Isoleucine : One of the essential amino acids, is needed for hemoglobin formation and also stabilizes and regulates blood sugar and energy levels.

 Isoleucine is an essential amino acid so it needs to be provided by the food to our body. Isoleucine, is one of the essential amino acids, is needed for hemoglobin formation and also stabilizes and regulates blood sugar and energy levels. It is metabolized in muscle tissue. It is One of the three branched-chain amino acids. These amino acids are valuable for athletes because they enhance energy, increase endurance, and aid in the healing and repair of muscle tissue.

The branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs are considered essential amino acids, because human beings cannot survive unless these amino acids are present in the diet. BCAAs are needed for the maintenance of muscle tissue and appear to preserve muscle stores of glycogen (a storage form of carbohydrate that can be converted into energy). BCAAs also help prevent muscle protein breakdown during exercise.

Function and Benefits of Isoleucine

  • It also prevents muscle proteins break down when exercising.
  • Isoleucine are valuable for athletes because they enhance energy, increase endurance, and aid in the healing and repair of muscle tissue.
  • Isoleucine is also converted in the liver to blood sugar; therefore, it can be helpful in maintaining proper blood glucose levels.
  • Isoleucine is also needed in children for their growth.
  • Isoleucine undergoes transamination and forms alpha keto acid which is then converted into aceyl-CoA derivatives and which then gives rise to propionyl-CoA and acetyl-CoA. The propionly-CoA is converted to L-methylmalonyl-CoA and which then forms succinyl-CoA. These play role in citric acid cycle then.
  • Some research has shown that BCAA supplementation (typically 10–20 grams per day) does not result in meaningful changes in body composition, nor does it improve exercise performance or enhance the effects of physical training. However, BCAA supplementation may be useful in special situations, such as preventing muscle loss at high altitudes and prolonging endurance performance in the heat. Studies by one group of researchers suggest that BCAA supplementation may also improve exercise-induced declines in some aspects of mental functioning.

Deficiency Symptoms of Isoleucine

  • Isoleucine has been found to be deficient in people suffering from many different mental and physical disorders.
  •  A deficiency of isoleucine can lead to symptoms similar to those of hypoglycemia for example in its deficiency a person may experience confusion, irritability, fatigue, depression, dizziness, headaches etc.
Rich Food Sources of Isoleucine
  • Animal Sources: Some of the isoleucine animal sources are meats, chicken, fish, turkey, lamb, egg, dairy products, cheese etc
  • Plant Sources: Some of the plant sources are soy protein, nuts, whole lentils, seaweeds, peanuts  and leafy green like swiss chard, spinach, cabbage, alfalfa and watercress  .

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