L-leucine is an essential amino acid belonging to the branched chain amino acid combination that features a distinctive form, has an immense role in supporting athletic performance known as BCAA and is used by the body mainly for building muscle and providing energy. L-leucine is an essential amino acid, which means that it cannot be produced by the body and can only be introduced into the body by nutrition or supplementation.
Due to its role as a muscle building and energy amino acid it is extremely popular amongst athletes. L-leucine can be found in such foods as fish, chicken, and turkey. In dairy products such as yogurt and cheese and soybeans, also in eggs, nuts, and seeds. While this amino acid is extremely popular amongst active people there is no scientific evidence that can account for all of its claims.
Some of the benefits of L-leucine are improved liver function in people with deficient brain function, post exercise muscle recovery and reduction of fatigue after intense exercising. Claims that L-leucine improves liver cancer are not substantiated for there are currently not enough studies that can back up such claim. While L-leucine is sought after for improved athletic performance, in most studies oral branched chain amino acids did not enhance exercising or athletic performance.
L-leucine is possibly safe taken orally as a supplement as long as the appropriate dosage is used. The recommended dosage of L-leucine for everyday people is 50 mg per day. For those that think that more is better and tend to ignore rational suggestions, the dosage should never go over 500 mg per day. Overdose can lead to increased blood ammonia levels; therefore, causing brain damage and liver disease.
Just as with any other vitamin, mineral, or any supplementation, it is best to seek the advice of your family physician to see what is best for you and if anything you’re attempting to take will interfere with your current prescriptions.
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