You are currently viewing BCAA offers mobility and mental health benefits for T2D patients

BCAA offers mobility and mental health benefits for T2D patients

A six-month pilot study compared BCAA supplementation with soy protein intake to assess the effects of amino acid intake on physical (muscle) strength and mental health parameters.

BCAA was reported to improve knee muscle strength, although there was no change to skeletal mass, and was associated with reduced depressive states by stimulating production of tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin. Meanwhile, soy protein decreased serum low-density lipoprotein concentrations that led to significant improvements in muscle strength.

Writing in Nutrients​, the authors comment: “Findings could be valuable for improving muscle function and managing comorbidities in elderly individuals with T2D.”

Insufficient protein

Sarcopenia is characterized by reduced skeletal muscle mass, muscle strength, and physical performance due to insufficient dietary protein. These symptoms are exacerbated in patients with T2D where up to 20% exhibit lower knee extension strength and are at risk of accelerated decline in lower muscle strength, the authors explain.

“About 30–50% of community-dwelling elderly people consumed less than the recommended amount of protein as did the elderly with diabetes. Moreover, it is difficult for elderly people to change dietary habits to achieve the recommended dietary protein intake,”they say.

Stimulating protein synthesis through BCAA supplementation is the key to improved muscle function, as demonstrated in a number of studies and therapeutic treatment, however few studies have assessed outcomes on skeletal muscle in elderly patients with T2D.


Leave a Reply