BCAAs have been playing an extremely vital role pertaining to human health.
Especially when it comes to active individuals, like athletes, sportspersons.
BCAAs are beneficial in preventing several health issues and boost your metabolism, immunity, energy, and performance.
What are BCAAs?
All 20 Amino acids, as we know are the main components of protein molecules, are classified into three types according to their source of availability.
Non-essential amino acids
Essential amino acids
Conditional amino acids
Non-essential amino acids are those amino acids which are present in the human body, hence they are not essentially required to be taken from any external source.
Conditional amino acids are generally not essential, except in certain cases of illness.
While essential amino acids are those that are not produced within your body and need to be consumed externally through your food or dietary supplements.
Out of the total 9 EAAs, three are the BCAAs which differ in their chemical structure, and hence represent a special group called Branched-chain amino acids.
A unique aliphatic side-chain with a branch makes their identity totally unique and are the only three in number with a chain that is one-sidedly forked off.
Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine are the three Branched-chain amino acids that we will be focusing on throughout the article.
As prompted by messenger RNAs that codify the metabolic pathway, BCAA’s production occurs in all the plants, within the cell.
How Do BCAAs Help in Maintaining a Good Health?
Branched-chain amino acids are extremely beneficial for human health. Apart from its use in muscle growth and improved stamina, it is beneficial in helping prevent some more health-related issues.
It is popular with bodybuilders/athletes/sportspersons or any active individuals who have to deal with extreme exhaustion and tiredness. It prevents this concept of muscle fatigue.
It works great for patients suffering from liver disorders, especially liver cirrhosis.
Not only does BCAA help in reducing the probability of getting the disease, but also, it helps improve muscle strength among the patients having liver cirrhosis.
Helps in disease detection. Increased levels of branched-chain amino acids indicate the existence of diseases like Diabetes, Heart diseases.
What is Metabolism? And How Does It Help You?
Metabolism is the chemical reactions that take place in living organisms.
The goal is to convert the consumed metabolic nutrition into energy that is required for cell mechanics, also converting the food.
Into the keystones for the foundation of compounds like lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids.
Similarly, they are also important in many functions like digestion and removal of metabolic waste.
The chemical reactions are catalyzed through enzyme reactions that help in an organism’s growth and reproduction; their structure built.
In simple language, metabolism is the total of all the reactions that take place within an organism to keep it functioning properly.
Metabolic reactions are further classified into two categories, Catabolic and Anabolic metabolisms.
Catabolic metabolism refers to the breaking done of compounds, while, anabolic metabolism is the building or production of the compounds.
a distinctive point of difference between the two is that energy is released in catabolic activities, while, it’s consumed in anabolic activities.
Metabolism and BCAA
All the three BCAAs have common pathways and indications, hence there is not much to differentiate in the effects they cause. But let’s discuss an overall BCAA’s role in boost metabolism.
Amino acids, when ordered in a linear chain-like structure, bonded together by peptide bonds, form Proteins. Many of those proteins function as an enzyme that catalyzes the chemical reactions in an increase in metabolism.
Another important role of amino acids is their contribution to cellular energy metabolism.
They provide a catalytic source when cells undergo increased metabolism. When we refer to the citric acid cycle, the amino acids provide the source of carbon to perform the process.
Another phenomenal fact is that most of the animal, microbes, or plant’s structures, consists of four important components, amino acids, carbohydrates, nucleic acid, and lipids.
As evident from this fact, these four main components are vital for life on earth, the overall metabolic nutrition activities that take place, either focuses on their synthesis or breaking down.
When they are broken down by the help of their digestion they are used as a source of energy. This gives a brief account of how amino acids and proteins are important to boost metabolism.
BCAAs, valine, leucine, and isoleucine, have been studied for their role in various disorders like liver cirrhosis, renal failure, sepsis, trauma, and cancer.
BCAA metabolic nutrition promotes anabolic pathways and helps reduce muscle fatigue, stimulate insulin production, help in healing wounds faster, prevent some disorders.
They also can be a better option for a metabolic nutrition supplement.
BCAAs and Protein Metabolism
Protein metabolism is the term used for the various biochemical processes involved in protein synthesis and anabolism, also the breakdown of proteins by catabolism.
The three steps in protein synthesis include transcription, translation, and post-translational modifications. With the above three steps, we can generate protein molecules within a cell.
Amino acid synthesis involves a system that produces amino acids from carbon sources like glucose.
Transcription is the process by which mRNA copy is transcribed from DNA.
The translation is the step where the amino acids are assembled in a particular order as per the genetic code.
While, Post translation involves the rest procedures of proteolysis, post-translational modification, and protein folding of the newly formed protein.
The cell’s DNA carries the instructions for protein synthesis in the form of genes. Gene are used to build the proteins with the help of two important steps, Transcription and Translation.
BCAAs And Glucose Metabolism
There is a close association between BCAAs and plasma glucose levels. It’s a known fact now that BCAAs upregulate glucose metabolism transporters and activate insulin secretion.
However, several studies have suggested that excessive intake of amino acids could lead to repression of insulin signals.
Studies have suggested differential effects of each BCAA on glucose metabolism and that BCAAs may induce insulin resistance through mTOR activation.
Further investigation is important to understand variable report statistics, right from improving glucose metabolism to inducing insulin resistance.