Branched-chain amino acid supplementation during trekking at high altitude - The effects on loss of body mass, body composition, and muscle power

F. Schena, F. Guerrini, P. Tregnaghi, B. Kayser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To investigate the influence of a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation on chronic hypoxia-related loss of body mass and muscle loss, 16 subjects [age 35.8 (SD 5.6) years] participating in a 21-day trek at a mean altitude of 3,255 (SD 458) m, were divided in two age-, sex- and fitness-matched groups and took either a dietary supplementation of BCAA (5.76, 2.88 and 2.88 g per day of leucine, isoleucine and valine, respectively) or a placebo (PLAC) in a controlled double-blind manner. Daily energy intake at altitude decreased by 4% in both groups compared with sea level. After altitude exposure both groups showed a significant loss of body mass, 1.7% and 2.8% for BCAA and PLAC, respectively. Fat mass had decreased significantly by 11.7% for BCAA and 10.3% for PLAC, whereas BCAA showed a significantly increased lean mass of 1.5%, as opposed to no change in PLAC. Arm muscle cross-sectional area tended to increase in BCAA, whereas there was a significant decrease of 6.8% in PLAC (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-398
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology
Volume65
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1992

Keywords

  • Altitude
  • Body composition
  • Branched chain amino acid supplementation
  • Hypoxia
  • Loss of mass
  • Nutrition
  • Trekking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology

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