Leucine and Weight Loss

I’ve recently been asked by a friend about the new Lysine produce being advertised on television with a 70% weight loss average due to fat loss.  Here is the information I have on a product that in test studies lost 99% of their weight from fat loss.

Being overweight or obese is the number one health issue of our day. Excess weight is associated with many diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis. Excess weight increases suffering, decreases quality of living, reduces life expectancy, and places a large burden on already burdened health care resources.1

Reversing the obesity epidemic will no doubt require advances on many fronts, including public health policy, consumer and physician education, and community engagement in supporting initiatives to help people become more active. There are literally hundreds of weight-loss programs, most of which do indeed lead to weight loss—but no attention is paid to what constitutes healthy and sustainable weight loss. Loss of water weight or muscle mass (as occurs in all programs) initially looks good on the scale, but fails in the long term to achieve the goal of permanent weight loss.

Since lean muscle mass constitutes the majority of metabolism2, loss of muscle mass is unsustainable in the long-term as metabolism will plummet along with weight loss, which leads to regaining of weight unless permanent changes in diet and lifestyle have occurred. Maintenance of lean muscle mass, therefore, is a key element of a successful weight-loss program.3

PROTEIN MAINTAINS MUSCLE MASS

Since the time of the Roman Empire, protein has been known to help build muscles. When amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) were discovered, it was clear that only certain types of amino acids led to muscle building. The branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) were found to have the most effect on maintaining muscle mass, and eventually leucine emerged as the amino acid that has unique effects on protein synthesis.4

Leucine has been shown to have the following effects helpful for weight loss:

  • Leucine inhibits the breakdown of other proteins.5
  • Leucine increases metabolism (thermogenic effect).6
  • During a low-calorie diet, consumption of leucine helps maintain lean muscle mass so that weight loss can preferentially come from fat stores.7
  • Leucine stimulates a rise in plasma leptin and helps people feel full.8

Several long-term studies in obese participants who consumed a high-soy protein/low-fat diet suggested improved body composition by losing fat and preserving muscle mass.9 Leucine supplementation combined with exercise appears to be one of the most effective way for maintaining lean muscle mass for weight loss.10

http://www.shaklee.tv/v.ihtml/player.html?source=embed&photo%5fid=10782261

CONCLUSION

Excess weight continues to be a challenging public health problem. It is clear that increased protein content of meals during a weight-loss program not only increases satiety and modulates cravings, but also is the main metabolic messenger for the synthesis and maintenance of lean muscle mass.

The majority of leucine-related literature confirms the significance of leucine as a dietary modulator of muscle maintenance that is useful for weight loss and maintenance. The leucine content of a meal may be the critical factor for determining the quantity and quality of proteins necessary at a meal for stimulation of muscle protein synthesis and/or decreased muscle breakdown, and the maintenance of lean body mass and metabolism.

For More Information:

Contact me or check out the Shaklee180 line which features Leucine and sports nutrition.


  1. Wolf AM, Colditz GA. Current estimates of the economic cost of obesity in the United States. Obes Res. 1998 Mar;6(2):97-106. PMID: 9545015.
  2. Zurlo F, Larson K, Bogardus C, Ravussin E. Skeletal muscle metabolism is a major determinant of resting energy expenditure. J Clin Invest. 1990 Nov;86(5):1423-7. PMID: 2243122.
  3. Deibert P, König D, Schmidt-Trucksaess A, et al. Weight loss without losing muscle mass in pre-obese and obese subjects induced by a high-soy-protein diet. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Oct;28(10):1349-52. PMID: 15303108.
  4. Layman DK, Walker DA. Potential importance of leucine in treatment of obesity and the metabolic syndrome. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):319S-23S. PMID: 16365106. PDF
  5. Zanchi NE, Nicastro H, Lancha AH Jr. Potential antiproteolytic effects of L-leucine: observations of in vitro and in vivo studies. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2008 Jul 17;5:20. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-5-20. PMID: 18637185. PDF
  6. Tappy L, Jéquier E, Acheson K. Thermic effect of infused amino acids in healthy humans and in subjects with insulin resistance. Am J Clin Nutr. 1993 Jun;57(6):912-6. PMID: 8503362.
  7. Churchward-Venne TA, Breen L, et al. Leucine supplementation of a low-protein mixed macronutrient beverage enhances myofibrillar protein synthesis in young men: a double-blind, randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Feb;99(2):276-86. PMID: 24284442.
  8. Lynch CJ, Gern B, Lloyd C, Hutson SM, Eicher R, Vary TC. Leucine in food mediates some of the postprandial rise in plasma leptin concentrations. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Sep;291(3):E621-30. Epub 2006 Apr 25. PMID: 16638821. PDF
  9. Deibert P, König D, Schmidt-Trucksaess A, et al. Weight loss without losing muscle mass in pre-obese and obese subjects induced by a high-soy-protein diet. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Oct;28(10):1349-52. PMID: 15303108.
  10. Westcott W, Varghese J, DiNubile N, et al. Exercise and Nutrition More Effective than Exercise Alone for Increasing Lean Weight and Reducing Resting Blood Pressure. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online. 2011, 14(4). PDF

Weight loss–From a Guy’s Perspective

I am always excited to hear good news from others and their success.  Today, I got word from a client on how he’s feeling after 2 months of coaching and using a product line we recommend. 

I wanted to share it with you.

I’m sure you already know this, but I wanted to share a revelation with you.

When I started this program, I thought to myself, "Well, I feel good… I’m just getting fat(ter)." Whether or not you feel good at the outset of the program, that doesn’t matter. You start feeling good when you tighten your belt up one notch, or when you finally wear a shirt from two Christmases ago that you refused to give away because you hoped "someday" you would fit into it again (specifically the shirt I wore last Thursday!). Absolutely none of my pants fit me anymore. The pants I’m wearing today are cinched up at least an inch and a half at the waist, and these used to fit me comfortably.

It’s about people you’ve known for years just saying something as simple as, "Wow, “sweetie”, you look really good," or "How much weight have you lost?" Stuff like that really inspires me to keep up with my program.

You feel good when you hit some bumps while driving and your belly doesn’t jiggle (as much, anyway). That’s when I realized that I was really getting way too big. It’s an awesome feeling to look in the mirror and and actually begin to see the body you fooled yourself into thinking was actually there. Looking back at pictures from a year ago, heck, 2 months ago, is amazing.

I don’t just walk anymore. I think I have a little swagger in my step. I’m confident, and I feel like I really look great. I actually walk around with my shirt off around the house again because I’m not afraid anymore that, if I bend in a certain way, my fat rolls are going to disgust my wife.

All in all, "Feeling Good Fast" isn’t about whether or not you feel healthy, necessarily, it’s about seeing and feeling actual changes in your appearance, as well as in your confidence. It’s about feeling good fast in your own skin.

 

Fat Rolls Gone - Feel Good Fast

It’s always nice to get good news early in the day, it makes me smile all day long!