It is alpha-amino-beta-methylvaleric acid. It is essential and is not synthesized in the body. This amino acid is synthesized in the microorganism.
Metabolic degradation of isoleucine in the animal body is the ultimate formations of acetyl CoA and propionyl CoA. The acetyl CoA may ultimately give rise to acetoacetyl CoA whereas the propionyl CoA gives rise to glucose. So the isoleucine is both ketogenic and antiketogenic. This amino acid cannot be manufactured in the body, and needs to be supplied in the diet and was first isolated in 1904 from fibrin.
Sources of isoleucine
It is present in almonds, cashews, chicken, eggs, fish, lentils, liver, meat etc
Isoleucine is found especially in high amounts in meats, fish, cheese, most seeds and nuts, eggs, chickens and lentils. In the human body Isoleucine is concentrated in the muscle tissues.
Benefits of isoleucine
It helps in the production of energy in the body and has been found experimentally to reduce twitching and tremors in animals.
It is also used as supplements for body (muscle) building.
Isoleucine, together with the other two branched-chain-amino-acids leucine and valine helps in the muscle recovery after physical exercise.
It is also needed for the formation of hemoglobin as well as assisting with regulation of blood sugar levels as well as energy levels. It is also involved in blood-clot formation.
Deficiency symptoms of isoleucine
Deficiency of isoleucine is found in people whose diet is deficient in dietary protein. The symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, depression, confusion as well as irritability.
Symptoms of deficiency may resemble the symptoms of hypoglycemia. This nutrient has also been found to be deficient in people with mental and physical disorders, but it is not confirmed as yet.
Symptoms of high intake
Higher intakes of isoleucine does not produce any harmful effects for most of people but those with kidney or liver disease should not consume high intakes of amino acids without medical advise.
People ingesting higher amounts of isoleucine report elevated urination.
When more may be required
Athletes who are engaged in strenuous activity under extreme pressure and at high altitude require high intake of vitamin.
Most people get enough isoleucine from their diet, although some individuals do supplement their diet with about 650 – 700 mg of isoleucine per day (based on a 70 kg body), or worked out to 10 – 12 mg per kg of body weight per day.
If one is taking a supplement of isoleucine, he should take it in balance with the other two branched-chain-amino-acids leucine and valine in the formula of 2 mg of leucine and valine for each 1 mg of isoleucine.
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