The body uses ornithine to synthesize the amino acids arginine and proline. Ornithine belongs to the group of nonessential amino acids, meaning that the body can produce ornithine if it has need of it.
Ornithine significantly strengthens the immune system, stimulating it by producing antibodies. Usually, ornithine is not taken on its own but in combination with arginine in the form of food supplements.
Benefits of Ornithine
Taking ornithine is of exceptional importance and benefit to bodybuilders and those who work out. Ornithine has several primary functions, making it essential for bodybuilders.
Firstly, ornithine plays a key role in the urea cycle, which cleanses the body of toxic ammonia and its derivatives that accumulate in large amounts during protein absorption and metabolism.
Ornithine turns ammonia into the less toxic urea, which is in turn excreted from the body, getting rid of the excess nitrogen which can cause damage to the body. In this way, ornithine detoxifies the liver and helps it function properly.
Second, ornithine stimulates the secretion of human grown hormone and its activity. This means that it stimulates muscle growth, as well as speeding up fat metabolism - it gets rid of fat, meaning more muscle instead.
Thirdly, ornithine is cyclically converted into arginine in the body and is a basic raw material for it, directly increasing vasodilation and nitric oxide. This means that the combination of ornithine and arginine before a workout is the best for achieving the desired results.
Another proof of the claim that ornithine raises energy levels in the muscles is that it's converted into proline, citrulline, creatine and glutamic acid. This function reduces fatigue during and after a workout.
Ornithine can stimulate muscle growth by increasing the activity of anabolic growth hormone. It's required for the proper functioning of the immune system and liver. Ornithine detoxifies the body, playing a role in converting the ammonia into urea and then excreting it.
It helps cleanse the liver, faster healing of wounds and other skin problems. Last but not least, ornithine is the main raw material for the production of arginine.
Sources of Ornithine
The best sources of ornithine are non-fatty and dry meat, fish (salmon, herring, mackerel), eggs and dairy products. Ornithine can also be obtained through food supplements, either on its own or in combination with arginine or arginine and lysine.
Dangers of Ornithine
In the form of food supplements, ornithine should not be used by children, pregnant women, breastfeeding women or people with a family history of schizophrenia. Everyone else needs to take the supplements in the recommended daily doses to avoid negative effects.