Nutrients 2012, 4(11), 1664-1678; doi:10.3390/nu4111664
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Insulinotropic and Muscle Protein Synthetic Effects of Branched-Chain Amino Acids: Potential Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes and Sarcopenia

1 Exercise Physiology Research Group, Department of Kinesiology, KU Leuven, Heverlee, B-3001, Belgium 2 School of Health and Exercise Sciences, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, British Columbia, V1V 1V7, Canada 3 Faculty of Physical Education & Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2R3, Canada 4 Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, S4S 0A2, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 September 2012; in revised form: 29 October 2012 / Accepted: 1 November 2012 / Published: 8 November 2012
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Abstract: The loss of muscle mass and strength with aging (i.e., sarcopenia) has a negative effect on functional independence and overall quality of life. One main contributing factor to sarcopenia is the reduced ability to increase skeletal muscle protein synthesis in response to habitual feeding, possibly due to a reduction in postprandial insulin release and an increase in insulin resistance. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), primarily leucine, increases the activation of pathways involved in muscle protein synthesis through insulin-dependent and independent mechanisms, which may help counteract the “anabolic resistance” to feeding in older adults. Leucine exhibits strong insulinotropic characteristics, which may increase amino acid availability for muscle protein synthesis, reduce muscle protein breakdown, and enhance glucose disposal to help maintain blood glucose homeostasis.
Keywords: amino acids; leucine; skeletal muscle; protein synthesis; insulin secretion

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MDPI and ACS Style

Manders, R.J.; Little, J.P.; Forbes, S.C.; Candow, D.G. Insulinotropic and Muscle Protein Synthetic Effects of Branched-Chain Amino Acids: Potential Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes and Sarcopenia. Nutrients 2012, 4, 1664-1678.

AMA Style

Manders RJ, Little JP, Forbes SC, Candow DG. Insulinotropic and Muscle Protein Synthetic Effects of Branched-Chain Amino Acids: Potential Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes and Sarcopenia. Nutrients. 2012; 4(11):1664-1678.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Manders, Ralph J.; Little, Jonathan P.; Forbes, Scott C.; Candow, Darren G. 2012. "Insulinotropic and Muscle Protein Synthetic Effects of Branched-Chain Amino Acids: Potential Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes and Sarcopenia." Nutrients 4, no. 11: 1664-1678.

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