Ornithine: The amino acid that helps to prompt the release of growth hormone, which promotes the metabolism of excess body fat.

Ornithine is a nonessential amino acid and is manufactured by the body. The amino acid, arginine, is metabolized during urea production and is required by the body as it acts as a precursor of citrulline, proline and glutamic acid. Ornithine induces the release of growth hormone in the body, which in turn helps with fat metabolism. It is required for a properly functioning immune system and liver and assists in ammonia detoxification and liver rejuvenation. Helps in healing and repairing skin and tissue.

Ornithine plays an important role in the urea cycle and is the precursor of the amino acids citrulline, glutamic acid, and proline. Another primary role of ornithine is being an intermediate in arginine biosynthesis, although this is due to its participation in the urea cycle (responsible for the production of urea). Ornithine is not directly incorporated into proteins and enzymes and does not have a codon in the genetic code.

Functions and Benefits of Ornithine

  • Induces the release of growth hormone in the body, which in turn helps with fat metabolism. It is required for a properly functioning immune system and liver and assists in ammonia detoxification and liver rejuvenation. Helps in healing and repairing skin and tissue.
  • ¬†Ornithine is necessary for proper immune-system and liver function.
  • High concentrations of ornithine are found in the skin and connective tissue, making it useful for promoting healing and repairing damaged tissues.
  • Ornithine is synthesized in the body from arginine, and in turn serves as the precursor of citrulline, proline, and glutamic acid.
  • Animal research has suggested that ornithine, along with arginine, may promote muscle-building activity in the body by increasing levels of growth-promoting (anabolic) hormones such as insulin and growth hormone. However, most human research does not support these claims at reasonable intake levels. One study that did demonstrate increased growth hormone with oral ornithine used very high amounts (an average of 13 grams per day) and reported many gastrointestinal side effects. One controlled study reported greater increases in lean body mass and strength after five weeks of intensive strength training in athletes taking 1 gram per day each of arginine and ornithine, compared with a group doing the exercise but taking a placebo. These findings require independent confirmation.
  • Ornithine aspartate has been shown to be beneficial in people with brain abnormalities (hepatic encephalopathy) due to liver cirrhosis. In a double-blind trial, people with cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy received either 18 grams per day of L-ornithine-L-aspartate or a placebo for two weeks. Those taking the ornithine had significant improvements in liver function and blood tests compared with those taking the placebo.
Deficiency Symptoms of Ornithine

  • Since the body can produce ornithine, a deficiency of this non-essential amino acid is rare.
  • A deficiency of this nonessential amino acid is unlikely, though depletion can occur during growth or pregnancy, and after severe trauma or malnutrition.
Rich Food Sources of Ornithine
  • carob, chocolate, coconut, dairy products, gelatin, meats, oats, peanuts, soybeans, walnuts, wheat, and wheat germ.

 

 

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