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BCAA

Three of the essential amino acids, leucine, isoleucine and valine, are called branched-chain amino acids (BCAA). They're considered nutritionally essential because they can't be created by the human body. These nutrients are obtained from food such as meat, legumes and dairy products, and they're very popular among strength trainers and athletes, in addition to having specific medical uses.

Since it may not be possible to get adequate quantities of BCAAs in one's diet, there are branched chain amino acids supplements that can help supply the body with the BCAAs it needs for optimal health. All Star Health offers a wide selection of branch-chain amino acids from leading dietary supplement manufacturers.

Health Benefits of Branched-Chain Amino Acids

Branched-chain amino acids provide several important health benefits. This is a popular supplement for athletes and bodybuilders because it has anti-catabolic properties. In other words, BCAAs help prevent the breakdown of muscle for energy (1), acting as a fuel source for skeletal muscle when there's stress or trauma, while it encourages the synthesis of protein. BCAAs have also been studied for their usefulness in treating severe burns, trauma and sepsis (2).

Branched-chain amino acids have also been used to treat conditions such as ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, brain conditions caused by liver disease and to slow down the wasting of muscles in those who are bedridden. BCAAs are also used by some to boost concentration and prevent fatigue (3).

How to Use Branched-Chain Amino Acids Supplements

BCAA supplements are available in tablets, caplets and powders. Use them as directed and consult your physician before starting to take a BCAA supplement.

Side Effects and Cautions:

Note these cautions and possible side effects before taking BCAAs:

  • BCAA supplements should not be taken by women who are pregnant or nursing, or by anyone with a serious condition such as one involving the liver or kidneys.
  • Do not consume along with alcohol.
  • Take care when taking along with anti-depressants and consult your doctor before combining with this type of medication.

References:

  • 1. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2007 Dec;17(6):595-607.
  • 2. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1991 May-Jun;15(3):252-61.
  • 3. WebMD, Branched-Chain Amino Acids Overview.
 

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