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Leucine Improves Blood Sugar Regulation

Brian Turner

Posted on June 01 2016

Leucine is an amino acid and an important regulator of protein synthesis. Feeding leucine triggers the mTOR pathway, which stimulates muscle protein synthesis and muscle growth. This amino acid is also important for regulating blood sugar. Combining leucine with glucose helps reduce blood sugar levels by balancing the secretion of insulin, which decreases blood glucose, and the hormone glucagon, which increases glucose levels. Increasing leucine in the blood for prolonged periods has a dampening effect on insulin. A Chinese study found that the suppressing effect of leucine on insulin decreased when blood leucine levels were reduced. The take-home message is that leucine is an important supplement for moderating blood sugar responses to diet.

References:

(Molecular Medicine Reports, published online April 8, 2014)