Phosphatidic Acid - Natural Mass Builder or Hype (Dosages Matter...)

blog-icon By Posted on May 11, 2018


If you are a fitness enthusiast who is looking to put on some muscle, you are going to have to work hard—no argument there. However, is hitting the gym the only thing you need when it comes to enhancing your muscles? According to research, it is the mTOR complex that is a basic requirement for boosting muscular gains. Hitting the gym triggers the mTOR signaling pathway, causing a significant increase in Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS).

Phosphatidic acid has been promoted as a supplement that can play an important role in triggering the mTOR signaling pathway since 2012. But, with time, confusion regarding new research, has many wondering: is there significant research to back up the usage of Phosphatidic acid in contemporary muscle building supplements? Let’s find out:

What is Phosphatidic Acid?

For those who don’t already know, Phosphatidic acid is a lipid-signaling molecule. To be more precise, Phosphatidic acid is a molecule of glycerol that is linked with two chains of fatty acids. Stretching of the muscular cells results in the intercellular levels of Phosphatidic acid rising, considering how Phosphatidic acid is an important constituent of cell membranes. When the levels of Phosphatidic acid rise beyond a certain threshold; they activate the mTOR pathway which is imperative for muscular growth.

If you think about it, Phosphatidic acid seems to be turning on muscle protein synthesis in the response to resistance-based exercises. Phosphatidic acid can be found in our daily diets, but it is not in sufficient quantities at all. For instance, cabbage is known to be a great source of Phosphatidic acid but it only offers 0.5 milligrams of Phosphatidic acid per gram (that’s a lot of cabbage eating to get to serious volume) The question, therefore, arises if merely increasing the quantity of Phosphatidic acid that we consume in our daily diets will enhance our muscular growth and strength.

PA & Lean Muscle Building Research

Enough talk on what the books have got say about Phosphatidic acid and its impact on the mTOR signaling pathway; it is time to understand if the claims are backed by research or not. Here are some of the facts that have been established through research, in this regard.

Effect on mTOR Signaling

When it comes to having an effect on mTOR signaling pathway, it has been proven by research that Phosphatidic acid really does benefit. However, the results have only been found to be successful in the case of isolated muscle cells.

Effect on Muscle Protein Synthesis

The argument on whether Phosphatidic acid is able to work in cohesion with whey protein has been going on ever since Phosphatidic acid was found to be beneficial for muscle growth. In a laboratory experiment that was conducted on rats, the usage of Phosphatidic acid and whey protein together was found to boost muscle protein synthesis in the tested subjects. However, the impact on muscle growth was not found to be as encouraging, considering how Phosphatidic acid was found to actually blunt the anabolic impact of whey protein.

2012 & 2014 Original Studies*

A study was recently conducted at the University of Tampa, in this regard, with the focus on discerning whether the supplementation of Phosphatidic acid actually had a significant impact or not. The subjects had to consume 750 milligrams of Phosphatidic acid per day with weight training. The protocol would be to consume 450 milligrams before weight training and 300 milligrams after weight training. The subjects were also given off days in between. On such days, the subjects received 450 milligrams of Phosphatidic acid in the morning and 300 milligrams at dinner. Moreover, the subjects were banned from the consumption of any other additional supplement during the eight-week training course.

Over the course of eight weeks, the researchers found that there was a significant increase in the proportions of the lean body mass in the figures of the subjects. On top of that, there was a significant boost in the cross-sectional area of an important muscle in the quad. Moreover, there were improvements in the strength of the subjects as well, particularly when it came to their leg presses. However, none of these benefits are not such that do not come with supplements such as creatine and whey protein.


Phosphatidic Acid research shows increase in lean body mass

But what about that 2016 Research*?

The matter of what Phosphatidic acid has got to offer exactly for muscle growth is dodgy, no doubt, but research appears to be suggesting that there is sufficient reason for being optimistic. However, the question arises: at what dosage will Phosphatidic acid deliver the best possible result?

To shed some light on the matter of different doses of Phosphatidic acid, a study was conducted in 2016 involving 28 resistance-trained men. Each of these men was randomly designated to receive either 250 milligrams of Phosphatidic acid or 350 milligrams. At the end of the eight-week study tenure, researchers found that there was no significant difference between the groups. However, positive results were recorded in certain cases, involving muscle mass and strength. When you take it into perspective, you have got to say that there is evidence to conclude that the quantity of Phosphatidic acid supplemented has a direct relationship with the offered benefits.

The Dosage You Should Be Taking

If you are confused on the dosage of Phosphatidic acid that you should be consuming then you should know that 750 milligrams of Phosphatidic acid per day is the only dosage that has research backing.

The Bottom Line

When you take it all into perspective and try to bring all these seemingly conflicting research together, It seems that it is fair to be optimistic about Phosphatidic acid’s impact on mTOR signaling and its regulation, ultimately resulting into muscular growth. However, consider the following:

  1. Dosage – 750MG of PA per day is the only research backed dosage
  2. How to take – The studies that showed positive outcomes, were done over a period of 8 weeks, and there is no long-term research out there, you could argue that going through an 8 weeks cycles at a time might be the most beneficial
  3. What to expect – Anything natural (such as PA) is not going to give you the unnatural results. So put that into perspective. And also that nothing works unless you do. With that said, if you are looking for that extra boost in body composition, PA – at the right dosage – seems like it has the potential to help.



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