Amino acids are not only useful for bodybuilders who want to increase their muscle size; they have specific medical benefits. A study, which is currently continuing, has proved that muscular atrophy is reduced by low doses of Leucine. A total of twenty-three amino acids play different roles in the formation of proteins in the body and are called proteinogenic amino acids.
They are not synthesised in the body but need to be ingested in order to be utilised in the liver and the muscles. There are three branched-chain amino acids, or BCAA. Leucine is one, together with Isoleucine and Valine. They play a central role in muscle building and energy supply, and are often used by athletes and others who want to increase physical strength.
All three BCAA should be taken in an appropriate ratio in order to maximise protein synthesis.
Lack of Exercise and Muscle Atrophy
- “Paddon-Jones, Douglas, et al., “dietary protein recommendations and the prevention of sarcopenia – protein, amino acid metabolism and therapy”, Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab care. 2009 January, 12(1), 86-90″ ↩
- “Paddon-Jones, Douglas, et al., “Leucine supplementation chronically improves muscle protein synthesis in older adults consuming the RDA for protein”, clinical nutrition, 2012 Aug, 31(4), 512-9″ ↩