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L-Leucine Benefits, Uses, Side Effects and Functions

Discover the Function, Sources and Benefits of the Health Supplement Ingredient L-Leucine or 2-Amino-4-Methylpentanoic Acid

Leucine – also known as L-leucine and by its scientific name, 2-amino-4-methylpentanoic acid – is a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA). Because the human body cannot synthesize this essential amino acid, it must be obtained from food sources such as meat, dairy products and legumes. L-leucine is also available in natural dietary supplements, including health and bodybuilding supplements such as Ana-GH, DBol-GH, Cut and Ripped Plus, Amino Shooter and Chocolate Whey Protein.

Functions of L-Leucine

Branched-chain amino acids like L-leucine stimulate protein synthesis by triggering pancreatic islet cells to release insulin. This protein synthesis primarily takes place in skeletal muscle, but also occurs to a lesser extent in the liver and adipose (fat) tissue. It is believed that L-leucine may help prevent or reduce muscle damage, enhance anabolic muscle signaling, lower blood-glucose levels and avoid faulty message transmission in the brain cells of people with certain diseases. It may also decrease serotonin production by blocking tryptophan transport to the brain, thereby reducing feelings of drowsiness and fatigue.

Sources of L-Leucine

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), common dietary sources of L-leucine include beef, pork, fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, cheese and milk. Legumes are another good source – particularly beans, soy and peanuts – as are nuts and seeds (such as almonds and sunflower seeds) and grains (like wheat germ, oats, corn and rice). L-leucine may also be consumed directly as part of a natural dietary supplement.

Leucine Benefits and Uses

Because of L-leucine’s role in protein synthesis, it is often used in health and bodybuilding supplements that are designed to build muscle strength, increase exercise endurance, reduce muscle breakdown and promote muscle recovery. Its ability to inhibit serotonin production means that L-leucine may help prevent or delay fatigue during exercise. L-leucine has also been shown to stimulate the appetite – making it useful for athletes looking to gain mass and weight.

In addition, L-leucine appears to benefit individuals with specific medical conditions. For example, it may help to lower blood-glucose levels in diabetics, and it can improve the health and nutrition of patients experiencing loss of appetite due to hemodialysis, cancer treatments or anorexia. L-leucine has also been shown to diminish symptoms in manic patients, reduce involuntary movements in individuals with tardive dyskinesia, and improve muscle control and brain function in patients with advanced liver disease, including various forms of hepatic encephalopathy.

Side Effects of L-Leucine and Potential Interactions

L-leucine is generally considered safe when taken in normal doses, such as those found in food and most dietary supplements. However, excessive amounts can result in hypoglycemia or vitamin B3 and B6 deficiencies. Users are advised to adhere to supplement dosing information and avoid consuming more than 39 grams of L-leucine per day.

Few L-leucine side effects have been recorded, though some users have reported experiencing fatigue or decreased motor coordination. Individuals with certain medical conditions – including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease), isovaleric acidemia, branched-chain ketoaciduria (maple syrup urine disease) and chronic alcoholism – should avoid L-leucine, as it can pose health risks in these patients. In terms of L-leucine interactions, it appears to decrease the effectiveness of levodopa. Conversely, it can have an additive effect when taken with diabetes medication, potentially resulting in hypoglycemia. Other medications – such as Diazoxide and corticosteroids – can decrease the effects of L-leucine on protein, while thyroid hormone medication can cause the body to break down L-leucine more slowly.

More detailed safety information on L-leucine side effects and interactions can be found on WebMD. As with any medication or health supplement, it is best to consult your physician before taking dietary supplements containing L-leucine.

