LEUCINE - Getting to the Meat of the Matter: Beyond Protein Supplementation in Maintenance Dialysis
Renal Division, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.
"Until recently, patients on dialysis with low serum albumin levels were characterized as suffering from protein malnutrition suggesting that the cause of this malady was due to an inadequate intake of protein. In fact, these patients tend to suffer from a wasting syndrome similar to cachexia commonly associated with inflammation in which there is loss of lean body mass and fat mass is underutilized. . . .
[a positive change] can be promoted by the addition of protein of high biological value that is rich in leucine . ."
Middle aged men gain muscle mass by taking leucine. Leucine appears to be the main essential amino acid responsible for protein synthesis. It is the only amino acid that can stimulate protein synthesis alone. Because older people are resistant to the anabolic effects of amino acids, researchers investigated what would happen if they bumped up the leucine taken in from the original 1.7 grams to 2.8 grams. They found that the older people could stimulate protein synthesis to the same extent as young people.
For failing kidneys perhaps another suggestion might be to ask your doctor about trying the recommendations of Mackenzie Walser MD from Johns Hopkins outlined in the book Coping with Kidney Disease. These are amino acids specifically designed for kidney patients produced by Calwood. More info on Essential Amino Acids.