It is a necessary amino acid and is not synthesized in the body. Chemically it is alpha aminoisocaproic acid. The microorganisms may synthesize this amino acid. In microorganisms it is synthesized from alpha-ketoisovaleric aicd and acetyl CoA.
Leucine can be broken down into simpler compounds by the enzymes of the body. Leucine contributes to the structure of proteins into which it has been included by the tendency of its side chain to contribute in hydrophobic interactions. Leucine was isolated from cheese in an impure form in 1819 and from muscle and wool in the crystalline state in 1820. It was named later than the Greek word leukos, evidently because at that time the purification of a substance from nature to a white, crystalline state was measured noteworthy. The structure of leucine was recognized by laboratory synthesis in 1891.
Bodybuilders and other athletes to encourage muscle recovery, although it has not created important changes in body composition, use supplements and protein powders that contain leucine extensively.
Sources of protein
It is found in protein foods, as well as brown rice, beans, nuts and whole wheat.
* Cottage cheese (dry) 4,500 mg per cup
* Poultry 3,500-8,500 mg per lb
* Peanuts, roasted w skin 4,500 mg per cup
* Sesame seeds 3,500 mg per cup
* Dry, whole lentils 3,500 mg per cup
* Cottage cheese 3,294 mg per cup
* Fish & other sea foods 1,000-10,000 mg per lb
* Meats 2,000 -8,500 mg per lb
Benefits of leucine
Leucine helps with the regulation of blood-sugar levels, the growth and repair of muscle tissue, development hormone production, wound healing as well as energy regulation. Insulin deficiency is called to result in poor utilization of leucine; therefore, individuals who suffer from glucose intolerance may need higher levels of leucine intake.
It can assist to stop the breakdown of muscle proteins that sometimes take place after trauma or severe stress.
It may also be helpful for individuals with phenylketonuria a circumstance in which the body cannot metabolize the amino acid phenylalanine
Leucine has anabolic effects, thereby preventing muscle protein breakdown and stimulating muscle protein synthesis.
Leucine, with the help of other 2 amino acids, isoleucine and valine, helps in treating and in reversing some cases of hepatic encephalopathy, a form of liver damage in alcoholics. They also help to stop muscle wasting in this disease and through their actions on brain neurotransmitters, help prevent a number of adverse neurological effects of chronic liver disease.
Leucine appears to be the most vital Branched chain amino acid for athletes, as it can affect various anabolic hormones, and have an effect on preventing protein degradation.
Deficiency symptoms of leucine
Deficiency of this nutrient is uncommon, as it is present in all the protein foods vegetarians without adequate protein sources may suffer from a deficiency.
Hypoglycemia symptoms may come into view if the diet is deficient and may contain dizziness, fatigue, headaches, irritability etc.
An inborn error in leucine metabolism can lead to maple syrup urine disease. This is generally seen in infants and outcome in retardation. This is a very rare condition, however, and is not a general concern as it relates to leucine supplementation.
Symptoms of high intake
No proof of toxicity has been known.
A high intake of leucine could contribute to pellagra as well as raise the amount of ammonia present in the body.
The daily dosage of leucine is about 16mg per kilogram of body weight per day which would translate to about 1120mg for a 70kg male.