The essential amino acid isoleucine must be sourced from the diet. These essential amino acids is important as it plays a role in the formation of hemoglobin and is also essential in stabilizing and regulating the energy levels as well as the levels of blood sugar in a person. Muscle tissue is the site for the biochemical metabolization of isoleucine in the body. Isoleucine is one of the three amino acids with branched side chains. Athletes benefit from supplements of these particular amino acids as they tend to boost energy levels in the body, helping increase physical endurance and also aid in healing and repairing damages in the muscular tissues.
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Individuals with different kinds of physical and psychological problems have been found to be deficient in levels of isoleucine. Physical symptoms that are similar to hypoglycemia are often evident in people with low levels of isoleucine in the body.
Nuts such as almonds and cashews, chicken, vegetarian foods like chickpeas and lentils, fish, eggs and liver as well as all meats, cereals like rye and most seeds are good sources for isoleucine, the amino acid is also found in high quantities in soy protein. Supplemental forms of isoleucine are also readily available in pharmaceutical stores. During the process of supplementing with isoleucine, it is important to correct the supplemental balance using the other two branched chain amino acids, namely leucine and valine. Thus, the dosage must be two milligrams of leucine and valine for every milligram of isoleucine consumed. It may also be much more convenient to use the combination supplements which include all three of the branched side chain amino acids in pre-determined doses.
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The amino acid isoleucine does not seem to play other significant roles in the body and in common with the other two branched side chain amino acids - the main role of isoleucine according to research results, lies in structural incorporation in to a many specific enzymes and proteins used in various tissues and processes in the body. In a general sense, this result may be proven correct. However, some specific tasks regulated by isoleucine have also been identified in the body.
The amino acid seems to have a role in stabilizing blood sugar and energy levels in the blood as has already been mentioned. The metabolism of isoleucine occurs within the muscular tissues and the amino acid is also essential in the formation of hemoglobin. The formation of blood clots also involves Isoleucine as an integral component. Isoleucine levels at a very low or deficient state in the body can produce physical symptoms resembling hypoglycemia.
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There are also other possible roles for isoleucine in the body. The amino acid may enhance the energy levels; it can actively increase endurance and stamina, and more importantly help out in rapidly healing and repairing muscular tissues. Post operative patients may also benefit from taking therapeutic dosages of supplemental isoleucine. Isoleucine supplements are also useful in alleviation from wasting in the muscles and fostering rapid healing in damaged tissues. Blunt trauma and burn injuries patients also benefit from using isoleucine supplements.
Body builders and athletes prefer the combination nutritional supplement of the branched side chain amino acids - namely isoleucine, leucine and valine. These three amino acids are used by many people to put on muscle mass quickly. Rigorous physical exercise puts a lot of stress on the body, and for this reason all individuals who practice aerobic, anaerobic and strength training exercises require a great increase in their consumption of proteins to repair tissue damage and aid in re-construction of cellular matter. Long periods involving elevation in the heart rate, can be ameliorated by BCAAs - as these can drastically increase the output of energy. This group of amino acids has been documented to supply approximately ten percent of the total energy produced during times of elongated physical activity when energy demand in the body is very high.
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Dietary supplements of isoleucine may also directly affect the levels of blood plasma in a positive manner. Blood plasma abnormalities and deficiencies in the amino acid pool of blood can be rectified supplements of proteins high in their content of the amino acids isoleucine, leucine, and valine - namely the BCAAs. Such supplements may be very beneficial to individuals affected by chronic renal failure - CRF- and related disorders. A deficiency of these particular amino acids is often manifested in those patients who receive hemodialysis - a clinical procedure for the removal of metabolic waste products or accumulated toxic substances out of the bloodstream by mechanical dialysis.
The effects of a balanced protein supplement on the blood plasma levels using Isoleucine, leucine, and valine in hemodialysis patients was the subject of a recent study. During the six month trial, the researchers came to the conclusion that the levels of plasma BCAA were elevated and maintained throughout the supplemental period. The levels of BCAA in the blood of the patients remained at high levels even nearly a month after the protein supplement program was terminated - in some patients the elevated levels was evident even up to 7 months. The positive results have been pointed out by some doctors as attributable to the balanced amino acid content present in the 'adequate' protein supplements that was used during the tests. The real benefits of isoleucine on patients receiving hemodialysis need to be assessed by further research on more patients.
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The combination supplemental form of isoleucine is the preferred form of taking isoleucine. Isoleucine is a three branched side chain possessing amino acid and should ideally be used combined with a two branched chain amino acid - this combination form is ideal to maintain a proper balance of the different amino acids in the body. The isoleucine form used should be the most bio-available form of the amino acid, this chemical is identified by prefix 'L-' - it is the form of isoleucine used by the body. The ideal combination supplements must have the best ratio of all chemical constituents consisting of a part L-isoleucine, two parts L-leucine along with two parts L-valine.