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What is Isoleucine? A Fact Sheet from Our IV Therapy Toronto Lounge


Inside our IV therapy Toronto lounge, our health care team is keen on educating patients about protein building blocks – which are frequently known as amino acids. 

In particular, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are essential for the human body, which means we need them for optimal function. Several studies have emphasized that BCAAs can contribute to reducing post-exercise recovery time and boosting muscle growth, while supporting patients with a chronic illness called cirrhosis.    

Unfortunately, our bodies cannot produce BCAAs on their own. So, we need to outsource these vital nutrients from our diet or a supplement, such as powders, oral tablets or an intravenous amino acid drip. 

One BCAA that’s commonly supplemented is called isoleucine. “Isoleucine, as one of the branched chain amino acids, is also critical in physiological functions of the whole body, such as growth, immunity, protein metabolism, fatty acid metabolism and glucose transportation,” confirms a Current Protein & Peptide Science review. 

At the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre’s IV Lounge, isoleucine is offered as a key ingredient for IV therapy when it’s combined with other amino acids. Here are some things to know about this BCAA and how it can aid your wellness. 

Key facts and beneficial effects of isoleucine

  • BCAAs such as isoleucine play a role in various body functions. For example, BCAAS “…are needed for the physiological response to stress, in energy production, and particularly for normal metabolism and health of muscle,” says a News Medical Life Sciences article.
  • Isoleucine contributes to red blood cell production and building hemoglobin. It also encourages the detoxification of harmful toxins from the body. 
  • Patients who undergo regular physical exertion and strength training commonly opt for isoleucine as part of the triad of BCAA supplements. When taken alongside other BCAAs, such as leucine and valine, isoleucine can assist with lessening muscle loss and promoting muscle recovery. 
  • The amino acid may help with strengthening immune function, including the cellular functioning of immune cells. “Recent studies have also shown that isoleucine may induce the expression of host defense peptides (i.e., β-defensins) that can regulate host innate and adaptive immunity,” states a piece from Current Protein & Peptide Science.
  • Did you know that some cases of depression are linked to a lack of amino acids in the body? In one study, it was shown that women between the ages of 65-79 years with depression tend to have nutritional deficiencies related to histidine, isoleucine and leucine. These findings are promising, as they show that nutrition could be considered for helping to treat depression in seniors. 
  • “Dietary habits can affect an individual’s muscle conditions. Dietary intake of amino acids and the intake of nutraceuticals, especially branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) including leucine, isoleucine, and valine, are known to promote muscle protein synthesis and increase muscle strength as well as tendon health,” states an article from Nutrients. This is important to understand, as a deficiency of this amino acid is common in some seniors. Studies have shown that older adults tend to have low levels of isoleucine in their blood. In particular, a lack of isoleucine can trigger muscle weakness and tremors. 

Are you interested in isoleucine as a key ingredient for your IV drip? This supplement is not recommended for pregnant/breastfeeding women; for those already taking valine and leucine supplements; and patients diagnosed with cystinuria. Please visit a functional medicine provider to determine if isoleucine is suitable for you. 

Our vitamin IV Lounge offers isoleucine when it’s combined with a medley of amino acids for intravenous infusion drips. Vitamin IV therapy can promote optimal health when administered as adjunct support and merged with a healthy lifestyle. It may be advised for patients who suffer from malabsorption, as IV drip formulas don’t require use of the digestive tract. In turn, this could prevent unwanted side effects that can result from ingesting from oral supplements. 

Do you need help with your health goals? Or do you want to learn how a post-exercise amino acid drip could level up your physical performance? If so, please become a new patient at the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre. We’ll jump-start your health journey with a complete diagnostic session to understand your needs. 

About our health care team and intravenous therapy

At our private downtown clinic, we help patients uncover their potential with integrative medicine. This encourages you to draw strategies from other modalities to promote symptom relief and address the root of chief health concerns. Our treatments may be applied to a wide range of health conditions related to: thyroid conditions, immune function, athletic performances, inflammatory bowel disease, skin health, cognitive function, chronic stress, heavy metal toxicity, leaky gut syndrome, mental clarity (brain fog), hair restoration, autoimmune conditions, and more. 

Our personalized service of therapies is customized with integrative functional medicine principals; this also applies to our vitamin drip treatments. Would you like to include IV therapy drips in your treatment plan? You should know that our menu items are tailored according to your medical history/genetics, health goals, lifestyle, and environmental factors to promote optimal functioning for your unique biology. There are also different types of IV fluids with various health purposes that you may want to know about. Therapeutic doses of nutrients in our IV Lounge include vitamin A, vitamin C, trace minerals and major minerals, glutamic acid, major antioxidants (i.e. glutathione), folic acid, NAD+ IV therapy, and other key components.

Discover what IV therapy from Toronto can offer you – contact our IV Lounge today! Let’s introduce you to functional medicine strategies that could potentially upgrade muscle recovery, liver detoxification, energy levels, and more. Click here to request your initial consultation. 

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.



Branched-Chain Amino Acids (Bcaa) – Uses, Side Effects, and More,” from WebMD, viewed on April 9, 2023. 

Canfield, C. A., & Bradshaw, P. C. (2019). Amino acids in the regulation of aging and aging-related diseases. Translational Medicine of Aging, 3, 70-89.

Gu C, Mao X, Chen D, Yu B, Yang Q. Isoleucine Plays an Important Role for Maintaining Immune Function. Curr Protein Pept Sci. 2019;20(7):644-651. doi: 10.2174/1389203720666190305163135. PMID: 30843485.

Isoleucine” from the University of Rochester Medical Center, reviewed by Brittany Poulson MDA RDN CD CDE,

Diane Horowitz MD, Heather M Trevino BSN RNC, viewed on April 9, 2023. 

Park S, Chae M, Park H, Park K. Higher Branched-Chain Amino Acid Intake Is Associated with Handgrip Strength among Korean Older Adults. Nutrients. 2021 Apr 30;13(5):1522. doi: 10.3390/nu13051522. PMID: 33946360; PMCID: PMC8146867.

Solís-Ortiz S, Arriaga-Avila V, Trejo-Bahena A, Guevara-Guzmán R. Deficiency in the Essential Amino Acids l-Isoleucine, l-Leucine and l-Histidine and Clinical Measures as Predictors of Moderate Depression in Elderly Women: A Discriminant Analysis Study. Nutrients. 2021; 13(11):3875.

What are Leucine and Isoleucine?” by Jack Davis, B.Sc., reviewed by Dr. Liji Thomas, MD, updated January 27, 2023, viewed on April 9, 2023. 


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