Can Amino Acids Influence Exercise Performance in Athletes?
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Tryptophan is the precursor for the important neurotransmitter, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT). Tryptophan is unique among amino acids in that some of it binds to albumin in the blood: thus, blood contains both bound and free tryptophan. Free tryptophan is thought to compete with some other amino acids, particularly the branched chain amino acids (valine, leucine and isoleucine; BCAA) for entry into the brain across the blood-brain barrier (19). There is evidence that changes in the concentration of plasma free tryptophan may influence the level of 5-HT within the brain (see 14). An increase in the plasma concentration ratio of free tryptophan/BCAA could therefore lead to a marked increase in the rate of entry of tryptophan into the brain, and consequently to an increase in the concentration of 5-HT in some areas of the brain. This has been shown to be the case in the rat (6).
KeywordsChronic Fatigue Syndrome Branch Chain Amino Acid Prolonged Exercise Exhaustive Exercise Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patient
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