Attenuation of the protein wasting associated with bed rest by branched-chain amino acids

T. Peter Stein, Margaret D. Schluter, Maria J. Leskiw, Guenther Boden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Bed rest is generally accepted as being an appropriate ground-based model for human spaceflight. The objectives of this study were to test the hypothesis that increasing the amount of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in the diet could attenuate the protein loss associated with bed rest. Nineteen healthy subjects were randomized into two groups according to diet. During the 6 d of bed rest, the diets were supplemented with either 30 mmol/d each of three non-essential amino acids, glycine, serine, and alanine (control group), or with 30 mmol/d each of the BCAAs, leucine, isoleucine, and valine (BCAA group). Nutrition was supplied as a commercially available defined formula diet at a rate of 1.3 x REE. Nitrogen (N) balance and urinary 3-MeH excretion were determined for the 6 d. In our results, the urine-based estimate of N balance was 22.2 ± 14.4 (n = 9) mg N · kg-1 . d-1 and 60.5 ± 10.1 mg (n = 8) N · kg-1 · d-1 for the control and BCAA-supplemented groups, respectively (P < 0.05). Urinary 3-MeH excretion was unchanged in both groups with bed rest. We conclude that BCAA supplementation attenuates the N loss during short-term bed rest. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)656-660
Number of pages5
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Attenuation of the protein wasting associated with bed rest by branched-chain amino acids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this