Nutritional Articles

Blood serum branched chain amino acids and tryptophan modification in horses competing in long-distance rides of different length.

Published: 2004-10-18

Brief content of the article
During long-distance exercise, branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) catabolism could lead to an increase in the blood tryptophan/BCAA ratio and an early onset of 'central fatigue'. Based on these considerations, these researchers studied the modifications of blood serum BCAA and tryptophan (Try) levels in 30 endurance horses competing in rides varying in distance from 20 to 72 km. From all horses, blood samples were drawn just before and just after the e nd of the ride. Samples were analysed for their leucine (Leu), valine (Val), isoleucine (Iso) and Try levels. The authors concluded that the obtained data confirmed that long-distance exercise involves a mobilization of BCAA. The utilization of BCAA seems to be important in prolonged exercise: in the 72-km ride, the authors observed a decrease in BCAA blood serum levels, while a major role of Try was indicated by its increase, resulting in a rise of the Try/BCAA ratio.
Keywords: endurance; tryptophan; amino acids; BCAA.

Assenza, A., Bergero, D., Tarantola, M., Piccione, G. and Caola, G. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 88: 172 -177.

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