1. The effects of meal consumption on plasma leucine and alanine kinetics were studied using a simultaneous, primed, continuous infusion of L-[I-13C]leucine and L-[3,3,3-2H3]alanine in four healthy, young, adult male subjects. The study included an evaluation of the effect of sampling site on plasma amino acid kinetics, with blood being drawn simultaneously from an antecubital and dorsal heated hand vein.
2. In comparison with the postabsorptive state, the ingestion of small hourly meals resulted in a 35% increase in plasma leucine flux and a 77% increase in leucine oxidation. Calculated entry of leucine into the plasma compartment from endogenous sources decreased by 65%. Plasma alanine flux more than doubled, indicating a significant enhancement in de now alanine synthesis. 13C enrichment of leucine in venous and arterialized plasma did not differ significantly, but alanine flux calculated from isotopic measurement in venous plasma was substantially greater than that based on analysis of arterialized blood plasma.