There are three branched amino acids and leucine is one of them. Having a non linear aliphatic chain from the side, the chemical formula is written as HO2CCH (NH2) CH2CH (CH3)2. As a result of the aliphatic isobutyl chain it posses, this branched amino acid is classified as under hydrophobic amino acids. Leucine is encoded by about 6 cordons and has been confirmed to be a component of astacin and ferritin. A recent study indicated that it is also a component of some proteins which are said to be buffer. It is referred to as essential amino acid because it cannot be synthesized by the human body. Therefore, for one to acquire this amino acid, he or she must ingest it. It is synthesized by microorganism and plants by a number of enzymes from a pyruvic acid.
How does leucine benefit the body?
- Stimulates the rate of protein synthesis in muscles.
The ability for leucine to stimulate protein synthesis for skeletal muscle makes it unique and outstanding. Some of the organs in which this component is utilized include the adipose tissue, muscle tissue and liver. In both the muscle tissue and the adipose tissue leucine functions in forming sterols. The usage of this component in above mentioned tissues has been said to be approximately seven times more than how it is used in the liver.
Did you know that it is the one and only amino acid used in a diet that is able to stimulate the protein synthesis in muscles? This is why it has been widely adopted as a supplement in diet. By increasing the rate of protein synthesis in muscles, leucine has been found useful in slowing down the rate of degradation of muscle tissues. Ever wondered why most of your friends are talking about using protein supplements? It is because they know that when you consume proteins, the synthesis of proteins in their muscles is stimulated.
Recently, scientists published that the level of amino acids observed in the blood of humans has a direct effect on protein synthesis in muscles. When the level increases, the rate of synthesis is greatly boosted. Leucine, which is an amino acid, has been highly recommended for protein synthesis. After carrying out several experiments involving essential and non-essential amino acids, scientists have concluded that non-essential proteins do not contribute protein synthesis. When essential proteins were consumed together with non-essential proteins, a boost in protein synthesis was observed. A boost was also observed when essential proteins were used alone. However, no boost in protein synthesis was observed when non essential proteins were used alone.
- Activates mTOR which switches on muscle building
mTOR is an acronym that refers to mammalian target of rapamycin. It is a critical compound found in muscles. Leucine has been proved to directly activate mTOR. mTOR is termed as a molecular switch which induces manufacture of proteins in the muscles. Apart from just providing building blocks for the synthesis of proteins in the muscles, leucine plays a vital role in role in regulating the whole protein synthesis process in the muscles. The main point here is that when you add leucine to your diet, you maximize the anabolic process in muscles after exercising at the gym.
- Aids in the loss of weight and spares muscle loss
A study conducted at the University of Illinois has confirmed that leucine contributes to weight loss. During the research, two groups were given 10g and 2.5 grams of leucine respectively. it was noted that there was a greater loss of weight in a group that consumed 10 grams of leucine. This group also recorded a greater loss in fats and an improved preservation of the lean mass of the body. In another research study at Columbia University, it was noted that those who consumed high levels of leucine in their diets reduced the weight of fats by about 25%. Leucine also promotes an improved control of blood sugar. It was also noted that leucine boosts the level of uncoupling protein 3 hence improves the resting metabolism.
Conditions caused by lack of leucine
Everyone needs essential proteins in order to survive. Leucine is one of the major essential amino acids that must be provided to our bodies. Without providing enough to our bodies, it may result to a number of complications that may damage our cells. For instance, if our bodies have insufficient amounts of leucine, the body depletes the muscles in order to compensate for the insufficient leucine. Lack of leucine especially in aged person’s results to a condition called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is an old age condition that leads to loss of muscles. Including this essential nutrient in your daily diet combats this condition.
Legumes are known for being rich in leucine. For instance, there about 6 grams of leucine in a single cup filled with raw soybeans. There are also 3.7 grams of leucine in a cup o kidney and white beans. A cup of lentils contains 3.4 grams. A half cup of seaweed products contains 3 grams.
- Dairy products
In one cup of a cow’s milk that is nonfat, there are about 0.8 grams of the amino acid leucine. Blue cheese, cheddar or Colby contain from 0.5 to 0.7 grams of leucine. Every ounce of hard cheese contains approximately 1 gram of leucine.
It has been estimated that in 5 ounces of beef fillet, there are about 4g of leucine. 1 cup of cooked of chopped chicken meat contains approximately 3.5 grams of leucine. An average size of a fish fillet contains approximately 3 grams of leucine. One cup of salmon and tuna chunks contains 3.5 grams.
50% of your daily requirements of Leucine, as well as all 43 Essential Nutrients can be found in Every Yevo Meal.