Monday, August 27, 2012

Leucine + Resveratrol - Synergistic Sirtuin Boosters: +118% Fatty Acid Oxidation, 60% Increase In Muscular Glucose Uptake, -30% Visceral Fat & More - To Good to be True?

Image 1: Can you really team up leucine (or HMB) and resveratrol to make tired mitochondria get a move on? NuSirt Sciences says "YES!" And in the dish and rodents it's actually already working.
What happens if you marry a well-known AMPK promoter and exercise mimetic, with an even more prominent exercise adjuvant and nutritional mTOR booster? Will they neutralize each other? Think about it.... ok, now gimme your answer: What happens if you put resveratrol and leucine together? At first it does not really make sense, does it? Right, it doesn't, at least not unless you follow the same train of thought, the researchers from NuSirt Sciences. NuSirt? That rings a bell, hah? Yeah those were the guys who did a study on their 250mg leucine + 30mg vitamin B6 proprietary blend NuFit (see "Testosterone - 12% Drop /W 75g Glucose? Fat Loss - Adzuki, Leucine + B6 or HiMaize & More") and actually, the leucine + resveratrol combination is sort of a spin-off of this initial research.

If you put Sirt1 & Sirt1 together, it suddenly makes sense!

In their latest study (and you bet a future product!) Bruckbauer et al. build on their previous research on the agonistic effects HMB, alpha-KIC or leucine have on skeletal muscle Sirt-1 activity (Bruckbauer. 2011) and rationalize that it seems legit to combine one Sirtuin portein promoter with another one in order to achieve an even more pronounced effect - makes sense, right? Resveratrol the proven AMPK-promoter and igniter of the longevity, gene transcription, cell survival and apoptosis regulating Sir2 proteins (=sirtuins) and leucine the mTOR promoting and, as of late, proven Sirt1 agonist, they could actually form a synergistic duo for fat oxidation, glucose management, the reduction of oxidative stress and inflammation and even longevity!
Figure 1: Effects on sirtuin & AMPK expression in muscle and fat cells upon incubation with leucine, HMB and resveratrol and the respective combinations (left) and effects fatty acid oxidation in isolated rat skeletal muscle upon incubation in low and high glucose conditions (data based on Bruckbauer. 2012)
Now, aside from Sirt1, which is mainly expressed in the nucleus of a cell, another one of the Sir2 proteins, Sirt3, which is expressed predominantly in the mitochondria has as of late gathered quite some attention, as mitochondrial dys- or malfunction is one, if not the common denominator of many of the pathological features of the metabolic and neuro-endocrine ailments the Western diabesity society is suffering from: insulin resistance, type II diabetes, Alzheimer's , you name them! No wonder the NuSirt guys (and girls) are striving to find a marketable way to set them both in full gear and if you take a closer look at the data in figure 1 their initially counter-intuitive approach to bath muscle and fat cells in resveratrol  + HMB / leucine solutions yields impressive results:
  • resveratrol, leucine and HMB, alone, exerted only weak independent effects on Sirt1, Sirt 3 and AMPK
  • resveratrol and leucine or HMB, combined, yielded Sirt1 and Sirt3 activity increases in the ~50% range (p < 0.05) and AMPK increases of +42% and +55% (p < 0.03); particularly noteworthy are the ~125-175% increases (p < 0.02) muscle cells (remember: Sirt3 is expressed in the mitochondria!)
  • the ensuing increases in fatty acid oxidation in incubated muscle cells reached statistical significance in the presence of low (5 mM) glucose levels, only, when and 5 ┬ÁM HMB or  0.5 mM leucine were co-incubated with 200 nM (~18%; p < 0.05), in the high glucose condition, however, all treatments broad about significant increases in fatty acid oxidation, of which those in the leucine- and HMB-resveratrol combination treatments were the most pronounced (118% and 91% stimulation, respectively; p < 0.005)
Especially the last finding, i.e. the increase in fatty acid oxidation in an in-vitro condition that resembles the hyperglycemic state the average type II diabetic who is not popping tons of metformin and/or injecting insulin is constantly in, makes these results particularly interesting, as it appears as if a "non-pharmacological" (what by the way is "pharmacological" and what isn't?) solution to the diabesity problem could already be hidden on the shelves of your GNC right next door (I assume they carry leucine and resveratrol products ;-)!

