BCAAs stimulate the building of protein in muscle and possibly reduce muscle breakdown. The "Branched-chain" refers to the chemical structure of these amino acids.
BCAAs are used for reduced brain function in people with advanced liver disease and for a movement disorder often caused by antipsychotic drugs. They are also commonly used to improve athletic performance, prevent fatigue, reduce muscle breakdown, and other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to support these other uses.
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Possibly Effective for
- Reduced brain function in people with advanced liver disease (hepatic encephalopathy). Taking BCAAs by mouth seems to improve liver function in people with poor brain function caused by liver disease.
- A movement disorder often caused by antipsychotic drugs (tardive dyskinesia). Taking BCAAs by mouth seems to reduce symptoms of this condition in adults and children taking antipsychotic drugs.
Possibly Ineffective for
- Liver cancer. Taking up to 50 grams of BCAAs by mouth twice daily for up to one year does not seem to improve outcomes in people with liver cancer who have had surgery.
Likely InEffective for
- Lou Gehrig disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS). Taking BCAAs by mouth is not beneficial in people with ALS. In fact, it might make lung function worse and increase the chance of death in people with this condition.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Children: BCAAs are likely safe when taken in food amounts. They are possibly safe when taken by children in larger doses for up to 6 months.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig disease): BCAA supplements have been linked with lung failure and higher death rates when used in patients with ALS. If you have ALS, do not use BCAA supplements until more is known.
Branched-chain ketoaciduria: People with this condition can experience seizures and severe delays in mental and physical development when BCAAs are consumed. Don't use BCAAs if you have this condition.
Diabetes: BCAA supplements might affect blood sugar levels. Watch for signs of low or high blood sugar and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and take BCAA supplements.
Surgery: BCAA supplements might affect blood sugar levels, and this might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using BCAA supplements at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Levodopa interacts with BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS (BCAA)
BCAA supplements can decrease how much levodopa is absorbed by the intestines or brain. By decreasing levodopa absorption, BCAAs can decrease the effects of levodopa.
Do not take this combination
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS (BCAA)
BCAA supplements might lower blood sugar levels. Taking BCAAs along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.
Be cautious with this combination
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