Branched-Chain Amino Acids May Help Mood and Psychological Health
There are three branched-chain amino acids, valine, leucine, and isoleucine. They are essential nutrients that the body obtains from proteins found in food, especially meat, dairy products, and legumes. A recent study has found that consumption of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) may help promote better mood and reduced feelings of anxiety.
Participants in the study included 3,175 adults with an average age of 36.2. They completed validated food-frequency questionnaires that were used to evaluate dietary intakes of BCAAs. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was used to assess psychological health. The General Health Questionnaire was used to evaluate psychological distress.
Participants with the highest dietary intake of BCAAs were found to have a 24% lower risk of depression compared to those with the lowest dietary intake. They also had a 34% lower risk of anxiety compared to those with the lowest dietary intake.
The study was conducted by researchers from Maragheh University of Medical Sciences.It was published on January 29, 2021 in the Nutrition Journal.