Outside of the box... ahh, I mean, ... the petri dish!

In view of the fact that 75% of the in-vitro high performers suck in the rodent model already and of those another 75% don't work in human trials you will be pleased to hear that NuScirt Sciences' resveratrol + leucine / HMB combination has already overcome the first of these hurdles: At least in DIO (diet-induced-obese) rodents who on a 6-week high fat diet regimen, the combination works.
Figure 2: Weight gain, visceral adipose volume, PET measured palmitate uptake, respiratory rate (lower levels = higher relative fat oxidation), heat production relative to body weight, food intake; all value expressed relative to DIO mice who were maintained on an unsupplemented control diet (data based on Bruckbauer. 2012)
Now, it's not as if the rodents would have made it to the Mr Olympia stage, but if you take a closer look at the pattern that's emerging here, it's quite clear that the sirtuin booster does its job in this rodent model. Aside from its ameliorative effect on weight gain, the combination of resveratrol and leucine, led to statistically significant improvements in glucose management and improvements in inflammatory markers (including the anti-inflammatory adipokine adiponectin, see figure 2).
Figure 2: Glucose, insulin and HOMA IR levels, muscular glucose uptake (left), C-reactive protein , IL-6, MCP-1 and adiponectin (right) ; all value expressed relative to DIO mice who were maintained on an unsupplemented control diet (data based on Bruckbauer. 2012)
Most importantly, however it effectively cut through the exuberant amount of visceral adipose tissue (>30% reduction), ramped up the palmitate (fatty acid) uptake, oxidation and heat production (=thermogenesis). Despite all these metabolic improvements which took place in the absence of a simple reduction in food intake, there are still a couple of things left to be desired:
What are the human equivalent doses, here? Since I know you would be asking I did the math for you and you will be pleasantly surprised (HED for 80kg humans)
  • 12.5mg resv. = 9mg
  • 225mg resv. = 136mg
  • 2g HMB = 1.1-1.4g
  • 10g HMB = 7.2g
  • 24g leucine = 14.3g
I am well aware that it must look as if I had the typical poor arithmetic abilities of the average physicist who has totally forgotten how to calculate using figures instead of letters, but the reason for the discrepancies is that I calculated the exact HEDs based on body weight and food intake for each of the groups.
  1. Supplementation with the respective human equivalent doses should yield the same astonishing results in humans as it did in the diet-induced obese mice.
  2. The protocol should have effects not just in morbidly obese diabetic human beings, but also in overweight and ideally even lean individuals.
  3. The supp must work if you don't put it into the chow, but pop it in separate doses (e.g. 3x/day) as a capsule or tablet.
The good news however is that if 1-3 apply, you could start benefiting from this "super supplement" right now! After all, the resveratrol dose of 12.5mg per kilogram of chow (the mice in the study did not consume more than max. 4g(!) per day) is so low that the 10g package I just saw for 20$ over at the webshop of a major bulk supplier would last you literally forever ...

Unfortunately, this is exactly why I don't believe that LeuResSirt, or whatever other stupid name the final product will be given, is going to work - I mean, come on, you can't tell me that there are not already people out there who get 15-20g of leucine everyday and pop resveratrol in 100x the necessary dose of 8-9mg everyday!? And did they turn into a beast, become fast-food resistant or lose fat magically? What? Yeah... that must be Phil Heath secret, right... how come I did not realize that before? ;-)

Bottom line: Regardless of the probably justified skepticism, I will still keep you posted on whether or not NuSirt knocks out another incredible (in the literal sense) human study like the one on NuFit (see "Testosterone - 12% Drop /W 75g Glucose? Fat Loss - Adzuki, Leucine + B6 or HiMaize & More"). So stay tuned, you all know that no supplement will ever more ergogenic than your daily dose of SuppVersity news!

  • Bruckbauer A, Zemel MB. Effects of dairy consumption on SIRT1 and mitochondrial biogenesis in adipocytes and muscle cells. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2011 Dec 20;8:91.
  • Bruckbauer A, Zemel MB, Thorpe T, Akula MR, Stuckey AC, Osborne D, Martin EB, Kennel S, Wall JS. Synergistic effects of leucine and resveratrol on insulin sensitivity and fat metabolism in adipocytes and mice. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2012 Aug 22;9(1):77.