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Other name(s):

a-amino-isovaleric acid


Valine is a branched-chain essential amino acid. This means your body does not make it and you must get it through your diet. Branched-chain amino acids are used in your body to help make energy.

Valine is found mainly in protein food sources, such as meats, fish, soy, and dairy. But it is also found in other foods, including some nuts, vegetables, and whole grains.

Unsubstantiated claims

There may be benefits that have not yet been proven through research. Branched-chain amino acid supplements are often taken to promote muscle growth, increase athletic performance, and boost the immune system.

Valine may help treat malnutrition due to drug addiction.

Recommended intake

Amino acids (AAs) can be taken as single AAs or in AA combinations. They also come as part of multivitamins, proteins, and food supplements. The forms include tablets, fluids, and powders.

If you eat enough protein in your diet, you will get an adequate amount of amino acids, unless there is a malnutrition problem or other health concerns that would need higher quantities of amino acids. Your healthcare provider or nutritionist can help guide you as needed.

There are no conditions that increase how much valine you need.

Side effects, toxicity, and interactions

Using a single amino acid supplement may lead to negative nitrogen balance. This can lessen how well your metabolism works. It can also make your kidneys work harder. In children, taking single amino acid supplements may also cause growth problems.

You should not take high doses of single amino acids for long periods of time.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use valine supplements. You should not use them if you have maple syrup urine disease. This is a rare, inherited disorder.

Medical Reviewers:

  • Amy Finke RN BSN
  • Bianca Garilli MD
  • Jessica Gotwals RN BSN MPH