Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2011) 10, 483 - 490

Research article
Exercise x BCAA Supplementation in Young Trained Rats: What are their Effects on Body Growth?
Patricia Lopes de Campos-Ferraz1, Sandra Maria Lima Ribeiro2, Silmara dos Santos Luz1, Antonio Herbert Lancha Jr.3, Julio Tirapegui1, 
Author Information
1 Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences,
2 School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities,
3 School of Physical Education and Sport, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Julio Tirapegui
✉ Faculdade de Ciencias Farmaceuticas − USP., R. Prof. Lineu Prestes, 580, Bloco 14. Cid. Universitaria. Sao Paulo, SP, 05508-900 São Paulo - Brazil.
Publish Date
Received: 22-02-2011
Accepted: 06-06-2011
Published (online): 01-09-2011
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) supplementation had any beneficial effects on growth and metabolic parameters of young rats submitted to chronic aerobic exercise. Thirty-two young rats (age: 21-d) were randomly assigned to four experimental groups (n = 8): Supplemented Trained (Sup/Ex), Control Trained (Ctrl/Ex), Supplemented Sedentary (Sup/Sed) and Control Sedentary (Ctrl/Sed). The trained groups underwent a five-week swimming protocol and received supplemented (45 mg BCAA/body weight/day) or control ration. Trained animals presented a lower body length and a higher cartilage weight, regardless of supplementation. Physical activity was responsible for a substantial reduction in proteoglycan synthesis in cartilage tissue, and BCAA supplementation was able to attenuate this reduction and also to improve glycogen stores in the liver, although no major differences were found in body growth associated to this supplementation.

Key words: Branched-chain amino acids, exercise, growth, metabolism, leucine, rat

           Key Points
  • Cartilage proteoglycan synthesis was dramatically reduced in trained animals as a whole.
  • BCAA supplementation augmented liver glycogen stores and reduced proteolysis in our experimental conditions
  • Trained animals receiving BCAA supplementation featured increased proteoglycan synthesis compared to sedentary ones, probably because BCAA may have attenuated the negative effects of exercise on cartilage development.
  • BCAA supplementation was not capable of neutralizing directly the negative effects of long-term physical training and lower food intake in young male rats on body growth
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