In a new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, researchers found that an increase in the consumption of branch chain amino acids later in the day could lead to a negative effect on heart health.
The branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine.
They are essential, meaning they can’t be produced by your body and must be obtained from food. BCAA supplements have been shown to build muscle, decrease muscle fatigue and alleviate muscle soreness.
BACCs can be found in whey, milk, and soy proteins, corn, beef, chicken, fish, and eggs, baked beans and lima beans, chickpeas and brown rice.
In the study, the team found that consuming BCAAs at the end of the active period —— dinner time—caused a dramatic growth of the heart.
The heart cells grew 75% within four hours of the BCAA meal, but then they returned back to normal size again throughout the rest of the day.
The high consumption of BCAAs also worsened heart disease progression.
However, a high-BCAA meal at the equivalent of breakfast time had no detrimental effect.
The study is the first to show such dramatic growth of mammalian heart cells following a single meal.
It highlights an interaction between heart health and behaviors, and in this case, the behavior is what time of the day we should be eating certain nutrients.”
The implications of this research might be positive for healthy individuals, according to the team. People start consuming most of their BCAAs in the morning.
For people with chronic health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, this could serve as a warning.
The researchers recommend that heart disease patients restrict the amount of protein, and in particular the amount of BCAAs, that they consume at dinner.
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The study is published in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. One author of the study is Martin Young, D.Phil.
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