The leucine metabolite beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate has been used as a nutritional supplement in specific situations to prevent losing or to increase lean mass. Recent studies showed interesting results of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate supplementation in certain disease states. Better results have also been demonstrated when it is taken by starters or old individuals doing strength training. In humans, beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate has been used as an anticatabolic agent and in animal models it has been demonstrated to be effective in inhibiting the activity of the proteolytic pathways in muscle cells of extremely weak individuals in vivo and in vitro. The mechanisms that participate in this process involve: inhibition of the ATP-ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, inhibition of the signalization pathways involving protein kinase C-alpha and reduction of the cytoplasmatic concentration of free nuclear factor kappa-B, events that are associated with the reduction of proteolysis in muscle cells.
Leucine; Metabolism; Supplementary feeding