Isoleucine (abbreviated as Ile or I)is an essential amino acid and is part of the three “branched chain amino acids” (BCAA) – the other two being leucine and valine.
Isoleucine, together with the other two branched-chain-amino-acids promote muscle recovery after physical exercise and on its own it is 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 of isoleucine is only found in people deficient in dietary protein but symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, depression, confusion as well as irritability. Symptoms of deficiency may mimic the symptoms of hypoglycemia. This nutrient has also been found to be deficient in people with mental and physical disorders.
Isoleucine is found in almonds, cashews, chicken, eggs, fish, lentils, liver, and meat.