L-arginine Suppresses Food Intake

The amino acid L-arginine improves endurance in athletes and enhances metabolic health. A study on rats led by Amin Alamshah from Imperial College London in the U.K. found that L-arginine stimulated the release of gut hormones (GLP-1 and PYY) that reduced food intake by suppressing the hunger center in the brain. The body uses arginine to make nitric oxide (NO), stimulate growth hormone release, synthesize creatine, promote tissue healing and make new proteins— all of which boost exercise performance. It is particularly effective for endurance athletes because it boosts nitric oxide production, muscle blood flow and tissue oxygen delivery. NO is a chemical secreted by the cells lining the blood vessels, and it increases blood flow and the delivery of nutrients to skeletal muscle. Arginine supplements might also help regulate blood pressure, promote sexual performance and suppress herpes simplex outbreaks. We need more research to determine if it is an effective anti-obesity supplement. (Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, published online February 11, 2016)

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