What is isoleucine? Discover the functions of isoleucine, and health benefits of this amino acid considered essential.

In addition to vitamins and minerals, following a healthy and balanced diet also provides us with amino acids. As many nutritionists indicate, there are eight essential amino acids for our body, but in particular we can find 20 different amino acids.

Our body is only capable of synthesizing 16 amino acids, which our body synthesizes by recycling dead cells from the intestinal tract, to later catabolize proteins.

What are amino acids?

They are the constitutive elemental units of the molecules that are called proteins. We could consider them as authentic “building blocks”, so that the protein substances that are “built” in our body do so thanks to these 20 amino acids: nails, hair, muscles, organs, tendons and glands.

Depending on their characteristics and origin, they can be referred to as essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids.

What is isoleucine?

It is constituted as one of the eight essential amino acids for our body, since it is part of both the genetic code and our muscle tissue.

Isoleucine functions

  • It is part of the genetic code.
  • It is an essential part of our muscle tissue.
  • Necessary for the formation of hemoglobin.
  • Helps the healing and repair of muscle tissue, bones and skin.
  • Helps regulate blood sugar.

Health benefits of isoleucine

We are faced with a fundamental essential amino acid in a balanced and varied diet, since it is an essential nutrient that helps regulate blood sugar levels.

It is necessary for the formation of hemoglobin, at the same time that it intervenes in blood clotting, and after sports practice it is useful to repair muscles, hence it is a very interesting amino acid for both athletes and people who practice physical exercise.

Where to find isoleucine?

Food is the only one that can provide isoleucine to our body. Therefore, the amounts that our body needs of this essential amino acid must be provided through the diet.

We find it above all in proteins of animal origin: meat, fish, eggs and dairy. And also in vegetable proteins: cereals and legumes.

Symptoms of Isoleucine Deficiency

A low-protein diet also causes isoleucine deficiency, and symptoms such as irritability, fatigue, headaches, and depression may appear.


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