Branched-chain amino acid supplementation impairs insulin sensitivity and promotes lipogenesis during exercise in diet-induced obese mice

Hongsong Zhang, Li Xiang, Mingyu Huo, Yalan Wu, Mingyang Yu, Chi Wai Lau, Danyang Tian, Lingshan Gou, Yuhong Huang, Jiang Yun Luo, Li Wang, Wencong Song, Juan Huang, Zongwei Cai, Shaoliang Chen*, Xiao Yu Tian*, Yu Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are popular dietary supplements for exercise. However, increased BCAA levels positively correlate with obesity and diabetes. The metabolic impact of BCAA supplementation on insulin sensitivity during exercise is less understood. Methods: Male C57BL/6 mice were fed for 12 weeks with a high-fat diet, normal chow diet, or BCAA-restricted high-fat diet. They were subjected to running exercise with or without BCAA treatment for another 12 weeks. Results: Exercise reduced body weight, improved insulin sensitivity, lowered BCAAs in plasma, and inhibited the upregulation of BCAAs and metabolites caused by BCAA supplementation in the subcutaneous white adipose tissue (sWAT) of obese mice. BCAA supplementation reversed insulin sensitivity ameliorated by exercise. The phosphorylation of protein kinase B (Ser473 and Ser474) was decreased by BCAAs in the sWAT of obese mice. However, BCAA supplementation had no such effects in lean mice. BCAAs also increased the expression of fatty acid synthase and other lipogenesis genes in the sWAT of exercised obese mice. BCAA restriction had no effect on body weight and insulin sensitivity in obese mice. Conclusions: BCAA supplementation impaired the beneficial effect of exercise on glycolipid metabolism in obese but not lean mice. Caution should be taken regarding the use of BCAAs for individuals with obesity who exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1205-1218
Number of pages14
JournalObesity
Volume30
Issue number6
Early online date31 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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