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  • 1.
    Blomstrand, Eva
    Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Eva Blomstrand's research group.
    A role for branched-chain amino acids in reducing central fatigue.2006In: Journal of Nutrition, ISSN 0022-3166, E-ISSN 1541-6100, Vol. 136, no 2, p. 544S-547SArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Several factors have been identified to cause peripheral fatigue during exercise, whereas the mechanisms behind central fatigue are less well known. Changes in the brain 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) level is one factor that has been suggested to cause fatigue. The rate-limiting step in the synthesis of 5-HT is the transport of tryptophan across the blood-brain barrier. This transport is influenced by the fraction of tryptophan available for transport into the brain and the concentration of the other large neutral amino acids, including the BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, and valine), which are transported via the same carrier system. Studies in human subjects have shown that the plasma ratio of free tryptophan (unbound to albumin)/BCAAs increases and that tryptophan is taken up by the brain during endurance exercise, suggesting that this may increase the synthesis of 5-HT in the brain. Ingestion of BCAAs increases their concentration in plasma. This may reduce the uptake of tryptophan by the brain and also 5-HT synthesis and thereby delay fatigue. Accordingly, when BCAAs were supplied to human subjects during a standardized cycle ergometer exercise their ratings of perceived exertion and mental fatigue were reduced, and, during a competitive 30-km cross-country race, their performance on different cognitive tests was improved after the race. In some situations the intake of BCAAs also improves physical performance. The results also suggest that ingestion of carbohydrates during exercise delays a possible effect of BCAAs on fatigue since the brain's uptake of tryptophan is reduced.

  • 2.
    Blomstrand, Eva
    et al.
    Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Eva Blomstrand's research group.
    Eliasson, Jörgen
    Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Eva Blomstrand's research group.
    Karlsson, Håkan K R
    Köhnke, Rickard
    Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise2006In: Journal of Nutrition, ISSN 0022-3166, E-ISSN 1541-6100, Vol. 136, no 1 Suppl, p. 269S-273SArticle in journal (Refereed)
  • 3. Newsholme, Eric A
    et al.
    Blomstrand, Eva
    Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Eva Blomstrand's research group.
    Branched-chain amino acids and central fatigue.2006In: Journal of Nutrition, ISSN 0022-3166, E-ISSN 1541-6100, Vol. 136, no 1 Suppl, p. 274S-6SArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An account of the tryptophan (Trp)-5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)-central fatigue theory is provided and an explanation of how oral administration of BCAAs can decrease fatigue on the basis of this theory is given. The rate-limiting step in the synthesis of 5-HT is the transport of Trp across the blood-brain barrier. This transport is influenced by the fraction of Trp available for transport into the brain and the concentration of the other large neutral amino acids, including the BCAAs, which are transported via the same carrier system. During endurance exercise, there is an uptake of Trp by the brain, suggesting that this may increase the synthesis and release of 5-HT in the brain. Oral intake of BCAAs may reduce this uptake and also brain 5-HT synthesis and release, thereby delaying fatigue. Other hypotheses for the effect of BCAAs on central fatigue are included.

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