Blood BCAA’s good marker of metabolic health

    Several large population studies found that physical fitness is a more important indicator of health and longevity than body fat or body mass index. This suggests that the metabolic capacity of muscle tissue is more important to general health than body composition. A position paper by Bryan Batch from Duke University and colleagues speculated that blood levels of branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) are good markers of metabolic diseases. Low levels of BCAA’s are linked to type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease and premature death. Blood BCAA’s are associated with greater lean body mass and lower body fat. BCAA’s might be an effective marker of metabolic health. (Current Opinion Clinical Nutrition Metabolic Care, 17:86-89, 2014)