The Amino Acid L-Arginine May Support Weight-Loss Issues in Rats

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L-Arginine and Weight Loss Issues:  The International Symposium on Amino Acids
A Study Funded by the American Heart Association

Scientists at Texas A & M University have shown that the amino acid l- arginine may support weight-loss issues in rats.  A presentation for the study is scheduled for August, 2009 in Vienna, Austria at the 11th International Symposium on Amino Acids.  The study, which was funded by the American Heart Association, was published in the February, 2009 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

Texas A & M department of animal science Senior Faculty Fellow Guoyao Wu and associates fed 24 rats a high fat diet and gave 24 a low fat diet starting at 4 weeks of age.  After 15 weeks, 8 rats from each group were examined.  Animals who received the high fat diet, which provided 40 percent of its calories in the form of fat, experienced 18 percent greater weight gain and 74 percent higher white fat pad weight compared to rats that received the low fat diet, which provided only 10 percent of its calories from fat.  (White adipose tissue is the most common form of fat storage in humans, as opposed to brown fat.)  The remaining animals in each group were subsequently divided to receive drinking water supplemented with 1.5 percent L-arginine or 2.55 percent L-alanine (another amino acid as a control) while otherwise maintaining their previous diets.

After twelve-weeks of supplementation, weight gain in the rats receiving the high fat diet was 40 percent lower among those that received arginine compared with the control group.

For rats on the low fat diet, weight gain was 60 percent lower in the arginine group compared with those that received alanine.  White fat pad weight increased by 98 percent in animals that received alanine.  Animals that received l-arginine increased an average of only 35 percent.  Arginine supplementation was also associated with lower serum leptin, glucose, triglycerides, urea, glutamine, and branched chain amino acids, as well as improved glucose tolerance.

The researchers concluded that l-arginine may promote lean tissue growth over fat gain, a finding that was observed in earlier research using pigs.  Dr Wu stated that future investigations will involve obese children and adults.

"Given the current epidemic of weight-gain in the U.S. and worldwide, our finding is very important, stated Dr Wu. This finding could be translated into helping humans with their weight issues.  At this time, l-arginine is not incorporated into our food.

Warnings Information

  • Keep out of reach of children,
  • Do not exceed recommended dosage,
  • If you have a bad reaction, discontinue use immediately,
  • When using L-Arginine supplements concerning weight-loss issues, please inform your physician.

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