Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 155–163

Impact of leucine on energy balance

  • Liam McAllan
  • Paul D. Cotter
  • Helen M. Roche
  • Riitta Korpela
  • Kanishka N. Nilaweera
Review

DOI: 10.1007/s13105-012-0170-2

Cite this article as:
McAllan, L., Cotter, P.D., Roche, H.M. et al. J Physiol Biochem (2013) 69: 155. doi:10.1007/s13105-012-0170-2

Abstract

Body weight is determined by the balance between energy intake and energy expenditure. When energy intake exceeds energy expenditure, the surplus energy is stored as fat in the adipose tissue, which causes its expansion and may even lead to the development of obesity. Thus, there is a growing interest to develop dietary interventions that could reduce the current obesity epidemic. In this regard, data from a number of in vivo and in vitro studies suggest that the branched-chain amino acid leucine influences energy balance. However, this has not been consistently reported. Here, we review the literature related to the effects of leucine on energy intake, energy expenditure and lipid metabolism as well as its effects on the cellular activity in the brain (hypothalamus) and in peripheral tissues (gastro-intestinal tract, adipose tissue, liver and muscle) regulating the above physiological processes. Moreover, we discuss how obesity may influence the actions of this amino acid.

Keywords

Cholecystokinin Fatty acid synthase Glucagon-like peptide-1 Pro-opiomelanocortin 

Copyright information

© University of Navarra 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liam McAllan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paul D. Cotter
    • 1
    • 3
  • Helen M. Roche
    • 4
  • Riitta Korpela
    • 5
  • Kanishka N. Nilaweera
    • 1
  1. 1.Teagasc Food Research CentreCorkIreland
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology and TherapeuticsUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  3. 3.Alimentary Pharmabiotic CentreUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  4. 4.UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular & Biomedical Research, & UCD Institute of Food & HealthUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  5. 5.Institute of Biomedicine, Biomedicum HelsinkiUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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