February 6, 2016

Branched-Chain Amino Acids

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How does Branched-chain Amino Acids work?

Branched-chain amino acids stimulate the building of protein in muscle and possibly reduce muscle breakdown. Branched-chain amino acids seem to prevent faulty message transmission in the brain cells of people with advanced liver disease, mania, tardive dyskinesia, and anorexia.

Are there safety concerns?

Branched-chain amino acids appear to be safe for most people when used for up to 6 months. Some side effects are known to occur, such as fatigue and loss of coordination. Branched-chain amino acids should be used cautiously before or during activities where performance depends on motor coordination, such as driving.

Do not take branched-chain amino acids if:
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You drink alcohol excessively.
  • You have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease). Use of branched-chain amino acids has led to lung failure and higher death rates in people with ALS.
  • You have a disorder known as branched-chain keto aciduria. Use of branched-chain amino acids have been known to cause seizures and other mental effects in people with this disorder.
  • You have diabetes.
  • You are scheduled for surgery in the next two weeks.

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