The Power of Little Leucine in Weight Control

Remember this scene in the movie Seabiscuit? Toby McQuire proudly proclaims to the sportswriters surrounding him, “Though he be but little, he is fierce.”  That’s what I think of the little-known amino acid, leucine. It’s a little known amino acid with powerful abilities!thI1XNYUFU

A mighty warrior in the battle of weight loss, leucine heroically fights the weight loss battle for you by faithfully regulating blood sugar, maintaining muscle and stimulating cardiovascular health. Leucine is found in good quality protein like yogurt, cottage cheese, whey, brown rice, nuts, egg whites, fish, meat and poultry.

How does leucine work?  Well, God created this incredible earthly body which silently communicates functions within a network of corridors and components throughout the body.  For example; the hypothalamus summons nutrients as needed, the bloodstream directs nutrient direction, the liver is the chemical manufacturing plant and kidneys escort toxins the door. My, my . . . and some people believe all this intricacy happened by chance. God knew what He was doing all the time:

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;…”   (Psalm 139: 13-15)

But how does this little known amino acid assist in weight loss?  A 2008 article published in the Journal of Physiology discovered that a diet containing leucine prevented muscle loss and as you most likely know, muscle burns fat.  The more muscle one has, the more fat is efficiently burned in daily metabolism. Weight loss and exercise go hand in hand.

Leucine is not a complete protein however, which means it needs other amino acids (valine, isoleucine among others) to work properly. So it acts as a team player with other amino acids in this soccer game of metabolism.

Whey protein on the other hand, assists your body in making one of its most important antioxidant and immune supporter elements, glutathione.  According to renown author Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D., founder and medical director of the UltraWellness Center, glutathione is the most important molecule necessary to maintain proper health. It slows aging and resists illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and dementia.  (No wonder the Mediterranean people look so vibrant and alive! Yogurt is a staple in their daily lives!)

Whey protein, the liquid by-product of milk contains lactose (milk sugar) water and other nutrients. It is a complete protein. Caution: whey can cause dietary discomfort if one is lactose intolerant. In fact, amino acids and hormones are nothing to experiment with because it could upset body chemistry. (I’d rather not play Russian roulette with my physiology, would you? Please don’t purchase individual supplements thinking you are getting a quick fix!)

Leucine and whey together produce higher metabolic exercise sessions. Whey is the thin, watery substance found in low-fat yogurts. Thick Greek yogurt has little whey protein(it’s strained out) and thus doesn’t produce the weight loss results many crave. Millions have jumped on this Greek yogurt fad. As for me and my house, I’d rather bring home low-fat, 1% Mountain High yogurt any day, which contain active pre and probiotic cultures with no added fillers or junk and skip the expensive Greek yogurt.

Hope this and the previous little post helped clarify one of the mysteries of why protein is essential in weight loss and vibrant health.






18 thoughts on “The Power of Little Leucine in Weight Control

  1. Awesome, I will be on the lookout for increasing my leucine content. I have two staples already in eggs from my free range chickens and the kefir which I am a huge fan and proponent of. You are a blessing!


  2. Greek yogurt just has more of the whey strained out. I like to make my yogurt Greek style and use the whey for making bread or oatmeal. I always learn so much from you!


  3. I’ve been having trouble losing weight for a long time. As I get older my metabolism is changing. Even when I exercise, not much changes. I’ll work on adding these things to my diet and see what happens. Thanks for sharing, Ellie!


    • Hang in there Mary! Thanks so much for this idea. (See what storyad does with her leftover whey above) I’d be interested in hearing about the cream cheese recipe and if you’d like I’d post it for others to use. Build up your muscle and you’ll be on your way to losing weight faster. (Green tea helps too.) I’m cheering you on!


  4. Hi Ellie, just checking in with you. It has been a while. Thanks for this post, it is all new information for me. I am doing well, making consistent changes. I have fallen in love with my daily walks, I feel so much better. My sweet dog Kona goes with me and if I get lazy and want to skip it, she stands in front of me and stares me down. Works like a charm. I am also making healthier food choices, counting the cost of indulging in sugar and unhealthy foods. Just not worth it. Before, when I would get off track, I would be so hard on myself and throw in the towel. I often remember your analogy of driving to Disneyland and turning around when you miss an exit. I just keep moving towards my goal of health and godliness. Thankful for your wisdom and support. Blessings to you, sister!


    • Oh Wendy, what a wonderful testimony! I am so proud of you and knew you could do this all the time. When apples and broccoli taste better than fried foods, you’ve really turned a corner and not only me, but God is very proud of you.

      Now that the devil knows you are becoming more determined and disciplined, expect temptations to come your way. Overcome these challenges by memorizing 1 John 4:4 and Philippians 4:13. Tell yourself you are never going back to your old self. You truly are becoming a New Creation! Feels wonderful doesn’t it?

      You’re so right about your little walking buddy, Kona. How great that she (or he) keeps you going. How could you say no to that little face? You need each other and everyone needs a support partner! If for some reason you ever get discouraged or feel like giving up, you better contact me, okay? Never, Ever Quit! Powerful blessings to you,


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