L-Leucine Research and Studies

Scientists have researched L-leucine and other BCAAs to determine their benefits and practical uses, and numerous studies have indicated a positive effect on muscle strength, exercise endurance and muscle recovery. An article published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology reported that outrigger canoeists using leucine supplements displayed significantly improved endurance performance and upper-body power. In Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, researchers noted that well-trained male cyclists who took a leucine-protein supplement after intense training subsequently exhibited improved high-intensity endurance performance and lower perceived levels of tiredness. And according to the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, resistance-trained males who consumed an energy drink with leucine (and other key ingredients) prior to their workout demonstrated a significant increase in the number of repetitions successfully performed.

Other studies examined the impact of L-leucine on protein synthesis. Research findings published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that increasing the concentration of leucine in an essential amino acid supplement consumed during steady-state exercise resulted in a greater muscle protein synthesis response during recovery. And in The Journal of Nutrition, researchers determined that insulin and leucine work in synergy, allowing skeletal muscles to coordinate protein synthesis with physiological state and dietary intake.

For additional research related to L-leucine, refer to the PubMed site sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

HGH.com Supplements With L-Leucine
Athletes, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts who wish to leverage the positive effects of L-leucine can find this essential amino acid in a variety of natural health and bodybuilding supplements from HGH.com:

Ana-GH – Each serving of Ana-GH contains 1.5 grams of L-leucine, which is blended with other branched-chain amino acids and active ingredients. This supplement is designed to jumpstart bulking cycles by promoting weight and mass gains while improving protein synthesis and contributing to joint and muscle repair.

Cut and Ripped Plus – Created to support cutting cycles and contest prep, Cut and Ripped Plus combines L-leucine with other active ingredients to help build muscle, increase strength and burn fat for a competition-ready physique. The capsules also help to boost energy and stamina, minimize pain, promote faster recovery and raise human growth hormone (HGH) levels.

DBol-GH – The proprietary blend of ingredients in DBol-GH includes L-leucine, which helps users to achieve lean mass and muscle growth, and also aids in muscle recovery. DBol-GH’s active ingredients are designed to stack and work together, delivering visible results and increasing HGH production.

Amino Shooter and Creatine Energy – Formulated to mix easily with cold water, Amino Shooter is used during intense workouts to protect and grow muscle. A single serving contains 3 grams of L-leucine, which supports protein synthesis and reduces muscle degradation.

Multi-Pro Chocolate Whey Protein – Each scoop of Multi-Pro Chocolate Whey provides 24 grams of protein and includes 2.16 grams of L-leucine. Fortified with vitamins and minerals, it provides a complete protein supplement for those looking to gain muscle and lose body fat.


References (Function, Sources, Benefits/Uses and Side Effects/Interactions):

Bruno, Gene. “A Primer on Branched Chain Amino Acids”; Smart Supplementation, published by Huntington College of Health Sciences; 2009. <http://www.hchs.edu/literature/BCAA.pdf>

Deuster, Patricia; Maier, Steven; et al. “Protein and Amino Acids Products – Branched Chain Amino Acids: Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine”; Dietary Supplements and Military Divers: A Synopsis for Undersea Medical Officers, published by Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; January 2004. <http://hprc-online.org/dietary-supplements/files/DietarySupplementUMO.pdf>

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “Leucine”; published under “About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products” within Integrative Medicine area of website; last updated February 21, 2013. <http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/leucine>

USDA Agricultural Research Service. “Leucine” search results in the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference; accessed July 30, 2014. <http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/nutrients/index>

WebMD and Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. “Branched Chain Amino Acids”; published under “Vitamins & Supplements”; accessed July 30, 2014. <http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1005-BRANCHED-CHAIN+AMINO+ACIDS.aspx?activeIngredientId=1005&activeIngredientName=BRANCHED-CHAIN+AMINO+ACIDS>

Research Sources:

Crowe, Melissa J.; Weatherson, Jarrad N.; and Bowden, Bruce F. “Effects of Dietary Leucine Supplementation on Exercise Performance”; European Journal of Applied Physiology; August 2006. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16265600>

Gonzalez, Adam M.; Walsh, Allyson L.; et al. “Effect of a Pre-Workout Energy Supplement on Acute Multi-Joint Resistance Exercise”; Journal of Sports Science & Medicine; June 2011. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24149870>

