What is HICA?
Its chemical name is alpha-hydroxyisocaproic acid, commonly known by the abbreviation HICA. It is also known as Leucic acid.
Where Dose HICA Come From?
HICA is a metabolite of the branch chain amino acid Leucine, meaning it is produced in the body in a chemical pathway starting with Leucine. This occurs mostly in the liver. Leucine is found in proteinous foods, in particularly high concentrations in soy, beef and fish. HICA can also be found in some food, in such products as wine, cheese and sake. It is thought this occurs due to the fermentation process rather than being contained in the foods themselves.
Benefits of HICA
HICA general health benefits are currently un-researched, however it is reasonable to assume they may be similar to the amino acid Leucine.
HICA Benefits for Bodybuilding
It appears that HICA has anabolic properties, and may be effective at increasing lean mass. In a 4 week study on soccer athletes, those supplemented with HICA found a 0.4kg increase in muscle mass in the legs, whereas the placebo group experienced a decrease.
It is not know whether these effects are more potent than its precursor Leucine, although this is possible since it avoids the metabolic pathway which results in some of the loss of Leucine within the body. Further research may prove HICA an extremely potent anabolic product.
Side Effects, Safety and Negatives of HICA
There are currently no reported side effects of HICA.
HICA Recommended Doses and Ingredient Timing
The only human evidence of the benefits of HICA uses a dose of 1500mg daily, taken three times at a split of 500mg each. It is not known if this is the optimal dose.
Generally found under the acronymn HICA, HICA is present in some branch chain amino acids supplments such as ASN Nanobolic or Cellucor COR-Performance Beta-BCAAs. It can also be bought as a stand alone supplement from some specialist health supplement and pharmaceutical stores.
HICA may be best stacked with other anabolic products as well as proteins, to enhance the muscle building benefits. These may include amino acids or testosterone boosters.BLANCHARD M, GREEN DE, et al. l-Hydroxy acid oxidase. J Biol Chem. (1946)
Tischler ME, Desautels M, Goldberg AL. Does leucine, leucyl-tRNA, or some metabolite of leucine regulate protein synthesis and degradation in skeletal and cardiac muscle. J Biol Chem. (1982)
Merro AA et al, Effects of alfa-hydroxy-isocaproic acid on body composition, DOMS and performance in athletes, JISSN (2010)