Leukic is part of Muscletech's supplement trio stack (Leukic, Gakic, Creakic) that promises to bring you permanent gains in strength, muscle, and "throw your body into high anabolic gear." The Leukic supplemented caught my interest as I was doing my original research for our Muscletech Gakic supplement review.
As I was digesting all the information presented by the Gakic patent, provided at the UPTO Patent Database, there were numerous references to leucine, and alpha ketoisocaproic (KIC), and upon digging further, I found a large body of research and studies done on Leucine and KIC, thus prompting this review on the Leukic supplement. If you're lost as to what I'm talking about, don't worry, I'll get into the details in the upcoming sections.
What is Muscletech Leukic
Leukic (L-leucine-ketoisocaproic acid calcium) works to boost anabolism, leads to phosphorylation, increase protein synthesis, and thus leading to increased gains in lean muscle mass. (According to wikipedia: Phosphorylation is the addition of a phosphate (PO4) group to a protein or a small molecule. Protein phosphorylation is probably the most important regulatory event.)
As much as Muscletech would have you believe that it was "Team Muscletech Researchers" that discovered Leukic, this is not quite the case. Leukic is covered by US patent #6100287 (also Gakic), under license from the University of FLorida. The original inventors were Bruce Stevens, Randy Braith, and Thomas Kaminski.
.alpha.-ketoisocaproate (.alpha.-KIC) is the ketoacid parent chain of L-leucine (i.e., it is L-leucine without the amino nitrogen), and is the first metabolite in the muscle catabolic pathway of leucine following reversible transamination to glutamate. The intermediary metabolism of .alpha.-KIC and leucine plays a major role in regulatory muscle biochemistry, integrity, and physiology (Abrumrad, N. N., Wise, K. L., Williams, P. E. (1982)
This .alpha.-ketoisocaproic acid is superior to leucine. It is an anabolic ketoacid that is a major factor in reducing protein catabolism, stimulating muscle synthesis, sparing glucose oxidation, and also stimulating insulin release. All of above mentioned are what we look for in a supplement. Indeed, these are not claims pulled out of thin air, but backed by actual science and research. See below:
Enhancing muscle recovery following trauma occurs not simply by administering oral or intravenous leucine alone, but instead it responds to increasing the steady-state concentration of .alpha.-ketoisocaproic acid. This anabolic ketoacid is a major factor in reducing protein catabolism, stimulating muscle synthesis, and sparing glucose oxidation, while stimulating insulin release. Indeed, .alpha.-ketoisocaproic acid is superior to leucine in this regard in human and rat muscle studies (Buckspan, R., B. Hoxworth, E. Cersosimo, J. Devlin, E. Horton, N. Abrumrad (1986) "Alpha-ketoisocaproate is superior to leucine in sparing glucose utilization in humans" Am. J. Physiol. 251:E648-E653).
Muscletech Leukic Supplement and Bodybuilding
Ultimately, for the end user, what it boils down to is "what can XYZ supplement do for me?" The unfortunate reality is that there are so many bogus products on the market making un-proven claims, that it just becomes down right difficult to navigate through all the gibberish to really find out if some particular product is legit or not! I'm sure many of you share the same frustration as I do.
If building lean muscle mass, getting fit, and working towards your ultimate goal doesn't lend you much time or desire to do all the research, I don't blame you. Wouldn't it be nice if the industry got rid of all the un-ethical companies, and you could be guaranteed a peace of mind when making purchases? Heck, that'll be the day I stop writing reviews. =) But until then, we gotta dig deep and find out all the facts.
As mentioned before, Leukic should help to increase phosphorylation in the skeletal muscle, which is the most important regulatory event where many enzymes and receptors are turned "on" and "off". Leukic should also leads to an increase in protein synthesis and reduce protein catabolism. All of which should help you to put on a little lean mass.
If you've used the Leukic supplement, please share your review and feedback of Muscletech Leukic here. How did it work out for you, and did you experience any side effects?