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Branched-Chain Amino Acids

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 15, 2022.

What are other common names?

  • 2-Amino-3-Methylvaleric Acid
  • 2-Amino-4-Methylvaleric Acid
  • BCAA
  • BCAAs
  • Branched Chain Amino Acid Therapy
  • Essential Amino Acids
  • Isoleucine
  • Isoleucine Ethyl Ester HCl
  • L-Isoleucine
  • L-Leucine
  • L-Leucine Pyroglutamate
  • L-Valine
  • Leucine
  • Leucine Ethyl Ester HCl
  • Leucine Isovaleric Acid
  • Leucine Methyl Ester HCl
  • Valine

What is this product used for?

Branched-chain amino acids are also called BCAAs. They come from proteins found in food like red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, beans, and dairy. BCAAs may help with brain problems caused by liver damage in people who abuse alcohol.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with other drugs or natural products.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor that you take this product if you are scheduled for surgery or tests.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breastfeeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this natural product.

  • Do not take large doses of this product. It can decrease other chemicals in your brain that control moods, memory, and movement.

  • If you have blood sugar problems, keep hard candies, glucose tablets, liquid glucose, or juice on hand for low blood sugar.

  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have:

    • Liver problems

    • Nerve problems like motor neuron disease (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease)

    • Mental health or mood problems

    • Diabetes

    • Seizures

    • Metabolic disorders

What should I watch for?

  • Upset stomach

  • Stomach cramps

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away or call for emergency help if problems with breathing happen.

  • Signs of low blood sugar. These include anger, shaking, a fast heartbeat, confusion, or sweating.

  • Very bad belly pain

  • Very bad loose stools

Last Reviewed Date


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