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Leucine - The king of amino's ?

Leucine - The king of amino's ?

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, in total there are 20 amino acids comprising of both essential and non-essential. Protein plays a crucial role in almost all biological processes and amino acids are the building blocks of it.

Today we are going to look at the amino acid Leucine and its importance in a process called protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is the process by which proteins are formed in biological cells. Proteins carry out all the important functions of a cell such as transport, structural support, chemical reactions, cell communication and protection from harmful bacteria and viruses. Every protein molecule is made up of amino acids. Its no wonder the popularity of protein and amino acid supplementation is so high when you see how important they are to us.

Leucine is one of the 9 essential amino acids our body cannot make, that means we must obtain it from the food we eat. Kind Life's 'Life Blend' is a complete protein source (contains all 9 essential amino acids) and with its combination of Pea, Rice & Hemp protein delivers in excess of 2.5 grams of leucine per serve. 

So now we have found one of the ways in which we can include leucine in our daily diets, how much much is needed to 'trigger' protein synthesis?

To 'trigger' protein synthesis our bodies must activate a compound in our muscle called mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin). Think of mTOR as the key to your car, once you insert your key into the ignition and turn it your engine (protein synthesis) will start. A study by the researchers at the University of Illinois examined weight loss diets containing 10 grams of leucine per day and 125 grams total of protein per day with a minimum of 2.5 grams of leucine at each meal. In two separate studies, the groups consuming high leucine diets had greater weight loss, greater fat loss and better preservation of lean body mass. In these studies, the high leucine diets also resulted in better glucose control.

There is a continuing belief that increasing leucine intake can have multiple health benefits. It activates protein synthesis, is an important building block for muscle protein, improves weight loss, body composition and can assist in lowering elevated glucose and cholesterol levels.

Leucine - is it the king of amino's? it would be hard to argue against it.

 


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