What is Threonine

Chemical Name: (2S,3R)-2-amino-3-hydroxybutanoic acid

Molecular Weight: 119.1

Structrual Formula:

Nitrogen Content: 11.76%



  • Threonine is another alcohol-containing amino acid that can not be produced by metabolism and must be taken in the diet (1)
  • Found in high concentrations in the heart skeletal muscles and central nervous system (1)
  • It is required to help maintain the proper protein balance in the body, as well as assist in the formation of collagen and elastin in the skin
  • It is further involved in liver functioning (including fighting fatty liver), lipotropic functions when combined with aspartic acid and methionine as well as assisting the immune system by helping the production of antibodies and promotes thymus growth and activity
  • Other nutrients are also better absorbed when threonine is present, and it has also been used as part treatment of mental health
  • Threonine is useful in the stabilization of blood sugar because it can be converted into glucose in the liver by the process of gluconeogenesis (2)
  • This amino acid plays an important role along with glycine and serine in porphyrin metabolism. Excessive use of threonine can cause the formation of too much urea and consequently ammonia toxicity in your body
  • To be used effectively, threonine requires vitamin B6, magnesium, and niacin. Both serine and glycine can be synthesized from this amino acid (1)

Threonine and Nervous system (3)

  • Threonine is an important amino acid for the nervous system
  • There are relatively high levels of threonine in the central nervous system
  • It has been used as a supplement to help alleviate anxiety and some cases of depression
  • The role of threonine in the functioning of the nervous system is highlighted by the body’s increased demand for this amino acid during times of stress

Threonine and wound healing (4)

  • Individuals who have undergone burns or trauma have been found to have greater urinary spill of threonine, indicating that it is mobilized from tissues after a trauma
  • Recent research indicates that increasing threonine intake during these periods may help in the recovery after injury

Threonine and Food

Threonine can be found in cottage cheese, whole lentils, sesame seeds, peanuts, fish, meats and poultry.

The Recommended Daily Allowance of Threonine

Age Group
Infant(3-6 months)
Child (10-12yr)
Requirement — mg per kg of body weight



Deficiency of Threonine (61)

  • It is a precursor of isoleucine and imbalance may result if the synthesis rate from asparate is incorrect
  • In humans, deficiency may result in irritability and a generally difficult personality


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