Essential amino acid supplements improve glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity
Essential amino acid supplements improve glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity

Metabolic Effects of Orally Administered Amino Acid Mixture in Elderly Subjects with Poorly Controlled Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Overview

Amino acids play an important role in glucose metabolism. Normal and high levels of amino acids in skeletal muscle tissue help to regulate the rate of glucose uptake, storage, and utilization. 

Increased muscle protein breakdown and declines in muscle mass due to aging can impair glucose metabolism by contributing to high blood sugar levels and lowering insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes. 

Increasing amino acid levels in skeletal muscle tissues may, therefore, be a potential strategy for controlling glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in older patients with poorly managed type 2 diabetes.

Trial Length

9 months

Number of Subjects

34

Gender

All genders

Age Range

65 - 83

The Goal

The aim of the present study was to determine if oral supplementation with an amino acid mixture (OAAM) made up of essential amino acids could enhance blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity in elderly individuals with poorly regulated type 2 diabetes.

The Results

Findings indicate that supplementation with an essential amino acid mixture reduces fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels as well as HbA1c levels within 8 weeks of treatment. Mean values of 1-hour postprandial blood glucose in group A (open bars) and group B (closed bars) during the follow-up study with oral amino acid mixture and placebo.Mean values of 2-hour postprandial blood glucose in group A (open bars) and group B (closed bars) during the follow-up study with oral amino acid mixture and placebo.

Researchers theorize that in addition to boosting muscle protein synthesis and glucose storage, amino acid supplementation helps to increase the uptake of glucose, thereby decreasing blood sugar levels.

Conclusion

Supplementing with an essential amino acid mixture improved glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in older type 2 diabetes patients, suggesting that essential amino acids may prove a beneficial nutritional strategy for the management of diabetes.

The Why?

When poorly controlled, type 2 diabetes leads to spikes in glucose levels and reductions in insulin sensitivity. This study shows that supplementation with essential amino acids can help improve glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity by increasing muscle protein synthesis without side effects.

Citation

Solerte SB, Gazzaruso C, Schifino N, et al. Metabolic effects of orally administered amino acid mixture in elderly subjects with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am J Cardiol. 2004;93(8A):23A-29A. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2003.11.006