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Ornithine

Ornithine

  • Build Muscle
  • Aid Overall Health
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  • Summary
  • Side Effects
  • Other Names
  • Uses
  • Details

Ornithine Overview

If you are a body builder and are looking to build more muscle, you may want to check out ornithine. Ornithine is offered as a supplement for muscle growth as well as a fat loss supplement.

Ornithine is a non-essential amino acid. It is understood to be non-essential because the body makes it naturally from Arginine, another amino acid. Amino acids are what makeup protein structures such as muscle tissue in the body.

The body uses Ornithine to synthesize taurine, arginine and various other amino acids. Ornithine is also necessary to make urea (a chemical compound found in urine), which helps eliminate toxins such as nitrogen from the body. Ornithine is vital to the immune system and to the liver as it aids in the detoxification of ammonia.  

Ornithine is considered a non-protein because it is not one of the amino acids used to synthesize protein. Some believe it to have some anabolic properties, though there is little evidence to prove this and more research needs to be done. Regardless of the lack of compelling evidence many body builders, weight trainers and athletes use Ornithine for this reason.

Some experts believe that Ornithine revives the thymus gland, as well as the skin, cardiac tissue and certain other areas. The human body uses this amino acid to maintain the immune system and support liver and brain function.

 

Potential Ornithine Side Effects

  • Excessive Bone Growth
  • Pituitary Malfunction
  • Joint Swelling
  • Contraindicated For Certain Medical Conditions
  • Contraindicated During Pregnancy

Other Names for Ornithine

L-Ornithine, L-Ornithine HCl, L-Ornithine Hydrochloride, L-5-aminorvaline, L-2,5-diaminovaleric acid, Ornithine HCl, Ornitina

Ornithine Nutritional Uses

  • Amino Acid(s)
  • Energy
  • Fat Loss
  • Liver Health
  • Muscle Growth
  • Tissue Repair
  • Weight Gain
  • Anti-Aging
  • Brain Function
  • Build Muscle
  • Burn Fat
  • Burns
  • Cardiac Tissue Health
  • Cirrhosis
  • Detoxification
  • Healing
  • Immunity
  • Increases HGH Levels
  • Increases Insulin
  • Skin Health
  • Strength
  • Thymus Gland Function

Increase Your Muscle With Ornithine

As an amino acid, ornithine has many important functions in the human body. It has a number of benefits when taken as a supplement as well.

Ornithine increases both insulin and Human Growth Hormone (HGH) level which are needed to build muscle and maintain it after strenuous physical activity. When combined with both carnitine and arginine, Ornithine also helps to lower body fat.

These results are best seen when ornithine is combined with carnitine and arginine, which are both also amino acids. Because of these supposed benefits, ornithine is a popular supplement with athletes such as body builders and those who are involved with intensive training.

Ornithine is also a popular supplement with those who want to lose fat but not lose muscle at the same time. One of the theories about why ornithine works is that studies in the lab have shown that it increases the levels of both growth hormone and insulin, which are important in the buildup of muscle. Keep in mind that these results were found in laboratory testing and not on humans.

Because ornithine plays a role in slowing the degeneration of muscles, it may be a good supplement for older individuals whose muscles start wasting away at an increased pace. The aging process causes the body to become less efficient at protein production.

Because of this the body can’t renew muscle fast enough, which leads to loss of strength and muscle tone.  Ornithine increases the amount of human growth hormone which speeds muscle tissue production and can counterbalance signs of aging.  

 In older people, ornithine can also stimulate the healthy gaining of weight by increasing their appetites.

Other Benefits of Taking Ornithine

In high doses, ornithine has been shown to have beneficial effects on the liver. It can help remove ammonia, which is considered to be toxic, and it has been shown to help individuals who are afflicted with liver cirrhosis. These benefits were found with doses of around 18 grams.

There have been various studies that show that Ornithine can be beneficial to people hospitalized for many reasons, including cancer, broad-spectrum infection, medical or surgical procedures, or severe trauma. Patients who were given Ornithine showed increased ability to heal, as well as an increase in appetite that led to healthy weight gain. Ornithine also caused an amplified healing ability in patients with moderate to severe burns.

Because ornithine is required in the synthesis of the energy fueling amino acids citrulline, proline, and glutamic acid, ornithine supplementation can also help increase levels of energy throughout the day.

Natural Sources of Ornithine

Because ornithine is an amino acid that is considered to be non essential, your body usually makes enough of it for what is needed for proper function in the body. Certain food sources contain ornithine such as eggs, meat, dairy, poultry, and fish.

Most healthy people get enough ornithine from what their body makes and food sources so deficiency is rare. However, groups of people who may need to supplement with ornithine include vegans and vegetarians, kids going through a growth spurt, pregnant women, individuals who are malnourished, and individuals who have had a severe trauma of some kind.

Ornithine Supplement Forms and Availability

You may choose to supplement with ornithine. Whether it is because you are deficient for some reason or you are looking to boost your muscle growth or energy level, there are supplements of ornithine available.

You can find ornithine supplements in both powder and capsule form, whichever you prefer. These supplements are fairly common and can be found at many vitamin and health stores.

Ornithine Dosage Recommendations

The normal western diet provides about 5g of Ornithine a day. The vast majority of healthy adults do not need to supplement Ornithine at all. Your body produces Ornithine and the there are numerous sources of ornithine in most peoples' diets. For those who are supplementing, the typical dose is 5g to 10g daily. The best time to take this supplement would be directly after vigorous exercise

For patients with severe burns the recommended dose is 10g to 30g daily. This has been shown to augment healing and shorten hospital stays.

For patients suffering brain abnormalities due to cirrhosis of the liver, the typical dose is 18g to 20 g daily for a period of two weeks. Patients given this dose showed a substantial improvement in liver function as well.  

Side Effects of Taking Ornithine

Ornithine aminotransferase deficiency, which affects the choroid (thin coating of the eye) and the retina, is characterized by an increased level of Ornithine in the system. Ornithine is not for women who are pregnant or nursing, nor is it for children due to its connection to arginine which can cause problems such as gigantism in growing individuals.

Those who have any form of herpes simplex are cautioned against  Ornithine because it can cause more frequent and severe outbreaks.

Ornithine deficiency is extremely rare. Because the body produces Ornithine naturally the only people who show signs of deficiency would be those who are tremendously malnourished or those who have a specific disorder such as Ornithine Transcarbamylase deficiency (OTCD). OTCD is a rare metabolic disorder that affects the urea cycle.

The biggest complaint people have reported is that large doses, usually above 10 grams, sometimes leads to problems in the gastrointestinal area such as diarrhea or cramping.

There are also links between Ornithine, arginine and psychotic episodes. Patients with schizophrenia are not recommended to take this supplement. Ornithine is known to have adverse effects on diabetes and can cause gastrointestinal problems if taken in high doses for prolonged periods of time, usually over 20g daily for more than one week.

Because Ornithine creates human growth hormone there are some specific side effects that relate to that:

  • Excessive and malformed bone growth on the face
  • Pituitary malfunction
  • Swelling of the joints

If you are taking other supplements or medication, there shouldn’t be any interaction problems. However, you should always consult with your health care provider before taking ornithine, especially if you have health issues.

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