After multiple experiments involving causes of diabetes and obesity, of which mammalian species were the primary test subject, results have indicated an association between elevated levels of BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, and the impairment of insulin signaling in the brain. These connections, stemming from the BCAAs, which are linked together to form proteins, suggest that the metabolic disease may stem from the brain. In a study conducted on rodents by Dr. Andrew C. Shin, results have shown that “rodents with impaired insulin signaling exclusively in the brain have elevated plasma BCAA levels and impaired BCAA breakdown in the liver” (New Research Suggests that Diabetes May Start in the Brain). This adds support to the conclusion that increases in BCAA levels may have a detrimental reflection on the brain’s ability to properly send insulin signals.
Contributing Author: Ryan Flynn