Threonine, the last essential dietary amino acid to be identified, was found in 1935 by William Cumming Rose. This amino acid supports the human immune system by helping in the production of antibodies.

Chemical Structure
Structure of Threonine

IUPAC Name: (2S,3R)-2-Amino-3-hydroxybutanoic acid
Symbol: Three-letter code - Thr. One-letter code - T
Molecular Weight (Molar Mass): 119.11916 g/mol
Molecular Formula (Structural Formula): C4H9NO3
Canonical SMILES: CC(C(C(=O)O)N)O
Isomeric SMILES: C[C@H]([C@@H](C(=O)O)N)O
CAS Number: 72-19-5
MDL Number: MFCD00064270
Melting point: 256 °C
Solubility in water: 90 g/L (20 °C); pKa - 2,09; pKb - 9,10
2D Molfile: Get the molfile
3D PDB file: Get the PDB file
Other names: (2S,3R)-2-Amino-3-hydroxybutyric acid; L-2-Amino-3-hydroxybutyric acid; (S)-Threonine

Since Threonine is found largely in the central nervous system, it can be really helpful in treating different types of depression. This amino acid makes up elastin, collagen, and enamel protein, and even promotes the proper fat metabolism in the liver. Finally, Threonine is known for aiding the digestive and intestinal tracts to function more smoothly, as well as for helping in metabolism and assimilation.

Threonine is an essential amino acid, i.e., it is vital for your health, but it canott be synthesized by your body and therefore has to be obtained from a diet. This amino acid supports central nervous, cardiovascular, liver, and immune system functioning - just to name a few. Moreover, it helps in the synthesis of glycine and serine which, in their turn, assist in the production of collagen, elastin, and muscle tissue. In addition, Threonine aids building strong bones and tooth enamel and speeds up a wound healing process after trauma or surgery by boosting up the immune system.

Threonine works the following way: it combines with aspartic acid and Methionine to jointly help liver digest fats and fatty acids. This process helps reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver, which would otherwise affect the liver function. This amino acid is also useful in treating Lou Gehrig's disease, aka Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Scientific researches show that Threonine treatment also helps alleviate symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis - another disease affecting nerves and muscles. Besides, Threonine is recognized as an immunostimulant promoting the growth of thymus gland.

As for other nutrients, they are also better absorbed if Threonine is present, which has been successfully used as a part treatment of mental health. Proper levels of Threonine can be found in most meats, dairy and eggs. Vegans may obtain it from the wheat germ, nuts, beans and some vegetables, but in lower quantities.