Can leucine supplementation attenuate muscle atrophy? A literature review

Rafael Bruno Do Amaral, Carlos Eduardo Carvalho Martins, Antonio Herbert Lancha Junior, Vitor de Salles Painelli




Currently, there has been new expectations in studying strategies with the potential to mitigate the skeletal muscle atrophy that characterizes conditions such as aging, disuse, cancer, and the use of certain medications. Among them, amino acid leucine has received special attention due to its potential to stimulate specific pathways of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. Due to the wide spread use of this amino acid by the media, several studies have been aimed at investigating the possible effectiveness of leucine against skeletal muscle atrophy. As a result, this literature review was aimed to analyze recent studies that investigated the effects of leucine supplementation on skeletal muscle atrophy in both humans and animals. Overall, the wide variations in the experimental designs developed, models studied, leucine dose, treatment duration and sample healthiness make it difficult for professionals and researchers to establish guidelines about possible therapeutic effectiveness of this nutritional strategy.


Dietary supplements; Leucine; Muscular atrophy

Full Text:

PDF (English)


The abbreviated title of the journal is Rev. Bras. Cineantropom. Desempenho Hum, which should be used in bibliographies, footnotes and bibliographical references. E-ISSN 1980-0037, impressa ISSN 1415-8426, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, BrazilThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Atribuição 3.0 Unported License.