Also indexed as: L-Ornithine-L-Aspartate, OA, Ornithine-Aspartate
Ornithine, an amino acid, is manufactured by the body when another amino acid, arginine, is metabolized during the production of urea (a constituent of urine).
As with amino acids in general, ornithine is predominantly found in meat, fish, dairy, and eggs. Western diets typically provide 5 grams per day. The body also produces ornithine.
Ornithine has been used in connection with the following conditions (refer to the individual health concern for complete information):
|Science Ratings||Health Concerns|
Liver cirrhosis (hepatic encephalopathy) (L-ornithine-L-aspartate)
Recovery from illness (ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate)
Athletic performance (for body composition and strength)
and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support and/or minimal health benefit.
Since ornithine is produced by the body, a deficiency of this nonessential amino acid is unlikely, though depletion can occur during growth or pregnancy, and after severe trauma or malnutrition.1
Most people would not benefit from ornithine supplementation. In human research involving ornithine, 5–10 grams are typically used per day, sometimes combined with arginine.
No side effects have been reported with the use of ornithine, except for gastrointestinal distress with intakes over 10 grams per day.
The presence of arginine is needed to produce ornithine in the body, so higher levels of this amino acid should increase ornithine production.
At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with ornithine.
1. Zieve L. Conditional deficiencies of ornithine or arginine. J Am Coll Nutr 1986;5:167–76. [review]
Copyright © 2007 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com
Learn more about Healthnotes, the company.
Learn more about the authors of Healthnotes.
The information presented in Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires September 2008.