Leucine is an essential amino acid.
It’s designation as essential means that is it an amino acid that cannot be made by humans and so is essential to the human diet.
But according to a growing body of scientific research, leucine may be essential to preventing age related muscle loss.
Muscle in adults is constantly being built and broken down.
When we are young, our bodies keep these two processes in balance. But as we age, the balance starts to shift towards the breakdown side of the equation.
This process is similar to the situation that many women face with osteoporosis.
However, numerous studies are showing that the addition of the amino acid leucine to the diet of aging individuals can reverse this condition.
According to the research:
I am usually very hesitant to recommend any form of supplements. In most cases, I feel that our nutritional needs can be met with whole foods.
However, in this case, the upside of leucine supplementation is very strong and, to this point, there doesn’t seem to be any downside.
I will be “guinea-pigging” this supplement on myself and a few of my clients. I will report back with the results.
Thanks in Advance.
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2. Stipanuk, Martha H. Leucine and protein synthesis: mTOR and beyond. Nutrition Reviews. 2007;Mar;Vol. 65, No. 3:122-9.
3. Paddon-Jones D, et al. Amino acid ingestion improves muscle protein synthesis in the young and elderly. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Mar;286(3):E321-8.
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5. Rasmussen BB, Phillips SM. Contractile and nutritional regulation of human muscle growth. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2003 Jul;31(3):127-31.
6. Rieu, Isabelle. Leucine supplementation improves muscle protein synthesis in elderly men independently of hyperaminoacidaemia. J. Physiol. 2006;575;305-15.
7. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. “Feeling Old? Supplement Diet With Leucine Prevents Muscle Loss Linked To Aging.” ScienceDaily 4 December 2005. 3 October 2008
8. University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. “Eating Proper Foods At Right Time After Exercise Can Speed Recovery.” ScienceDaily 13 July 1999. 3 October 2008