Ornithine and Arginine Benefits
Ornithine and arginine are amino acids. As is the case with most amino acids, their source is primarily found in protein foods such as eggs, dairy, fish, and meat. Unlike lysine, the body manufactures ornithine, which occurs during the production of urea when arginine is metabolized.
Research studies on animals have shown that ornithine and arginine may promote the building of muscles by increasing growth and insulin hormone levels. Research on humans does not support this theory if intake is kept at reasonable levels.
One singular study did reflect increased growth hormone levels when ornithine was taken orally at very high amounts (13 grams daily), but there were also some digestive system side effects associated with this elevated usage.
Another study indicated leaner body mass and increased strength after five weeks of controlled usage (1 gram daily of both ornithine and arginine). A separate test group was given a placebo and participated in the same exercises, but did not experience the same strength and body mass results.
Body builders are frequent users of the arginine and ornithine combination. Not only does it help them build muscle mass through intensive training, it helps individuals prevent muscle loss due to aging.
Ornithine has been used clinically for cancer, trauma, and burn victims and has shown positive results. Other medical benefits include:
* helping the elderly recover from acute illnesses more rapidly
* increase in weight gain, appetite, and life quality for those recovering from infection or illness
* a decrease in need for certain medications
* a decrease in wound healing time
Studies have indicated that many sufferers of the herpes virus benefit from foods that contain high levels of lysine and low levels of arginine, experiencing fewer instances of breakouts. By the same token, the ornithine and arginine combination can have the opposite effect, causing more breakout occurrences.
Ornithine has also been linked to increased adverse diabetes side effects. When used by body builders to increase HGH (human growth hormone) levels by the pituitary gland, overproduction may also cause swelling of the joints, facial malformation and/or excessive bone growth, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure.
Other Health Benefits of Ornithine and Arginine
Ornithine is used to help with gallbladder and liver cleansing. This is because it help produce urea, which flushes toxic substances out of the body. Research studies indicate this may reduce the occurrence of liver toxins and gallstones.
Ornithine has shown beneficial results in some patients suffering from brain abnormalities caused by cirrhosis of the liver. The patients taking 18 grams per day of ornithine aspartate experienced improved liver function and blood tests.
Ornithine has also been used on burn patients, and 10-30 gram supplements per day greatly improved burn healing time and decreased the length of hospitalization required.
While supplemental doses of ornithine and arginine have shown to be helpful with specific health conditions, most individuals will get the amounts they need if they eat the daily nutritional requirements of protein from sources such as meat, fish, dairy, and eggs.
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