Quorn is just as good as building your muscles as meat

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  • The meat substitute, which is adored by vegetarians, has high 'bioavailability'
  • This means it contains more protein that can be used by the body, experts say
  • Animal proteins, like milk - used in the study, are known to have high quantities
  • The study was funded by Quorn and published in the British Journal of Nutrition 

By Stephen Matthews For Mailonline

Published: 09:00 EDT, 11 October 2017 | Updated: 09:00 EDT, 11 October 2017

Quorn is just as good for gym-goers seeking to build muscle as eating steak, chicken and fish, a study suggests.

The meat substitute, adored by vegetarians, has high 'bioavailability' - meaning it contains more protein that can be used by the body. 

Animal proteins, like milk - used in the study, are known to have such high quantities, making them an important source of building blocks for muscles.

Muscles are built almost immediately after any kind of protein is consumed, as the amino acids are transported through the body. 

The study, part-funded by Quorn and published in the British Journal of Nutrition, was conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter.

The meat substitute, adored by vegetarians, has high 'bioavailability' - meaning it contains more protein that can be used by the body
The meat substitute, adored by vegetarians, has high 'bioavailability' - meaning it contains more protein that can be used by the body

The meat substitute, adored by vegetarians, has high 'bioavailability' - meaning it contains more protein that can be used by the body

Quorn is described by its manufacturer as a mycoprotein, derived from a fungus called Fusarium venenatum and fermented in a similar way to beer or yoghurt.  

It comes after legal action in the US last month made all Quorn products to carry 'mould' labels from now on. 

However, its manufacturers dismissed the concerns and described its product as being as 'benign as a potato'.

What did the study find?

The trial, led by Dr Benjamin Wall, showed that milk protein was digested quicker - meaning the effects are noticed sooner.

However, a similar amount of amino acids were noted in the body four hours after consuming both milk and Quorn.

Dr Wall said: 'We concluded that mycoprotein provides a very bioavailable dietary protein source.

ORDERED TO CARRY 'MOULD' LABELS

The study comes as Quorn has been ordered to carry prominent labels in the US identifying it as a 'mould' with a risk of causing allergic reactions.

The change follows legal action and pressure from an American campaign group which alleges the death of two children may have been the result of eating the meat substitute product. 

An American campaign group claims to have received approximately 2,500 reports from consumers of adverse reactions to Quorn products. 

These include vomiting, diarrhea, and even anaphylactic reactions after eating the products, which include burgers, mince, sausages, steak, chicken and ready meals.

The company denies the claims. 

'We speculate that it would be an effective source of protein to support muscle building in a variety of populations.' 

The small study of 12 young men, involved five experimental trials. During each, volunteers drank either 20g of milk protein, or the same amount of mycoprotein.

Quorn benefits the environment, the researchers claim 

The researchers also highlighted the detrimental effects of animal farming on the environment - explaining Quorn's benefit.

Mandy Dunlop, who was involved in the research, said: 'Quorn's mycoprotein is produced with far less impact on the environment.'

Quorn was first produced in the UK in 1985, and sales have grown rapidly in recent years as people turn away from eating meat on health and ethical grounds.

The science on animal proteins 

Extensive research has been done over the years on animal proteins, many of which are known to have high bioavailability.

Such products are often recommended to adults who need extra protein to maintain or remodel their muscle tissue.

Many plant proteins, including lentils, quinoa, tofu, seeds and various nuts, have lower bioavailability.  

Larry White
By Larry White 11/10/2017 09:00:00