Branched-chain amino acid and branched-chain ketoacid ingestion increases muscle protein synthesis rates in vivo in older adults: a double-blind, randomized trial

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Abstract

Background: Protein ingestion increases muscle protein synthesis rates. However, limited data are currently available on the effects of branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) and branched-chain ketoacid (BCKA) ingestion on postprandial muscle protein synthesis rates.

Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the impact of ingesting 6 g BCAA, 6 g BCKA, and 30 g milk protein (MILK) on the postprandial rise in circulating amino acid concentrations and subsequent myofibrillar protein synthesis rates in older males.

Methods: In a parallel design, 45 older males (age: 71 +/- 1 y; BMI: 25.4 +/- 0.8 kg/m(2)) were randomly assigned to ingest a drink containing 6 g BCAA, 6 g BCKA, or 30 g MILK. Basal and postprandial myofibrillar protein synthesis rates were assessed by primed continuous L-[ring-C-13(6)] phenylalanine infusions with the collection of blood samples and muscle biopsies.

Results: Plasma BCAA concentrations increased following test drink ingestion in all groups, with greater increases in the BCAA and MILK groups compared with the BCKA group (P <0.05). Plasma BCKA concentrations increased following test drink ingestion in all groups, with greater increases in the BCKA group compared with the BCAA and MILK groups (P <0.05). Ingestion of MILK, BCAA, and BCKA significantly increased early myofibrillar protein synthesis rates (0-2 h) above basal rates (from 0.020 +/- 0.002%/h to 0.042 +/- 0.004%/h, 0.022 +/- 0.002%/h to 0.044 +/- 0.004%/h, and 0.023 +/- 0.003%/h to 0.044 +/- 0.004%/h, respectively; P <0.001), with no differences between groups (P > 0.05). Myofibrillar protein synthesis rates during the late postprandial phase (2-5 h) remained elevated in the MILK group (0.039 +/- 0.004%/h; P <0.001), but returned to baseline values following BCAA and BCKA ingestion (0.024 +/- 0.005%/h and 0.024 +/- 0.005%/h, respectively; P > 0.05).

Conclusions: Ingestion of 6 g BCAA, 6 g BCKA, and 30 g MILK increases myofibrillar protein synthesis rates during the early postprandial phase (0-2 h) in vivo in healthy older males. The postprandial increase following the ingestion of 6 g BCAA and BCKA is short-lived, with higher myofibrillar protein synthesis rates only being maintained following the ingestion of an equivalent amount of intact milk protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862-872
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume110
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Keywords

  • aging
  • sarcopenia
  • chronic kidney disease
  • anabolism
  • milk
  • dietary protein
  • leucine
  • alpha-ketoisocaproic acid
  • SKELETAL-MUSCLE
  • DIETARY-PROTEIN
  • HEALTHY OLDER
  • ALPHA-KETOISOCAPROATE
  • NITROGEN-METABOLISM
  • LEUCINE
  • SUPPLEMENTATION
  • STIMULATION
  • ABSORPTION
  • RESPONSES

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