Due to the high emotional stakes involved in both amateur and professional sports, pharmaceutical and supplement manufacturers continually seek to find products that might add a competitive edge. Findings from test tube studies suggested that an extract of the brown seaweed Cystoseira canariensismight inhibit a substance in the body called myostatin.1 Myostatin inhibits the growth of muscle cells. It is believed that some animals, and some people, produce relatively less myostatin, and therefore develop stronger muscles even without much exercise. Consider chimpanzees that live in a cage but are nonetheless much stronger than similarly sized humans. If a substance could be discovered that effectively blocks the action of myostatin, that substance might logically be hypothesized to aid muscle growth.

Therefore, based on findings that can only be characterized as far too preliminary to rely upon at all, cystoseira became a widely marketed sports supplement.