This study evaluated the potential of activating the fuel-sensing enzymes Adenine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase and the deacetylase sirtuin1, to promote weight loss. We tested the efficacy of a fixed dose combination of the amino acid leucine and 2 well-characterized agents with established safety profiles to modulate energy metabolism and facilitate weight loss.
Will a combination of l-leucine with low-dose metformin and sildenafil produce a novel synergistic interaction that reduces body weight?
We conducted a 24-week randomized controlled trial evaluating the effect on weight loss of leucine 1.1 g and sildenafil 1.0 mg or 4.0 mg, with and without metformin 500 mg (Leu/Sil 1.0, Leu/Sil 4.0, Leu/Met/Sil 1.0, and Leu/Met/Sil 4.0 twice/day). We enrolled 267 participants who were 18–65 years of age without diabetes and with the body mass index (BMI) of 30–45 kg/m2.
Measures and Outcomes:
The primary endpoint was percentage weight change after 24 weeks. Adverse events were evaluated. The primary analysis was performed using the perprotocol population analysis of covariance estimation. Subgroup analyses of patients residing above certain threshold limits at baseline and in populations at increased risk of obesity were assessed post-hoc as exploratory end points.
Placebo-adjusted mean bodyweight reductions in the Leu/Met/Sil 1.0, Leu/Met/Sil 4.0, and Leu/Sil 4.0 groups were −1.99%, −1.69%, and −1.67% (P = 0.015, 0.035, and 0.036, respectively). The most common adverse events were gastrointestinal-related and occurred in the metformin-treated groups consistent with metformin treatment. In African Americans, Leu/Met/Sil 1.0 produced 5.4% mean weight loss. In participants with BMI <40 kg/m2 treated with Leu/Met/Sil 1.0, the weight loss increased to 2.84%, particularly in participants with baseline insulin ≥12mU/L (3.5%).
Leu/Met/Sil 1.0 and 4.0 and Leu/Sil 4.0 reduced body weight, but Leu/Met/Sil 1.0 was associated with robust weight loss in African Americans, and individuals with BMI 30–39.9 kg/m2, especially participants with hyperinsulinemia.