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Help control weight with BCAAs

Amino acids are essential to life and are the building blocks of protein in the body. Doctors believe that three amino acids in particular, leucine, isoleucine and valine—known as branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)—help control weight.

Researchers in a study measured the diets of 4,429 Asian, European and U.S. men and women, aged 40 to 59, who were free of diabetes. Compared to those with the least BCAAs in the diet, those with the highest levels were 30 percent less likely to be obese.

According to the doctors, leucine stimulates the anti-hunger hormone leptin and promotes insulin secretion, lowering blood sugar. Isoleucine stabilizes and regulates blood sugar and, together with valine, helps repair muscle tissue and increase energy.

BCAAs are found in many protein based foods. Just one serving of whey providing 25g of protein contains about 5.5g of BCAAs, estimated to be the average daily requirement for adults.

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