Dr. Kumar Pati, USA


First isolated in 1904 from fibrin, isoleucine was discovered to be a sydrophobic a-amino acid that is essential to humans.  Mammalian bodies cannot manufacturer this chemical biologically, thus ingestion from other dietary means is required.  There are 3 sets of nucleotide codons that are responsible for identifiying isoleucine for further protein synthesis.  Plants and microorganisms have the ability to synthesize this amino acid through a pathway that involves pyruvic acid, alpha ketoglutarate, and a number of enzymes.


Animals store a large quantity of isoleucine internally.  Foods that supply an abundant source include eggs, soy protein, legumes, poultry, lamb, fish, and cheese.  It is identified as one of the branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), which also include leucine and valine.  They make up nearly 70% of the amino acids in the body.  BCAA’s are involved in promoting muscle recovery.  Isoleucine’s common role as a dietary supplement is to increase endurance, while supporting blood clotting to injured muscle sites that need repair.  Muscle tissues obtain energy through the breakdown of isoleucine.  It specializes in the formation of hemoglobin to regulate the blood sugar levels that correlate in maintaining a balanced supply of energy.  Athletes turn to nutritional supplements containing isoleucine for accelerated recovery after physical exercise.


Those who lack an adequate supply will experience symptoms similar to hypoglycemia such as headaches, fatigue, depression, and irritability.  Studies have indicated that supplementation with isoleucine will reduce twitching and tremors in animals.


When supplementing with isoleucine, the recommended daily dose ranges from 650 – 700 mg per day.  On average a person should ingest 10-12 mg per kilogram of body weight per day.  Serious side effects or toxicity does not result from ingesting higher does of isoleucine.  However, those with liver or kidney disorders should consult a health care professional prior to use.  For optimal benefits, it is suggested that isoleucine should be taken in conjunction with its other BCAA’s in a 2:1:1 ration of leucine, isoleucine, and valine, respectively.



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