Properties of isoleucine

Benefits and functions of isoleucine, essential amino acid

What is isoleucine?

Isoleucine is an essential amino acid that the body can not synthesize and therefore must be provided by the diet.

Its function is to assist in the maintenance and restoration of muscle tissue of our body as well as the normal functioning of the brain and liver.

The abbreviation for this amino acid is Ile.

With valine and leucine, isoleucine is one of the 3 BCAA (Branched-chain amino acids)

Properties of isoleucine

Photo of peasPhoto of peas, a vegetable very rich in isoleucine.

This function is exercised together with a growth hormone called GH, which is responsible for ensuring proper development and growth of our body. Involved in preventing muscle development abnormalities such as muscular dystrophy.

It is necessary for the proper production of hemoglobin and get a proper function of this in our body. Its deficiency may cause problems with blood clotting, problems with healing wounds or bone fractures.

It is also responsible for regulating and ensure proper operation in the systems of energy production and glucose metabolism in our body. It is therefore suitable for people with diabetes.

Ingestion is also very suitable for the prevention of mental illness and depression, anxiety, stress or nervousness.

Symptoms of isoleucine deficiency

Obviously, the deficit of isoleucine may cause symptoms of dysfunction in these aspects. Among the main symptoms of its deficiency are, for example:

  • Headache
  • Mental problems
  • Depression
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bone fragility
  • Liver weakness
  • Impaired wound healing
  • Etc.

Isoleucine for physical activity and sport

Proper contribution of isoleucine may imply a greater muscle and bone performance. Isoleucine is a good remedy to regain muscle strength after heavy physical activities in the gym, in sports or at work.

Contraindications of isoleucine

  • Pregnant women or people suffering from liver and kidney: They should not take supplements of isoleucine.
  • Maple syrup urine disease: A diet with foods that contain isoleucine is not suitable for people with maple syrup urine disease, so called because the urine of patients remembers the smell of this syrup, but also other symptoms such as vomiting, refusal to eat, drowsiness, seizures, etc.

This is a condition in which patients who suffer it can not metabolize leucine, isoleucine and valine which determines that these amino acids accumulate in the blood can cause serious damage to the body, even death.

It is a disease of genetic character to be discovered in time in infants. Treatment is based on avoiding these patients to ingest the aforementioned amino acids for life.

Foods containing isoleucine

Animal foods are those that contain more isoleucine, especially cheese and protein supplements made from milk powder (whey protein)

Within plant foods, we include, for example, legumes

* More information: Foods rich in isoleucine

Are isoleucine supplements the best way to obtain this amino acid?

Although you can take supplements of isoleucine, it is recommended to meet the needs of this amino acid through a balanced diet. If supplementation is necessary, consult with the specialist before taking it.

* Related information:

Properties of proteins

Proteins formation

Proteins function

Daily proteins needs

Vegetal proteins

How to combine vegetable proteins

List of amino acids in food

Essential amino acids

Nonessential amino acids

Phenylalanine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Valine

Aspartic acid, Glutaminic acid, Alanine, Arginine, Cysteine, Cystine, Glycine, Hydroxyproline, Proline, Serine, Tyrosine


punto rojoMore information on amino acids.

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

6 June, 2020

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