Ornithine is an amino acid produced in the urea cycle by the splitting off of urea from arginine. It is a central part of the urea cycle, which allows for the disposal of excess nitrogen. L-Ornithine is a precursor of citrulline and arginine.
Used for nutritional supplementation, also for treating dietary shortage or imbalance. It has been claimed that ornithine improves athletic performance, has anabolic effects, has wound-healing effects, and is immuno-enhancing.
A non-essential and nonprotein amino acid, ornithine is critical for the production of the body's proteins, enzymes and muscle tissue. Ornithine plays a central role in the urea cycle and is important for the disposal of excess nitrogen (ammonia). Ornithine is the starting point for the synthesis of many polyamines such as putrescine and spermine. Ornithine supplements are claimed to enhance the release of growth hormone and to burn excess body fat. Ornithine is necessary for proper immune function and good liver function.
Mechanism of action
L-Ornithine is metabolised to L-arginine. L-arginine stimulates the pituitary release of growth hormone. Burns or other injuries affect the state of L-arginine in tissues throughout the body. As De novo synthesis of L-arginine during these conditions is usually not sufficient for normal immune function, nor for normal protein synthesis, L-ornithine may have immunomodulatory and wound-healing activities under these conditions (by virtue of its metabolism to L-arginine).