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Scientists and UFC Fighter Reveal Results of New Study That Shows Rice Protein Equals Animal-Based Whey in Building and Maintaining Muscle – for First Time in Pro Athletes


On Friday March 9, 2018, a press conference was held where Dr. Douglas
Kalman PhD, RD, FACN, FISSN and the UFC's Featherweight fighter Chas
Skelly met the press to reveal the results of a new study that
demonstrated that Axiom Foods' Oryzatein® brown rice protein
equals animal-based whey protein for building and maintaining muscle -
for the first time in pro athletes. Scarlett Full MS, RDN, Axiom's
Director of Nutrition & Research, also appeared to explain the science
behind the product and why the amino acid profile of rice protein acts
the same as animal-based whey protein. The announcement was made during
the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, California. Oryzatein®
rice protein is available a retail nationally in the Growing

The same day, reported: "New
Study with UFC
Fighters Shows Plant-Based Protein Produces Same
Results as Whey in Athletes."

The study, titled "The Body Composition Effects of Extra Protein in
Elite Mixed Martial Artists Undergoing Frequent Training over a Six-Week
Period," was led by Dr. Douglas Kalman and Sports Nutritionist Alison
Escalante, RD, out of Florida International University, was
peer-reviewed at The International Society of Sports Nutrition Annual
Conference and published in the Journal
of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
 (P34) (JISSN). The
products used in the study were Growing Naturals' Rice Protein
(featuring Axiom Food's Oryzatein®) and NutraBio's Whey

According to Dr. Douglas Kalman: "We now have confirmed proof that this
rice protein, which is typically thought of as an inferior protein
source, can support the metabolic and physical needs of athletes, elite
athletes just as well as meat-based options, such as whey protein. With
MMA fighters, we found that this rice protein (Oryzatein®)
supported positive changes in body composition in the same vein that
meat-based protein (whey) does. In order to sustain life, the body
requires essential amino acids to be ingested as the body cannot
manufacture these proteins. The rice protein tested, Oryzatein®
has been found to contain the full array of essential amino acids, which
are needed for human health. Other plant proteins cannot be as
concentrated as Oryzatein® and may not give the same body
positive response when combined with exercise, unless larger volumes of
product are ingested. The MMA athletes tested often burn upwards of
8,000 calories per day, whereas the rest of us typically are lower than
2000 calories per day, which means that nutrition is that much more
paramount for the stressed training athlete. Oryzatein®
supported the metabolic needs of these elite MMA athletes. In general,
using the rule of thumb, aim to get at least 0.5 grams per pound body
weight protein daily, Oryzatein® fit this role nicely in
these elite MMA professional athletes."

Scarlett Full, an RDN who has worked on Oryzatein®, the rice
protein that was used in the study, explained: "Like Intel Inside,
Oryzatein® is an organic brown rice protein ingredient found
in 1,000's of food products like chips, bars, shakes, ready-to-drink
juices and feeding formulas. Axiom Food's patented ingredient is used
for sports formulations for building muscle, power, strength and
recovery. This is an FDA GRAS ingredient; meaning it can be used in food
formulations, not just supplements. It's fractioned from rice without
use of petrochemicals, in a proprietary enzymatic process which allows
us to remove most of the starch and carbs so we can concentrate it up to
90%; rice protein is not high carb. In the fitness world, there has been
a misconception that you can't build muscle with plant protein because
plant proteins are typically incomplete proteins (low in one or more
essential amino acid). But this study along with others has debunked
this notion as we know that a variety of protein sources consumed in a
24-hour period can be combined to "complete each other." In addition,
another study published in 2014 showed that the leucine (the amino acid
that triggers tissue building) in rice protein was uniquely absorbed
almost 30% faster than leucine in whey protein, which scientists believe
may be another reason rice protein was equal to whey for building and
maintaining muscle." These studies both demonstrated the effectiveness
of Axiom's Oryzatein® brown rice protein.

One of the 11 mixed martial artists who was part of this study, Chas
Skelly, UFC Featherweight (17 - 3) said: "I have always used whey
protein but, I've always had problems digesting it; my stomach hurts
really badly and I feel sluggish. During this study, I watched my
teammates getting the same results and saying they felt better than I
did. Though I am a carnivore, hunter and fisherman, this study changed
my mind about protein supplements. Since the study, I've switched, and
it does a lot better for me."

This study is the first time a comparison of plant protein and
animal-based whey protein was studied specifically in pro athletes. Dr.
Kalman studied this same rice protein in 2013 with recreational
collegiate athletes. Another study published in 2014 found that only
Axiom's patented Oryzatein® brown rice protein supplies the
body with the muscle-building amino acid leucine to a similar degree and
at a faster speed than leucine from whey protein.

The study was conducted in Spring 2017 at The Combat Club in Lantana,
Florida with the following participants:

Gilbert "Durinho" Burns, UFC Lightweight
Desmond "The Predator"
Greene, UFC Lightweight
Demarques Jackson, Titan FC 45
"King of the Caribbean" Jackson, Titan FB Welterweight Champion
"Rumble" Johnson, Former UFC Light Heavyweight
Michael "The Menace"
Johnson, UFC Lightweight
Irwin "The Beast" Rivera, Titan FC
Chas "The Scrapper" Skelly, UFC Featherweight
Soriano, Former UFC Featherweight
Andre "The Asian Sensation"
Soukhamthath, UFC Bantamweight
Steve Mowry, Titan FB Heavyweight

Kay Abadee, VP Marketing of Growing Naturals said: "This study is
sending a shock wave through the fitness industry, hopefully toppling
long-held ideas that animal-based whey protein is necessary for serious
athletes. Basically, we are finding that animals are no longer necessary
to get our protein."

About: Combat
is a mixed martial arts training facility in Lantana, FL, led
by head coaches: Henri Hooft (Dutch kickboxing), Gilbert Burns
(Brazilian jiu-jitsu), and Greg Jones (wrestling). Combat Club caters to
people of all levels, from beginner to pro.

About: Growing
, LLC is the maker of both allergen-friendly single-source
pure plant protein powders from organic brown rice and peas, plus
Benefit Blend's A.M. Energy and P.M. Restore, featuring "one and done"
nutrition solutions that simplify daily rituals. All Growing Naturals
plant proteins are FDA GRAS approved food and the rice protein products
feature clinically tested and patented Oryzatein® inside.


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