L-ornithine is an amino acid that is primarily used in the urea cycle, which eliminates excess nitrogen from the body. It isn’t an essential amino acid in humans, meaning that it can be synthesized in the body. Ammonia (NH3) is a waste product of cellular metabolism, which becomes toxic if allowed to accumulate. L-ornithine is a catalyst in the process that converts ammonia into urea, which can be eliminated through urine.
The liver uses the enzyme arginase and the amino acid L-arginine to synthesize urea and L-ornithine as part of the urea cycle. E. coli in the intestines also synthesizes L-ornithine from the amino acid L-glutamate. L-ornithine serves as the precursor for various other important compounds such as glutamic acid, proline and citrulline. The highest concentrations of L-ornithine are found in connective tissue such as the skin.
Animal protein is the best dietary source of L-ornithine, like other amino acids. This primarily includes meat, eggs and dairy products. L-ornithine is also present in nuts such as coconut, peanuts and walnuts. Grains such as oats and wheat contain L-ornithine, as do beans such as carob and soybeans. L-ornithine is often prepared for use in health supplements as L-ornithine HCL, which is the hydrochloride salt of L-ornithine.
The primary use of L-ornithine in health supplements is to support athletic performance. It is also used to support liver functioning, healthy wound recovery and stress management.
Studies indicate that L-ornithine may help reduce anxiety in animals. This benefit may be related to the ability of L-ornithine to cross the blood-brain barrier.
L-ornithine may support liver functioning by managing ammonia levels. This use is often combined with L-aspartate.
Animal studies show that L-ornithine may support healthy wound recovery. This effect is generally attributed to L-ornithine’s role in collagen production.
Early research shows that oral supplements containing L-ornithine can support athletic performance, including strength, power and speed. This use of L-ornithine is especially common among male weightlifters.
L-Ornithine HCL has huge benefits for athletic performance, which is why we made it a key ingredient in our Total Balance Premium for Men and Women. It also supports rapid growth and development in children, which is why it features in Total Balance Children’s.
L-ornithine is normally biosynthesized in sufficient quantities, except under circumstances of excessive metabolic demand. Conditions that may result in a deficiency of L-ornithine include chronic disease, severe injury, pregnancy and rapid growth. Organ insufficiencies and problems with the urea cycle may also result in a need for supplemental L-ornithine. Bodybuilders and weightlifters may also benefit from an increase in l-ornithine, especially men. Common signs of an L-ornithine deficiency primarily include chronic problems with liver function.
L-ornithine, L ornithine, ornithine
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