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Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Nov;96(5):1008-16. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.035139. Epub 2012 Oct 3.

Effects of supplementation with essential amino acids on intrahepatic lipid concentrations during fructose overfeeding in humans.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.



A high dietary protein intake has been shown to blunt the deposition of intrahepatic lipids in high-fat- and high-carbohydrate-fed rodents and humans.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of essential amino acid supplementation on the increase in hepatic fat content induced by a high-fructose diet in healthy subjects.


Nine healthy male volunteers were studied on 3 occasions in a randomized, crossover design after 6 d of dietary intervention. Dietary conditions consisted of a weight-maintenance balanced diet (control) or the same balanced diet supplemented with 3 g fructose · kg(-1) · d(-1) and 6.77 g of a mixture of 5 essential amino acids 3 times/d (leucine, isoleucine, valine, lysine, and threonine) (HFrAA) or with 3 g fructose · kg(-1) · d(-1) and a maltodextrin placebo 3 times/d (HFr); there was a washout period of 4 to 10 wk between each condition. For each condition, the intrahepatocellular lipid (IHCL) concentration, VLDL-triglyceride concentration, and VLDL-[(13)C]palmitate production were measured after oral loading with [(13)C]fructose.


HFr increased the IHCL content (1.27 ± 0.31 compared with 2.74 ± 0.55 vol %; P < 0.05) and VLDL-triglyceride (0.55 ± 0.06 compared with 1.40 ± 0.15 mmol/L; P < 0.05). HFr also enhanced VLDL-[(13)C]palmitate production. HFrAA significantly decreased IHCL compared with HFr (to 2.30 ± 0.43 vol%; P < 0.05) but did not change VLDL-triglyceride concentrations or VLDL-[(13)C]palmitate production.


Supplementation with essential amino acids blunts the fructose-induced increase in IHCL but not hypertriglyceridemia. This is not because of inhibition of VLDL-[(13)C]palmitate production. This trial was registered at as NCT01119989.

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