Impact of leucine on energy balance
L. McAllan; P. D. Cotter; H. M. Roche; R. Korpela; K. N. Nilaweera
Year of publication
J Physiol Biochem
Body weight is determined by the balance between energy intake and energy expenditure. When energy intake exceeds energy expenditure, the surplus energy is stored as fat in the adipose tissue, which causes its expansion and may even lead to the development of obesity. Thus, there is a growing interest to develop dietary interventions that could reduce the current obesity epidemic. In this regard, data from a number of in vivo and in vitro studies suggest that the branched-chain amino acid leucine influences energy balance. However, this has not been consistently reported. Here, we review the literature related to the effects of leucine on energy intake, energy expenditure and lipid metabolism as well as its effects on the cellular activity in the brain (hypothalamus) and in peripheral tissues (gastro-intestinal tract, adipose tissue, liver and muscle) regulating the above physiological processes. Moreover, we discuss how obesity may influence the actions of this amino acid.