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Leucine decreases diet-induced obesity in mice
Friday, March 16, 2007 8:15 am Email this article
Mice on a high-fat diet who were given twice as much of the amino acid leucine as normal, gained 32 percent less weight, decreased body fat by 25 percent, their blood sugar did not increase, which normally happens with diet-induced obesity, their total cholesterol level drop by 27 percent and their LDL cholesterol drop by 53 percent compared to mice fed a normal diet according to a study from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, New York, USA. Calore Intake
No effect on calorie intake
Leucine did not reduce calorie intake.
Decrease in body fat due to increased resting metabolism
The decrease in body fat was due to an increase in resting metabolism.
Prevention of rise in blood sugar due to increased insulin sensitivity
The prevention of a rise in blood sugar was due to an increase in insulin sensitivity.
What is Leucine?
Leucine is an essential amino acid
Leucine is an essential amino acid, which means that we must get from our diet.
Leucine is the most common amino acid
It is the most common amino acid found in proteins.
Leucine builds muscles and prevent muscle breakdown
It promotes muscle building (protein synthesis), and prevents muscle breakdown (protein catabolism).
Foods Containing Leucine
Leucine found abundantly in milk, whole grains
Milk and whole grains are the major sources or leucine. It is also found in eggs, beef, pork, chicken, soybeans, and leaf vegetables.
Conclusion: Leucine decreases diet indued obesity, elevated blood sugar, and elevated cholesterol on high-fat diet
“In conclusion, increases in dietary leucine intake substantially decrease diet-induced obesity, hyperglycemia, and hypercholesterolemia in mice with ad lib consumption of [a high fat diet] likely via multiple mechanisms,” the researchers concluded.
Human Studies Needed
It will be interesting to see if similar results occur in humans
I am not aware of any human studies that have tried giving extra leucine to people to see if it has any effect on weight, fat, blood sugar or cholesterol levels.
It will be interesting to see if similar results occur in humans.
Zhang Y, Guo K, Leblanc R, Loh D, Schwartz G, Yu Y. Increasing dietary leucine intake reduces diet-induced obesity and improves glucose and cholesterol metabolism in mice via multi-mechanisms. Diabetes. 2007 Mar 14.
Division of Molecular Genetics
Department of Pediatrics
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
New York, New York 10032, USA
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