Norton, Layne E. and Layman, Donald K. “Branched-Chain Amino Acids in Exercise: Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise”; The Journal of Nutrition; February 2006. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16424142>

Pasiakos, Stefan M.; McClung, Holly L.; et al. “Leucine-Enriched Essential Amino Acid Supplementation During Moderate Steady State Exercise Enhances Postexercise Muscle Protein Synthesis”; The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; September 2011. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21775557>

Thomson, Jasmine S.; Ali, Ajmol; and Rowlands, David S. “Leucine-Protein Supplemented Recovery Feeding Enhances Subsequent Cycling Performance in Well-Trained Men”; Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism; April 2011. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21609286>




Beta-Ecdysterone Benefits, Uses, Side Effects and Functions

Function, Sources and Benefits of the Health Supplement Ingredient Beta-Ecdysterone, or 20-Hydroxyecdysone

Beta-ecdysterone – also known as 20-hydroxyecdysone, beta-ecdysone and 20-hydroxy-beta-ecdysterone – is a phytoecdysteroid, or plant-derived ecdysteroid. Ecdysterone is present within arthropods (insects and marine invertebrates) as well as various plants and fungi. The plant-based version of beta-ecdysterone is used as an ingredient in natural health and bodybuilding supplements, such as DBol-GH.

Functions of Beta-Ecdysterone

In arthropods, ecdysterone controls molting and metamorphosis. It is believed that plants produce phytoecdysteroids as a natural defense against plant-eating insects, as they can cause premature molting and other metabolic damage. Plant-derived beta-ecdysterone is structurally similar to testosterone and has been shown to affect steroid receptors in animal tests. These anabolic properties have led to its use in health and bodybuilding supplements.

Sources of Beta-Ecdysterone

While ecdysterone is naturally produced in insects, crabs and other arthropods, the type most commonly consumed by humans is extracted from plants and taken in capsule form as a natural dietary supplement. Among the many plants that contain beta-ecdysterone are Suma (Hebanthe Eriantha, also known as Brazilian Ginseng), Maral Root (Rhaponticum Carthamoides), Leuzea (Leuzea Carthamoides), Ox Knee (Achyranthes Bidentata), Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia), Serratula (Serratula Coronata) and Cyanotis Vaga.

Beta-Ecdysterone Benefits and Uses

Animal studies have shown that phytoecdysteroids play a role in protein biosynthesis; these anabolic properties suggest they may have a positive impact on human metabolism. Accordingly, beta-ecdysterone is primarily used in health and bodybuilding supplements to help increase muscle mass, enhance muscle definition, reduce body fat and improve athletic performance. Research has also indicated that beta-ecdysterone may provide other health benefits, such as protecting the cardiovascular system, suppressing degenerative diseases, improving glucose metabolism, supporting wound healing, enhancing skin condition and preventing oxidative damage to human lens epithelial cells.

Side Effects of Beta-Ecdysterone and Potential Interactions

At present, there do not appear to be any known side effects or potential interactions associated with beta-ecdysterone. However, as with any medication or health supplement, it is best to consult your physician before taking supplements containing beta-ecdysterone.

Beta-Ecdysterone Research and Studies

Numerous studies have been conducted concerning the benefits of beta-ecdysterone. Among those cited in support of its use as a bodybuilding supplement is a study by Russian researchers published in Eksperimental’naia i Klinicheskaia Farmakologiia, which found that beta-ecdysterone contributed to muscle mass increases while reducing body fat content in human subjects. Another report published by Czech scientists in Experientia indicated that beta-ecdysterone consumed by Japanese quail resulted in a 115% increase in body mass. And Diabetes, A Journal of The American Diabetes Association, reported an animal study showing that beta-ecdysterone resulted in lower body weight, improved glucose metabolism and enhanced muscle insulin signaling.

