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Nutrients 2018, 10(5), 635; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10050635

Leucine Supplementation Does Not Attenuate Skeletal Muscle Loss during Leg Immobilization in Healthy, Young Men

1
Department of Human Biology, NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 61 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
2
Department of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 17 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
3
Department of Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Centre+, P.O. Box 616 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 April 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Dietary Supplements)
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Abstract

Background: Short successive periods of physical inactivity occur throughout life and contribute considerably to the age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass. The maintenance of muscle mass during brief periods of disuse is required to prevent functional decline and maintain metabolic health. Objective: To assess whether daily leucine supplementation during a short period of disuse can attenuate subsequent muscle loss in vivo in humans. Methods: Thirty healthy (22 ± 1 y) young males were exposed to a 7-day unilateral knee immobilization intervention by means of a full leg cast with (LEU, n = 15) or without (CON, n = 15) daily leucine supplementation (2.5 g leucine, three times daily). Prior to and directly after immobilization, quadriceps muscle cross-sectional area (computed tomography (CT) scan) and leg strength (one-repetition maximum (1-RM)) were assessed. Furthermore, muscle biopsies were taken in both groups before and after immobilization to assess changes in type I and type II muscle fiber CSA. Results: Quadriceps muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) declined in the CON and LEU groups (p < 0.01), with no differences between the two groups (from 7712 ± 324 to 7287 ± 305 mm2 and from 7643 ± 317 to 7164 ± 328 mm2; p = 0.61, respectively). Leg muscle strength decreased from 56 ± 4 to 53 ± 4 kg in the CON group and from 63 ± 3 to 55 ± 2 kg in the LEU group (main effect of time p < 0.01), with no differences between the groups (p = 0.052). Type I and II muscle fiber size did not change significantly over time, in both groups (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Free leucine supplementation with each of the three main meals (7.5 g/d) does not attenuate the decline of muscle mass and strength during a 7-day limb immobilization intervention. View Full-Text
Keywords: limb immobilization; countermeasures; amino acid; strength limb immobilization; countermeasures; amino acid; strength
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Backx, E.M.; Horstman, A.M.; Marzuca-Nassr, G.N.; van Kranenburg, J.; Smeets, J.S.; Fuchs, C.J.; Janssen, A.A.; de Groot, L.C.; Snijders, T.; Verdijk, L.B.; van Loon, L.J. Leucine Supplementation Does Not Attenuate Skeletal Muscle Loss during Leg Immobilization in Healthy, Young Men. Nutrients 2018, 10, 635.

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