Recent research to cure muscular dystrophy found the gene “Myostatin” that is in control and limits the muscular growth in the human body as well as in many animals. Researchers found a different use for blocking the gene in sports and industrial farming, besides curing muscular dystrophy. Until now, there were few new products available on the markets claiming to block the Myostatin, but none of them have proven that they don’t carry other health risks and yet are effective at building muscle. This paper aims to discuss the possible outcomes of usage of these experimental drugs whether ethical or not. I have found the usage of the Myostatin blocker products remains an ethical issue because related supplements are available for sale even though they are still experimental, and they are available for purchase by athletes and farmers.
A research group lead by Se-Jin Lee from John Hopkins University in 1997 found the gene “Myostatin” that is responsible for limiting the muscular growth (*8). Later, in 2001 he published that he created the “Mighty Mouse” that has 60% more muscle mass than a normal mouse(*3). Many drug manufacturers became very interested in putting their hands on the future big market of “easy muscle mass”. Because the myostatin blocker products have many possible uses in different industries including: curing muscular dystrophy, sports, fat loss and farming industry. So, these myostatin blocker products will dominate the market of muscle building products, fat loss products and the meat industry. So far there are three different types of myostatin blocker agents revealed: MYO-029, ACVR2B, and Follistan. Most importantly, all of the agents are in the experimental phase so their side effects are still unknown, but it’s predicted that these types of products might cause heart problems, cancer and immune system destruction. Despite the fact of unknown side effects, there are products available for sale such as MYOSTIM, MYOBLAST and FLOSTAXAN also sold as in active enzyme from by pharmaceutical supply companies (*4) all over the world (for experimental use?) Therefore, these products are on sale and can be used to cure people who have muscular dystrophy, muscle loss related to cancer, HIV and other diseases. Athletes who would want to perform better and meat producers who definitely want to sell more in weight are also interested in these products. Furthermore, it must be considered that the use of these products can cause other health problems, too. Mr. Lee says “He cautions, however, that the effects of ACVR2B can be attributed to its ability to block more than just myostatin signaling, which may increase the potential for side effects”, “In general, I am quite optimistic that targeting this pathway will turn out to be an effective way to increase muscle growth,” he says. “But much more work will be required to determine whether this will be a viable approach.”(*2). So, it is an ethical decision for researchers and drug producers to have these products available to their buyers. Athletes, overweight people, people who just want to have a better muscular look and people looking for a cure to muscle dystrophy, are eager to buy these myostatin blocker products, so; they can gain muscle, strength, gain mobility and lose fat. I have been reading online magazine articles, forums and customer reviews about these products and it seems like there are enormous amounts of people looking for clinically tested information (*12). Some people are claiming that they have been using those available drugs and posting their results to be viewed by others but no supporting evidences provided. Most importantly, whatever the personal reason these people are risking their lives without knowing the side effects of the products that they are using. Also until now there is no physical evidence that proves these myostatin blocking products cured any muscle dystrophy, built muscle on a human.