, he was 40% muscle mass. His parents rightfully try to keep him sheltered from the limelight, but there have been a few updates throughout the years. He’s playing Hockey, among other sports that showcase his strength.

What do you think?

Aside from the potential medical benefits for curing muscular dystrophy, should scientists be looking for ways to enhance your average human? Would you want to have super strength or enhanced athletic ability? Let me know what you think in the comments! If you’re interested in learning more about real-life superhumans, check out my post on Mirror-Touch Synesthesia.

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21 thoughts on “Myostatin-disorder: Super Strength

  1. One of my favorite University of Nebraska football players had this same disorder. His name is Dan Alexander he played running back from 1996-2000. His coaches had to limit his time in the weight room because he would get too big (at his biggest, I heard he was 270 lbs). His size didn’t negatively affect his speed either. Here’s a clip of him outrunning the Big 12’s fastest player in 1999…whom he outweighed by 60 lbs:

  2. Very informative and detailed! I’d never heard of this before

  3. Great post I think I know a guy with this very young but physically and naturally built.

  4. I have never heard of this! I am glad you posted it to bring awareness to something that me and maybe others don’t know about.

  5. This is absolutely fascinating! I’m in the medical field and I’ve never heard of this so thank you for sharing

  6. Everybody should be aware of this disease. I am lucky that atleast me from my family got to know about it. This awareness should be raised.

  7. This is so interesting! I never knew of this disease, thanks for teaching me something new today!

  8. I’ve never heard of such. Thanks for sharing. This will really be of help to many.

  9. I’m so intrigued by Myostatin disorder. Didn’t know it stimulated strength like a superhero. Thank you for sharing this. 🙂

  10. Wow what an interesting post! But I don’t think scientists should be looking at ways to enhance us, unless it could help medically like to cure or prevent diseases!

    1. I’m torn on the issue, I think our resources should be spent on developing cures, but if that leads to enhancing humanity without negative side effects, Im not sure I see much wrong with it either.

  11. I think I heard Myostatin-Disorder before in the news, but thanks for educating me about the disorder!

    1. Thanks for the comment, I’m glad I could spread the word about this very interesting disorder.

  12. I didn’t know anything about Myostatin Disorder. Thanks for explaining everything in such a great detail.

  13. Interesting. This is very informative. I am torn. I don’t know if I’d want a super strength. As what they said, with great power comes great responsibility, lol.

    1. So true! Thank you for reading!

  14. Very informative. I never heard about this condition.Thank you for sharing.

  15. I have never heard of Myostatin-Disorder. Very informative post!

  16. Wow! This is some very new to me! Really interesting!

  17. Never knew about this. Thanks for the detailed post.

  18. I had no idea about this. Thanks for sharing all this information.

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