Monday, September 5, 2011

Leucine - Amino Acid of Champions

Leucine is a branch-chain amino acid.  Muscular Development Magazine has several snippets on the wonder Amino in October's issue.  The magazine states that Leucine promotes protein synthesis and prevents muscle damage.  Here are the facts from http://www.wikipedia.org/

"Leucine is the only dietary amino acid that has the capacity to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.[5] As a dietary supplement, leucine has been found to slow the degradation of muscle tissue by increasing the synthesis of muscle proteins in aged rats.[6] While once seen as an important part of the three branch chained amino acids in sports supplements, leucine has since earned more attention on its own as a catalyst for muscle growth and muscular insurance. Supplement companies once marketed the "ideal" 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, iso-leucine and valine; but with furthered evidence that leucine is the most important amino acid for muscle building, it has become much more popular as the primary ingredient in dietary supplements.[7]
Leucine potently activates the mammalian target of rapamycin kinase that regulates cell growth. Infusion of leucine into the rat brain has been shown to decrease food intake and body weight via activation of the mTOR pathway.[8]
Leucine toxicity, as seen in decompensated Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), causes delirium and neurologic compromise, and can be life-threatening."

Leucine is found in most BCAA(Branch Chain Amino Acid) supplements.  As animals we must ingest Leucine and do not make it on our own.  My favorite BCAA is from Optimum Nutrition and it can be found at http://www.optimumnutrition.com/

Leucine promotes protein synthesis and cell growth, both of which are important to bodybuilders and powerlifters alike.  Activation of the mTOR pathway is essential for gains in strength(muscle hypertrophy), and Leucine is vital in in this process.

Keep Moving Foreward,
Miller

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