Beneficial effects of L-arginine on reducing obesity: Potential mechanisms and important implications for human health

Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Nutrition, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA.
Amino Acids (Impact Factor: 3.29). 05/2010; 39(2):349-57. DOI: 10.1007/s00726-010-0598-z
Source: PubMed


Over the past 20 years, growing interest in the biochemistry, nutrition, and pharmacology of L-arginine has led to extensive studies to explore its nutritional and therapeutic roles in treating and preventing human metabolic disorders. Emerging evidence shows that dietary L-arginine supplementation reduces adiposity in genetically obese rats, diet-induced obese rats, finishing pigs, and obese human subjects with Type-2 diabetes mellitus. The mechanisms responsible for the beneficial effects of L-arginine are likely complex, but ultimately involve altering the balance of energy intake and expenditure in favor of fat loss or reduced growth of white adipose tissue. Recent studies indicate that L-arginine supplementation stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis and brown adipose tissue development possibly through the enhanced synthesis of cell-signaling molecules (e.g., nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, polyamines, cGMP, and cAMP) as well as the increased expression of genes that promote whole-body oxidation of energy substrates (e.g., glucose and fatty acids) Thus, L-arginine holds great promise as a safe and cost-effective nutrient to reduce adiposity, increase muscle mass, and improve the metabolic profile in animals and humans.

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Available from: Stephen B Smith, Jun 16, 2015
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    • "Secretion of insulin and glucagon by specific cells in the pancreas is regulated usually in the opposite direction; but a striking exception is that insulin and glucagon secretion are stimulated by amino acids or a protein meal (Muller et al. 1971). The balance between insulin and glucagon regulates the metabolism of glucose, fat, and protein, thereby promoting a stable inner metabolic milieu; and this action is done via pathways involving cAMP signaling (McKnight et al. 2010). Glucagon activates adenylyl cyclase to generate cAMP, which stimulates protein kinase A (PKA) (Mersmann and Smith 2005). "
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    • "Obesity is a serious health problem that continuously increases the morbidity and mortality of a variety of acute and chronic diseases [9], [10]. Several studies have reported that L-arginine supplementation prevents obesity and obesity-related metabolic complications [11], [12]. Previously, we observed significant upregulations of arginase I in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of overweight/obese individuals [13]. "
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    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · PLoS ONE
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