Facts and Food Sources of Isoleucine


Isoleucine symbolizing Ile or I, is an α-amino acid which is used in biosynthesis of proteins. It encloses an α-carboxylic acid group (which is in deprotonated −COO− form under biological conditions), an α-amino group (which is in protonated −NH+3 form under biological conditions and a hydrocarbon side chain classified as a non-polar, uncharged and aliphatic amino acid. It is crucial in humans as the body cannot synthesize it and should be obtained from diet. It is synthesized from pyruvate employing leucine biosynthesis enzymes in other organisms such as bacteria. It is encrypted by codons ATC, ATT and ATA.

Isoleucine is a fundamental branched chain aliphatic amino acid found in various proteins. It is an isomer of leucine. It is substantial in hemoglobin synthesis or regulation of energy levels and blood sugar levels. In humans, it is one of nine essential amino acids. It has various physiological functions such as detoxification of nitrogenous wastes, assist wound healing, promote secretion of several hormones and stimulate immune function. It is demanded for formation of hemoglobin and regulates blood sugar as well as energy levels. It could be found in fish, meats, eggs, cheese and nuts or seeds. The carbon structure of branched chain amino acids is notable by a branch point. These amino acids involve in stress, muscle metabolism and energy.

This amino acid is found in most common proteins which comprises 2 to 10 percent by weight. In 1904, it was first isolated from fibrin which is a protein linked in blood clot formation. It is one of assorted so-called essential amino acids for rats, chicks and other higher animals including man as they could not manufacture it and needs dietary sources. In plants and microorganisms, isoleucine is manufactured from amino acid threonine.

Foods that provide Isoleucine

Food name Weight (g) Isoleucine (g) DV%
Turkey 863 9 538%
Soybeans 186 3 179%
Spirulina 112 3 179%
Lupins 180 2 119%
Winged beans 182 2 119%
Mungo beans 207 2 119%
Hyacinth beans 210 2 119%
Mothbeans 196 2 119%
Goose 143 2 119%
Swiss cheese 132 2 119%
Monterey cheese 132 2 119%
Colby cheese 132 1 59%
Kidney beans 184 1 59%
Kielbasa 370 1 59%
Tilefish 150 1 59%
Yardlong beans 167 1 59%
Natto 175 1 59%
Mozzarella 132 1 59%
Adzuki 197 1 59%
Herring 143 1 59%


Health Benefits of Isoleucine

This amino acid should be used in various aspects. It involves in hemoglobin synthesis as well as to regulate blood sugar and energy levels. Isoleucine assists to prevent muscle wasting. This amino acid helps to uphold tissue repair after surgery or injury. Study have shown that branched chain amino acid has anabolic effects on muscle protein synthesis. So due to this isoleucine supplements has positive effect on developing muscle protein content in human bodies suffering from muscle protein loss.

  1. Upgrade physical performance

This amino acid is used by athletes to lower muscle and protein breakdown during intense physical exercise and progress exercise performance. Moreover, it is used as a fuel by muscle cells and spare other essential amino acids being burned up. This is a relevant reason why it is recommended to consume some foods before workout.

  1. Assist growth

This amino acid is crucial for teens or children who are in growing years as it is required for healthy growth. Literally, supplemental dose of this amino acid is found to be helpful to promote tissue repair after surgery or trauma.

  1. Reduce level of blood sugar

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is indicated by resistance to insulin with consequent high glycemia which results serious health problems. According to WHO, incidence of type 2 diabetes has increased from 108 million cased in 1980 to 400 million. It is essential to regulate and stabilize glycemia.

What happens due to deficiency or overdose of Isoleucine?

The deficiency of isoleucine causes symptoms similar to hypoglycemia and also headaches, fatigue, depression, confusion and irritability. Excessive consumption of isoleucine leads to liver disease, excessive urination and depression.






  • User Ratings (0 Votes)

About Author

Comments are closed.