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Nutrients 2015, 7(5), 3914-3937; doi:10.3390/nu7053914

Reviewing the Effects of l-Leucine Supplementation in the Regulation of Food Intake, Energy Balance, and Glucose Homeostasis

Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo 05508-000, Brazil
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Received: 27 March 2015 / Revised: 30 April 2015 / Accepted: 12 May 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Balance)
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Abstract

Leucine is a well-known activator of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Because mTOR signaling regulates several aspects of metabolism, the potential of leucine as a dietary supplement for treating obesity and diabetes mellitus has been investigated. The objective of the present review was to summarize and discuss the available evidence regarding the mechanisms and the effects of leucine supplementation on the regulation of food intake, energy balance, and glucose homeostasis. Based on the available evidence, we conclude that although central leucine injection decreases food intake, this effect is not well reproduced when leucine is provided as a dietary supplement. Consequently, no robust evidence indicates that oral leucine supplementation significantly affects food intake, although several studies have shown that leucine supplementation may help to decrease body adiposity in specific conditions. However, more studies are necessary to assess the effects of leucine supplementation in already-obese subjects. Finally, although several studies have found that leucine supplementation improves glucose homeostasis, the underlying mechanisms involved in these potential beneficial effects remain unknown and may be partially dependent on weight loss. View Full-Text
Keywords: branched-chain amino acids; obesity; diabetes mellitus; protein synthesis; central nervous system; mTOR branched-chain amino acids; obesity; diabetes mellitus; protein synthesis; central nervous system; mTOR
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pedroso, J.A.; Zampieri, T.T.; Donato, J., Jr. Reviewing the Effects of l-Leucine Supplementation in the Regulation of Food Intake, Energy Balance, and Glucose Homeostasis. Nutrients 2015, 7, 3914-3937.

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