Define Leucine

Leucine is a type of amino acids which is received through the hydrolysis of most common proteins. The first amino acids that were discovered in the wool and muscle fibre, leucine amino acids, were discovered in large proportions in haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying red pigment blood cells. This substance is among the several so-called amino acids for fowls, rats, and human beings who cannot synthesize it but obtain it from dietary sources. On the other hand, this leucine amino acid in microorganisms and plants is synthesized from pyruvic acid, a product breakdown from carbohydrates. When the hydrolysis of dietary proteins takes place, it forms a white crystalline form of amino acid with a chemical formula C6H13NO2


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State About Leucine and Isoleucine 

The 20 naturally existing amino acids in the human body contain leucine and isoleucine. Structurally, both these amino acids are very much alike, but there are slight differences observed in their physiological properties. Leucine isoleucine, both the amino acids, are aliphatic and non-polar, with four carbon chains arising from the basic amino acid structure. The skeletal structure of leucine isoleucine looks very much similar. These two contain the same carboxyl and amino functional groups with the same size, but their side chain layout is distinct. These are a perfect example of structural isomers, where the carbon atoms occupy different positions. 


Solved Questions and Answers


I. Explain the Three Branched-Chain Amino Acids with Reference to Leucine Isoleucine Valine? 

Ans. The branched-chain amino acids consist of a group of three essentials known as the leucine isoleucine valine. These three amino acids are often grouped together because they have a chain that branches off to one side. These three branched-chain amino acids constitute 35% of human muscle protein and 40% of preformed amino acids needed by mammals in a combined quantity. In plants, the synthesis of BCCA takes place in every location within the plastids of the cells and are determined by the presence of mRNAs encoding enzymes in the metabolic pathways. The BCCAs contribute to both metabolic and physiological functions. The metabolic functions include protein synthesis and turnover, metabolism of glucose, and signalling of the pathways. For the physiological part, these contribute to brain function and the immune system. 


II. How Acetyl Leucine is Used in the Treatment Process?

Ans. Acetyl leucine is a type of modified amino acids. With the advance in medical sciences, this amino acid has been found effective in the treatment procedure of several diseases. The standard treatment procedures include vertigo, dizziness, and cerebellar ataxia. A company called IntraBio is looking for possible ways to include this amino acid in the cure of several neurological disorders. Some clinical trials using acetyl leucine are on-process for treatments like three orphan, fatal, and neurodegenerative disorders. It is also considered for some commonly inherited and acquired neurological diseases such as migraine, restless leg syndrome, lewy body dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis. 


III. What is the Role of Leucine Protein Supplements in the Body? 

Ans. Today, many dietary supplements are based on the leucine protein that is found to degenerate the muscle tissues and improve the synthesis of muscle proteins. This synthesis of muscle protein is responsible for the building of the tissues in the body. Hence, diets need to be optimized with leucine proteins which can further boost muscle growth and repair. This mainly depends on how much leucine your protein contains. There are many healthy sources of leucine obtained from food like whey protein, soy protein, pea protein, soybeans, beef, hemp, and fish sources. 


IV. Role of Leucine in the Human Body?

Ans: The general function of the leucine in the human body is to regulate the muscle structure. It mainly contributes to protein synthesis and protein breakdown, especially in the muscle tissue recovering the damage from physical trauma. Some other functions involve increasing the level of insulin in the blood. It is vital for regulating the blood sugar level involving gluconeogenesis in the liver. This helps the muscle and body to heal. 


Did You Know? 

Having leucine amino acids in the diets can improve the conditions of ones detected with pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome. This improved insulin sensitivity and the overall metabolism of substances like sugar and fat. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Explain Leucine Bodybuilding in Details?

Ans: Leucine bodybuilding refers to the contribution of leucine that is beneficial for muscle growth and development. After a strenuous workout or exercise, leucine helps in the recovery of the body muscles. These are well known for reducing overall tiredness. Even scientists couldn't deny the role of leucine in the process of muscle building and repairs. Reports claimed by the National Institutes of Health, BCAA and leucine supplements are vital in increasing muscle mass with strength training practices. In older adults, it has improved muscle strength, especially the ones suffering from sarcopenia. Alongside, protein synthesis has also improved to a reasonable extent. Apart from muscle development, leucine supplements play a significant role in weight management. The major success of a high protein diet may be the role of leucine in regulating blood sugar. 

2. What are Some of the Best Leucine Plant Based Sources?

Ans: We already know that leucine plays an important role in the body's protein building blocks. It can be obtained through both plant and animal-based sources. However, the ones looking for a leucine vegan diet might find it challenging to have animal-based ones. Here we are providing some of the best leucine plant oriented sources. 


  • Quinoa: A leucine vegan like quinoa contains all the amino acids essential for the functioning of the body. It also has other nutrients like magnesium, iron, and vitamin B. 

  • Soy Beans: The widely vegan soya is a rich source of protein like leucine. Try to have the dry roasted soya higher in protein and lower in sugar. 

  • Oats: If you love having your morning porridge, you will probably be having a diet rich in leucine. This is why bodybuilders and athletes prefer oats in their diet. 

  • Vegan Protein Powder: If you think getting leucine from food is difficult, turn to supplements like vegan protein powder. It mainly has hemp seeds which are a good source of leucine.