L-threonine, L-thréonine, Thréonine, Treonina.<br/><br/>


Overview Information

Threonine is an amino acid. Amino acids are the building blocks the body uses to make proteins.

Threonine is used to treat various nervous system disorders including spinal spasticity, multiple sclerosis, familial spastic paraparesis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease).

How does it work?

Threonine is changed in the body to a chemical called glycine. Glycine works in the brain to reduce constant and unwanted muscle contractions (spasticity).


Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease). Taking 2 grams to 4 grams of threonine daily for up to 12 months does not seem to slow the progression of ALS or reduce symptoms. There is also some evidence that threonine might actually worsen lung function in people with ALS.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Familial spastic paraparesis, a hereditary disorder. Early research suggests that taking 1.5 grams to 2 grams of threonine by mouth three times daily might improve some symptoms in people with familial spastic paraparesis. But the improvement does not seem to be very significant.
  • Multiple sclerosis. Early research suggests that taking 2.5 grams of threonine by mouth three times daily for 8 weeks does not reduce muscle stiffness (spasticity) in people with MS.
  • Spinal spasticity, a movement disorder caused by spinal cord damage. Early research suggests that taking 2 grams of threonine by mouth three times daily modestly decreases muscle contractions in people with spinal spasticity caused by spinal cord injury.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of threonine for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Threonine is POSSIBLY SAFE when doses of up to 4 grams daily are taken by mouth for up to 12 months. Some people experience minor side effects such as stomach upset, headache, nausea, and skin rash.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking threonine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease):There is some concern that threonine might decrease lung function in patients with ALS. In one study, ALS patients taking 1 gram of threonine four times per day for 6 months had significantly reduced lung function compared to patients who did not receive threonine. More evidence is needed to determine if threonine was actually at fault.



Major Interaction

Do not take this combination

  • Medications used for Alzheimer's disease (NMDA antagonists) interacts with THREONINE

    There is some concern that threonine might decrease how well a medication used for Alzheimer's disease works. This medication is called memantine (Namenda).



The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For a certain movement disorder due to spinal cord damage (spinal spasticity): 6 grams of threonine per day.

View References


  • Blin, O., Desnuelle, C., Guelton, C., Aubrespy, G., Ardissonne, J. P., Crevat, A., Pouget, J., and Serratrice, G. [Anomaly in the neurotransmitter amino acids in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a therapeutic application]. Rev.Neurol.(Paris) 1991;147(5):392-394. View abstract.
  • Blin, O., Serratrice, G., Pouget, J., Aubrespy, G., Guelton, C., and Crevat, A. [Short-term double-blind vs placebo trial of L-threonine in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis]. Presse Med. 9-30-1989;18(30):1469-1470. View abstract.
  • Bromberg, M. B., Fries, T. J., Forshew, D. A., and Tandan, R. Electrophysiologic endpoint measures in a multicenter ALS drug trial. J.Neurol.Sci. 2-15-2001;184(1):51-55. View abstract.
  • Harper AE, Benton DA, Winje ME, Monson WJ., and Elvehjem CA. Effect of threonine on fat deposition in the livers of mature rats. J.Biol.Chem. 1954;209(1):165-170. View abstract.
  • Hauser, S. L., Doolittle, T. H., Lopez-Bresnahan, M., Shahani, B., Schoenfeld, D., Shih, V. E., Growdon, J., and Lehrich, J. R. An antispasticity effect of threonine in multiple sclerosis. Arch.Neurol. 1992;49(9):923-926. View abstract.
  • Hsieh JTC , Wolfe DL , Connolly S , Townson AF , Curt A , Blackmer J , Sequeira K , and Aubut J. Spasticity after spinal cord injury: an evidence-based review of current interventions. Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation (TOP SPINAL CORD INJ REHABIL) 2007;13(1):81-97.
  • Parton, M., Mitsumoto, H., and Leigh, P. N. Amino acids for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis / motor neuron disease. Cochrane.Database.Syst.Rev. 2003;(4):CD003457. View abstract.
  • Parton, M., Mitsumoto, H., and Leigh, P. N. WITHDRAWN: Amino acids for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis / motor neuron disease. Cochrane.Database.Syst.Rev. 2008;(2):CD003457. View abstract.
  • Rose, W. C. II. The sequence of events leading to the establishment of the amino acid needs of man. Am.J.Public Health Nations.Health 1968;58(11):2020-2027. View abstract.
  • Rose, W. C., HAINES, W. J., WARNER, D. T., and JOHNSON, J. E. The amino acid requirements of man. II. The role of threonine and histidine. J.Biol.Chem. 1951;188(1):49-58. View abstract.
  • Shakespeare, D. T., Boggild, M., and Young, C. Anti-spasticity agents for multiple sclerosis. Cochrane.Database.Syst.Rev. 2003;(4):CD001332. View abstract.
  • Testa, D., Caraceni, T., Fetoni, V., and Girotti, F. Chronic treatment with L-threonine in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a pilot study. Clin.Neurol.Neurosurg. 1992;94(1):7-9. View abstract.
  • van der Schoor, S. R., Wattimena, D. L., Huijmans, J., Vermes, A., and van Goudoever, J. B. The gut takes nearly all: threonine kinetics in infants. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 2007;86(4):1132-1138. View abstract.
  • Blin O, Pouget J, Aubrespy G, et al. A double-blind placebo controlled trial of L-threonine in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. J Neurol 1992;239:79-81. View abstract.
  • Growdon JH, Nader TM, Schoenfeld J, Wortman RJ. L-threonine in the treatment of spasticity. Clin Neuropharmacol 1991;14:403-12. View abstract.
  • Lee A, Patterson V. A double blind study of L-threonine in patients with spinal spasticity. Acta Neurol Scand 1993;88:334-8. View abstract.
  • Roufs JB. L-threonine as a symptomatic treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Med Hypotheses 1991;34:20-3. View abstract.
  • Tandan R, Bromberg MB, Forshew D, et al. A controlled trial of amino acid therapy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: I. Clinical, functional, and maximum isometric torque data. Neurology 1996;47:1220-6. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.