Despite the known risks for health, obesity, which results from a positive energy balance, is a growing epidemic worldwide and its prevalence has doubled over the past 20 years. In the same time interval, with regard to diet, most attention has focused on how changes in macronutrient composition can affect the risk of metabolic disease. Furthermore, based on the notion that dietary supplements may exert a variety of beneficial effects by acting as signaling molecules that regulate feeding behavior and the metabolic balance, there has been a great deal of interest in their potential to promote weight loss and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Among nutrients, supplementation with amino acids, and branched chain amino acids in particular, can reduce fat accretion and maintain lean body mass, and therefore has a fundamental role in maintaining insulin sensitivity and counteracting obesity-induced metabolic syndrome.
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