Additional benefits have emerged following international research into the use of beta-ecdysterone. Czech researchers discussed the positive biological effects of beta-ecdysterone in Natural Product Communications, theorizing that the substance has the potential to protect organisms from degenerative diseases, suppress neurodegenerative processes and protect the cardiovascular system. Menopause, The Journal of the North American Menopause Society, featured an animal study that suggested beta-ecdysterone could improve skin condition in postmenopausal women. And the International Journal of Ophthalmology published a Chinese study on senile cataracts, which found that beta-ecdysterone could inhibit oxidative damage in human lens epithelial cells

For additional research related to ecdysterone, refer to the PubMed site sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

HGH.com Supplements With Beta-Ecdysterone

Those seeking to leverage the anabolic effects of beta-ecdysterone can find this plant-based ecdysteroid in a popular natural health and bodybuilding supplement from HGH.com:

DBol-GH – Beta-ecdysterone (20-Hydroxyecdysone) is a featured ingredient within the proprietary blend content of DBol-GH, which is formulated to increase human growth hormone (HGH) levels, build muscle and increase lean mass. The active ingredients in DBol-GH capsules are designed to stack and work together, making it a popular choice among athletes and bodybuilders seeking visible results.

References (Function, Sources, Benefits/Uses and Side Effects/Interactions):

Bruno, Gene. “20-Hydroxyecdysone: The Pro-Anabolic, Plant Steroid”; Smart Supplementation, published by Huntington College of Health Sciences; 2001. <http://www.hchs.edu/literature/20-Hyroxyecdysone.pdf>

Deuster, Patricia; Maier, Steven; et al. “Testosterone Enhancers: Ecdysterone (20-Beta-Hydroxyecdysterone)”; Dietary Supplements and Military Divers: A Synopsis for Undersea Medical Officers, published by Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; January 2004. <http://hprc-online.org/dietary-supplements/files/DietarySupplementUMO.pdf>

Freedman, Lisa. “Beta-Ecdysterone” in “Supplement Guide: A-Z”; Men’s Fitness website; accessed July 23, 2014. <http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/supplements/beta-ecdysterone>

Research Sources:

Cahlíková, Lucie; Macáková, KateĊ™ina. “Ecdysterone and its activity on some degenerative diseases”; Natural Product Communications; May 2011. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21615037>

Ehrhardt, Caroline; Wessels, Johannes T.; et al. “The Effects of 20-Hydroxyecdysone and 17β-Estradiol on the Skin of Ovariectomized Rats”; Menopause; March 2011. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21030883>




How DBOL-GH Will Help You Gain Muscle Fast | HGH's Newest Anabolic Muscle Builder

 
DBOL-GH is quickly becoming a hot item at hgh.com. One of our newest supplements to hit the market, it's another successful formula that is taking the bodybuilding world by storm.

We blogged about it here: http://blog.hgh.com/2013/09/dbol-gh-growth-hormone-supplement-now.html, DBOL is mixed with many different growth factors and ingredients that are rare to the supplement world, specifically Beta-Ecdysterone and Bovine Colostrum. 

 
Beta-Ecdysterone is a Pro-Anabolic plant steroid that is hard to find in supplements. It can be a very successful supplement when trying to build muscle that has a lot of proven science backing it up. You can read more about the science athttp://www.hgh.com/20-Hyroxyecdysone.pdf.

Bovine Colostrum  is not only formulated to give you added lean muscle mass, but also an immunity booster. Also with a lot of science behind it, Bovine Colostrum has been used by many professional bodybuilders looking to add lean mass.

