L-ornithine is a non-proteinogenic amino acid, which means that it is not used in the synthesis of proteins in the body. It does, however, play a crucial role in the Urea Cycle.

The primary health benefits of ornithine include detoxification, supporting muscle growth and recovery as well as improved sleep. Boosting ornithine levels can also boost your immunity and support the healing of wounds.

What is Ornithine?

L-Ornithine is an amino acid which our bodies produce naturally. It has several roles including supporting strength, endurance and muscle recovery as well as reducing stress levels and promoting better sleep. Its most crucial role is in the management and removal of waste products – particularly ammonia and excess nitrogen that are processed and removed in the Urea Cycle.

Excess ammonia – which naturally builds up within your body – is converted into urea in your liver before entering your bloodstream to be filtered by your kidneys and then excreted in your urine.

If ammonia levels are allowed to build up, it is damaging to your health as it can become toxic. Because L-Ornithine works as a catalyst to turn ammonia into urea, the Urea Cycle is sometimes known as the Ornithine Cycle.

The Relationship Between Arginine and Ornithine:

Ornithine is produced in the body when Arginine, another amino acid, is metabolised during the production of urea in the Urea Cycle. The two amino acids work together in harmony enabling both to be more effective with arginine needed to help the body absorb ornithine.

Health Benefits of Ornithine

  • It can help battle fatigue by keeping your energy levels balanced.
  • It can help you to relax and sleep better at night as it reduces the stress hormone cortisol. This is why IVBOOST UK includes Ornithine in our Chill Out IV Booster.
  • It is believed to help people recover faster from exercise.
  • It is linked to an increase in muscle strength as it adds to the production of Arginine which, in turn, boosts the production of Creatine, a substance found in your muscle cells which helps your muscle produce energy during high-intensity exercise and weight lifting.
  • Ornithine is also thought to help build up new tissue in your body by reducing the breakdown in protein to accelerate the healing process. This can help your muscles recover after exercise and your skin to heal from wounds.
  • Ornithine has also been studied for its potential role in promoting liver health.

Sources of L-Ornithine

 A non-essential amino acid, ornithine is created within your body (unlike essential amino acids which your body must get from external sources). As mentioned already, it’s produced from the Arginine in your liver cells.

You can also take in L-Ornithine from food sources, particularly from animal protein including:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs

If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, the following foods also provide an excellent source of L- Ornithine:

  • Coconuts and other nuts (especially peanuts)
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Wheat Germ
  • Oats
  • Soya beans
  • Quinoa
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh

Can You Supplement Your Levels of Ornithine?

If your body is unable to produce enough and you become L-Ornithine deficient, you will face the potentially serious problem of having too much toxic waste in your system.  If untreated this will impact your health.

If you are not getting enough L-Ornithine and your body is struggling to produce it, supplementation can help.

Ornithine supplementation is usually found in one of the following combinations.  It is typically created with other amino acids/nutrients to allow them to work together for the best possible health outcomes:

  • L-Ornithine Hydrochloride – this is known as L-Ornithine HCL. It is ornithine which has an extra hydrogen and chloride atom.  It is taken in liquid with 1.5g per serving recommended.
  • Ornithine Alpha-Ketoglutarate – known as OAKG – combines ornithine and the dicarboxylic acid, alpha-ketoglutarate. It’s presented as a salt and around 3g daily is usually recommended.

Are There Any Side Effects from Supplementation?

At the low, recommended dosage(s), clinical trials have very rarely shown any side effects from taking ornithine supplements.

When taken at higher dosage levels, most commonly to increase growth hormone synthesis, there have been the following reported side effects, so caution is recommended:

  • Regular cough
  • Nausea
  • Muscle cramps
  • Diarrhoea

If you’re in need of a safe source of ornithine, taking it through an IV drip can be very effective. Our Chill Out Booster includes ornithine, combined with other nutrients to restore a sense of well-being at a cellular level.

If you wish to learn more about our IV offers to boost mood, sleep or immunity contact us.