Ornithine is a nonprotein amino acid, which means it is not used to create proteins.  Ornithine can be thought of as a 'functional' amino acid, rather than a 'structural' amino acid.  Its primary role in the body is as part of the urea cycle, which neutralizes the toxin ammonia.  Ammonia builds up in your body as a waste product, and ornithine is the limiting factor in the processing of it.  The less ornithine you have, the less ammonia can be eliminated.  To explain the urea cycle in simplified terms, ornithine and ammonia together are converted into urea (which is then filtered by the kidneys), and into the amino acid citrulline

Elevated levels of ammonia in the blood may cause fatigue, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or pain in the back, sides or abdomen.  Ammonia appears to hinder the production ATP, which is thought to be the cause of some of these symptoms, and will eventually lead to poor muscle tone. Ammonia also raises the levels of damaging free radicals in the body.

If left unchecked, toxicity levels can lead to breathing difficulties, a burning sensation in the lungs, increased urinary output of essential minerals, and glucose intolerance.  Abnormally large doses of ammonia will cause instant hyperventilation, loss of balance, brain damage, convulsions, coma, and death.

Poor liver function, alcohol use, and the fillers in fast food meats are some common causes of high ammonia levels.  Ammonia is the cause of many of the symptoms associated with liver and kidney problems.

There have been studies on the use of ornithine supplementation to increase lean muscle mass or human growth hormone production.  However, some of these studies are old and unverified, while those regarding HGH show that the spikes are so short lived that it's considered an ineffective fitness supplement.

Ornithine is not a high priority supplement, because most of what you need can come from even an unhealthy diet.  VitaMist includes it as a complement to amino acids like citrulline and arginine in a few of our products.  However, it's inclusion is due to its ability to generate citrulline, not for any other health reason.  If you are suffering from high ammonia levels, it is imperative to speak with your doctor, as it may be caused by dangerous liver or kidney problems.


Here Are Some Products That Contain Ornithine

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.