With these two ingredients alone, DBOL-GH is a must add bodybuilding supplement to every serious bodybuilder or person looking to gain muscle mass. Full ingredients for DBOL-GH include:

IngredientAmount Per ServingMeasure% of DV
Proprietary Blend 2925 mg  
Proprietary Blend Content:
Beta-Ecdysterone (20-Hydroxyecdysone)
Inosine
HICA
L-Leucine
L-Isoleucine
Calcium HMB (Calcium beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate)
L-Valine
Bovine Colostrum



DBOL-GH Growth Hormone Supplement Now at HGH.com | DBOL-GH HGH.com Review

DBOL-GH is the newest Muscle Building Supplement to hit HGH.com. Mixed with different growth factors and hard to find ingredients, DBOL-GH is one of a kind and hard to find valuable supplement that should be a part of your daily intake for building muscle.

Let's review some of the ingredients in DBOL-GH and how the ingredients of DBOL-GH will help you build muscle, add mass, and act as a natural anabolic muscle supplement.

  1. Beta-Ecdysterone:  We are especially excited about this ingredient. Beta-Ecdysterone is a Pro-Anabolic plant steroid that is not commonly found in many supplements, but can be very effective in the bodybuilding supplement arena. It's, of course, a natural, safe, and legal ingredient. Beta-Ecdysterone has the science behind it that proves it will increase body mass.
    For more detailed information, you can read our press release (http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/9/prweb11111280.htm) as well as a study here: http://www.hgh.com/20-Hyroxyecdysone.pdf
  2. Inosine: Inosine is classified as a nucleoside and is a precursor to an important energy molecule adenosine which plays many supportive roles in the body including releasing insulin and participating in oxygen metabolism and protein synthesis. Not to get too technical, Inosine has been linked to Increased energy levels, improved endurance and performance, enhanced ATP production, increased oxygen delivery, and reduced lactic acid accumulation.
  3. L-Leucine and HICA: L-Leucine is common and critical amino for muscle-building. Reviewed many times by me and included in many of our muscle builders, L-Leucine is crucial for bodybuilding because it is by far the most anabolic. Leucine is 10 times more anabolic than any other amino acid. Like other branch amino's, it is metabolized in our muscles rather than directly in the liver.  
  4. HICA is a metabolite of Leucine which aides in metabolizing and reaching the maximum potentional of the effects of Leucine, since Leucine doesn't contain HICA in itself. Since HICA can build up, it can provide a pool of leucine for post-workout recovery and cell signaling. 
  5. Calcium HMB: Calcium HMB may also have a positive affect on protein synthesis. During resistance training, calcium beta-HMB has been reported to reduce muscle catabolism, promote fat loss, increase strength and fat-free mass in athletic and nonathletic populations. 
  6. L-Valine: LV is another branched-chain amino acid found in high concentration in the muscles. It cannot be made by the body alone, and thus must be acquired through food or dietary supplements. It has a stimulating effect and is needed for muscle metabolism - Building Muscle, repairing muscle, and growth of muscle tissue, and maintaining the nitrogen balance in the body. Since it is a branched-chain amino acid, it can be used as an energy source in the muscles, and in doing so preserves the use of glucose.
  7. L-Isoleucine: L-Isoleucine will help increase endurance and help repair muscle tissue fast. During your lifting cycles, while you're tearing up your muscles, an intake of L-Isoleucine is best known for repairing and healing the muscle tissue to help it fully recover after intense exercise. It's also then literally broken down within your muscles to help increase your energy levels. You cannot eat enough foods to get enough L-Isoleucine, which is why it's best acquired thru supplements. L-Isoleucine also helps in the regulation of blood sugar.
  8. Bovine Colostrum: Increased Lean Mass and Immunity Booster. Bovine Colostrum has a lot of hype surrounding it currently. It contains a lot of growth factors. It's used in baby cows to put on nearly 100 pounds of mass; which is why it is appealing to many bodybuilders. There are many studies surrounding the benefits that Bovine Colostrum has for bodybuilders and people looking to add lean mass. In addition to its natural ability to add mass and muscle, Bovine Colostrum also helps regenerate and improve growth of aged or injured muscle, bone, cartilage, and skin collagen. This is a benefit to any adult, but especially appealing to the people over 40.






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