9th Amino Acid Assessment Workshop (AAAW) - 15 & 16 October 2015 - Paris

Thu, 2015-10-15 - Fri, 2015-10-16
Paris, FRA

On October 15-16, 2015; ICAAS sponsored the 9th Amino Acid Assessment Workshop (AAAW). Similarly to all previous AAAWs, the 9th installation of the event was constructed and supervised by the ICAAS Scientific Academic Committee, currently made of Profs. Denny Bier (Huston), Luc Conober (Paris), M. Kadowaki (Niigata), Sid Morris (Pittsburgh) and R. Elango (Vancouver).

The event was organized at the “L’Hotel du Collectionneur” (Paris, France) and as many as 76 leading scientists participated. Day 1 morning session was focused on animal and human data relevant to the safety of the semi-essential amino acid arginine. Presentations and discussions were emphasizing the outcome of ICAAS-sponsored research projects and on the use of new data to determine the upper level of the safe intake (UL) of arginine. General discussion indicated that arginine could be added to normal diet, which by itself contains 3-5 grams of arginine, during prolonged time periods (as long as 3 months) at a very high level (30 gram per day) without any noticeable negative effects. Even if a safety factor of “2” was applied, the presented data would still provide a huge safety margin (15 gram of arginine added to normal intake per day). Considering broad uses of this amino acid, the Workshop provided a very important safety “backbone” for the current and future practical applications.

Afternoon session of Day 1 was focused on the essential amino acid tryptophan which is often used in supplements to improve sleep and modulate mood. The reviews of medical and nutritional literature, as well as the summary of the ICAAS-sponsored clinical study supported UL for tryptophan at 5.0 grams per day when added to normal diet which already contains approximately 0.8 grams of tryptophan per day.

Day 2 was dedicated to safety of high doses of essential amino acid leucine in elderly humans. Leucine stimulates muscle protein synthesis, and thus leucine supplementation to normal diet prevents age related muscle atrophy (sarcopenia). Discussion during the 9th AAAW was centered on new clinical work with elderly humans who were studied using the same techniques as previously applied to young adults The comparison revealed that there was minimal age-differences in UL for leucine (all dietary sources summarized) and that the UL for elderly could be established at > 430 mg per kg body weight per day (app. 30 grams per a 70 kg individual).

Considering that due to technological and taste limitations, free amino acids cannot be easily added to foods or dietary supplements at the above doses, the 9th AAAW confirmed a very high technological margin for key semi-essential and essential amino acids and showed that establishing ULs for those substances is not a regulatory priority.

Finally, presentations made during the 9th AAAW as well as a summary of the Workshop similar to this one, will be published in a reputed scientific journal (J. Nutrition) within several months to serve as a reference to regulators and scientists.