Short–term effects of BCAA, arginine and CLA supplementation on rest energy expenditure
and body composition.
Sponsiello Nicola*° and Tamburo Styven°*
*Italian Society of Sport Nutrition and Wellness
°Sciences and Technologies of Fitness and Health Products University of Camerino (Mc) Italy
Previous works assumed that the BCAA (branched- chain amino acids), L- arginine and CLA
(conjugated linoleic acid) supplementation may affect rest energy expenditure (REE) and the decrease of fat
This study aims at testing whether these substances can actually increase rest energy expenditure and improve body composition.
Methods and results
– 25 healthy volunteers, aged 29,8 ± 7,4
years have been tested. (twenty-two men and
three women among athletes, sportsmen/sportswomen, sports-practicing subjects and inactive subjects: in
general all active). All subjects started a normocaloric and balanced diet 1 week before the first calorimetry test,
keeping it on till the 2° test. They began the supplementation with two products available in the market: X-
Treme CLA and X-Treme NOX, (Inkospor Italy Ltd). One, CLA, contains conjugated linoleic acid and the
other, NOX, contains branched-chain amino acids, arginine, green tea extracts, caffeine and vitamin C.
Volunteers have been given the above mentioned integrators for two weeks. Rest energy expenditure (REE
kcal/day), free mass rate (FFM %), fat mass rate (FM %), body weight (Kg) and BMI (Kg/m2), have been
monitored before and after the two week cycle.
The supplementation intake has led to significant results as it follows: (*p<0,005) (-1,24%) body
weight, BMI (-1,25%), FM (-4,28%) and FFM(+1,07%). The REE hasn't led to significant results (p=0,0179)
despite a 10,9 % increase. Beyond the results we need to highlight that six subjects were excluded from the REE
average as the tests were not reliable for different reasons. Discussion -
The results about REE and slight variations on body composition due to the two supplements
intake are consistent with this study. We are convinced that the action of the ingredients taken singularly is not
clear/evident. Even if the calorific increase of rest energy expenditure (REE) is slight, we think that it can help
subjects control their weight. The combination between balanced diet and adequate physical activity may benefit
the fat mass decrease and the improvement of body composition in sportsmen and inactive subjects. Even
though the results are encouraging, medium- and long- term studies on these data are required in particular on
rest energy expenditure and its variables affecting calorimetry.
1)She P, et al. Cell Metab. 2007 Sep;6(3):181-94.
2)McKnight JR, et al. Amino Acids. 2010 Jul;39(2):349-57.
3)Gaullier, J-M. et al. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Vol. 79(6):1118-1125, Jun 2004
4)Westerterp-Plantenga MS, et al. Obes Res. 2005 Jul;13(7):1195-204.
5)Lee MS, et al. Ann Nutr Metab. 2009 Apr 22
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