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L Leucine Supplements

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Gen-Tec L-Leucine
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About L Leucine Supplements

L-leucine is a novel essential amino acid, and also one of the branched chain amino acids along with L-Isoleucine and L-Valine. In case you're wondering what on earth does the "L" before leucine mean?, let’s take a look. There are two different isomers of each amino acid that naturally exist. For instance, there are tiny amounts of D-leucine found in the human body, which is a mirror-image of L-Leucine.


If you hold your hands up—palms facing you—with pinky fingers touching, notice that they are opposites. However, each of them contains the same types of fingers attached to the same palms, creating a mirror images of each other. The same goes for L-Leucine and D-Leucine—the same chemistry, though slightly different in form and function. The majority of the research into leucine is on the L-isomer, and this isomer should therefore be used for supplementation purposes. Fortunately, D-leucine supplements are not available.
L-Leucine has some very specific uses, such as improving the anabolic effects of meals and protein supplements, and also to help overcome the anabolic resistance and muscle losses that come with advancing age. It has been known for years now that L-Leucine stimulates mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), which is one of the identified triggers for muscle growth. However, research is pointing towards the fact that all of the building blocks of muscle protein are needed in order for the mTOR trigger to lead to appreciable results. After all, it would be like boosting morale in a bricklayer, yet giving her or him only one of the building materials that they need, out of many.


To build the house, may different materials are needed. So to, muscle tissue needs eight of the nine essential amino acids to lay down new protein. Additionally, muscle tissue needs a host of non-essential amino acids for protein synthesis, however, these are recycled from muscle catabolism very efficiently, and need not be worried about too much, unless growth is extreme. The essential amino acids required for muscle protein synthesis are: isoleucine, leucine, valine, phenylalanine, methionine, lysine, histidine and threonine. Tryptophan, the ninth essential amino acid, is not used for muscle tissue building, though is very important for brain and gut health, and therefore should be taken with the other essential amino acids as a team. After all, there is not much point in boosting muscle growth, repair and recovery in the short term if we end up depressed and with digestive difficulties!
L-Leucine may be taken with main meals, protein shakes or amino acid formulations, in small quantities such as half a teaspoon of pure powder, to help overcome the muscle's reduced responsiveness to this amino acid that comes with advanced age. This, in part, may be one of the reasons why anabolic resistance develops with advancing age. Research has demonstrated that the lack of anabolic response to ingestion of essential amino acids is not due to poor circulation, or digestion, and more to do with the muscle cell's ability to utilise the amino acids that are present in circulation. A strong case has also been made for the muscle cell having difficulty in up-taking leucine, and lysine as well.


Preliminary research, primarily by Doctor Robert Wolfe, is indicating the ability of leucine-fortified amino acid blends at overcoming anabolic resistance. Research published in 2012 in The Journal of Physiology showed that a tiny 6.25 gram dose of whey protein fortified with leucine, triggered as much muscle protein synthesis as 25 grams of whey protein, which was a fascinating finding. This suggests that if the occasional meal is low in quality protein, a leucine dose might make up the difference. However, it is best stick to complete whey protein supplements, at proper dosages, until further research is undertaken on this subject, as one study can never re-write the book on anything—it needs to be contemplated, hypothesized, reassessed and scrutinised before it can be etched in scientific stone.