If you’re looking for the best ornithine supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Ornithine Supplements Guide.
Top 10 Ornithine Supplements
|#1||BulkSupplements Pure L-Ornithine HCL Powder||More Info|
|#2||NOW Foods L-Ornithine||More Info|
|#3||Jarrow Formulas Arginine and Ornithine||More Info|
|#4||Solgar L-Arginine/L-Ornithine||More Info|
|#5||NOW Foods L-Arginine/Ornithine||More Info|
|#6||Ultimate Nutrition Arginine Ornithine Lysine||More Info|
|#7||Twinlab Inc L-Arginine & L-Ornithine||More Info|
|#8||Puritan’s Pride L-Arginine L-Ornithine L-Lysine||More Info|
|#9||Best Naturals Tri-Amino||More Info|
|#10||Olympian Labs Arginine 500mg & Ornithine||More Info|
Ornithine is one of many amino acids the body has various uses for, the most important one being the urea cycle, which is sometimes called the ornithine cycle according to News Medical Life Sciences.
While ornithine is not considered one of the essential 22 amino acids (the term “essential” refers to the body’s inability to make these amino acids on its own), the body’s access to sufficient quantities of self-manufactured ornithine can be limited by high stress, illness, trauma, infection or injury.
According to Amino Acid Studies, it is possible to get ornithine from certain foods, such as eggs, meat, fish and dairy, but taking ornithine in supplement form (tablets, capsules, powder) is just as good and sometimes even preferable to trying to get sufficient quantities through diet alone.
As well, Orthomolecular reports that even with a diet rich in orthinine-generating foods, the average person will produce only 5 grams per day of ornithine just by eating ornithine production-promoting foods. For this reason, taking ornithine in supplement form is highly recommended to get the higher doses required for addressing conditions ornithine is known to effectively address.
In this article, learn about ornithine – what it is, what it does, how much you need, whether it can cause any side effects and how to choose and take an ornithine supplement.
What is Ornithine?
Ornithine is a critical component in the urea cycle of the body. In order to understand the critical function of ornithine, it is helpful to understand what the urea cycle is and how it works to keep the body healthy.
The goal of the urea cycle is to eliminate toxins from the body through the urine. The primary toxin to be eliminated is the nitrogen by-product ammonia. When the body cannot effectively eliminate ammonia via waste, it builds up in the blood stream and causes damage to the entire system.
According to Health Grades, there are a variety of reasons why the body might not be able to effectively eliminate ammonia, including liver or kidney damage. Insufficient ornithine levels can also impair the urea cycle from functioning optimally.
BioInfo reports that ornithine is essential to the body’s efforts to produce urea. Adding more ornithine in the form of a supplement can aid the body’s own efforts to detoxify and produce urea to transport ammonia out of the body.
Benefits of Ornithine
Ornithine has much to offer beyond its recognized role in the urea cycle. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) study reported that study participants who were taking ornithine (along with arginine) in supplement form showed marked increases in total body strength, lean body mass and decreases in tissue breakdown.
WebMD reports that ornithine has been used effectively to reduce body toxicity as a result of liver disease. It does this by helping the body to more effectively produce urea to transfer ammonia out of the body. It has also been shown to be effective in improving wound healing.
Dr. Ray Sahelian reports that ornithine has shown research promise for the following uses:
- Burn and healing. Ornithine can speed healing from burn injuries and other wounds.
- Malnutrition. Ornithine helps reverse chronic (in elderly patients) and acute (in trauma patients) malnourishment by improving appetite and promoting weight gain.
- Growth hormone. Ornithine can improve production of human growth hormone (HGH).
- Insulin. Ornithine has been shown to improve insulin production.
- Immune system function. Ornithine can stabilize and strengthen the immune system.
- Digestive support. Ornithine can improve absorption of nutrients and elimination of waste (urea, ammonia).
- Sarcopenia. Ornithine can replace lost muscle mass as part of the normal aging process.
- Sleep and fatigue. Ornithine can improve sleep quality while reducing fatigue.
- Hepatic encephalopathy. Ornithine can reduce ammonia build-up that impacts brain function in liver disease patients while also improving overall liver function.
- Cancer. Ornithine in green tea has been shown to inhibit some cancers.
- Stress. Ornithine has been shown to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in research participants.
Are There any Side Effects?
According to WebMD, there are no known side effects or drug interactions with ornithine.
However, WebMD cautions against taking ornithine if you are trying to conceive, are pregnant or are breastfeeding. The reason is that not enough research has been done to determine if there may be any adverse effect on you or your baby.
Nutrient Journal reported that taking ornithine at higher levels may cause some side effects such as gastrointestinal distress, stomach aches and diarrhea. To avoid side effects, it is smart to start at the lowest possible dose to allow your body to get used to having a ready supply of ornithine.
How to Take Ornithine
If ornithine is not the only amino acid supplement you are taking, you should be sure to leave at least 30 minutes in between taking one amino acid and another to avoid possible interactions between the amino acids.
Also, if you tend to eat more protein in your diet, try to space out your ornithine doses so there is at least 30 minutes between when you take ornithine and when you eat protein. Ideally, take ornithine 30 minutes before eating your meals. This will ensure the protein doesn’t diminish the impact of the ornithine.
According to Online Holistic Health, the dosage you begin with should conform to the purpose you are taking ornithine for.
As an example, if you are taking it for wounds, burns, infection or injury healing, a good starting dose is between 10 and 30 mg per day, ideally in two or three separate doses spread throughout your day.
If you are taking ornithine to kill off a parasite, a dose from 2 to 10 grams per day should suffice.
According to Nutrition Journal, for many, ornithine seems to have mild relaxant qualities that can reduce stress levels and improve your quality of sleep. This means the best time to take it is just before you go to bed each night.
However, if you notice you don’t have these effects when taking ornithine, then you can take it at any time that is most convenient for you.
What to Look for in a Good Ornithine Supplement
When you are choosing an ornithine supplement, you will see ornithine listed as “L-ornithine.”
According to Shape Fit, the L stands for “Laevorotatory.” It is a designation that lets you know the amino acid is in a pure state – very similar to the state it would be in if found naturally in your body – and that it is not attached to any other amino acids.
It is always a good idea to purchase ornithine from a manufacturer or brand name you trust. Read the information carefully to verify that the product only contains ornithine and no other ingredients. If the product is in capsule form, there may be some inert ingredients (gelatin, silica, et al) that are used to make the capsule shell.
Be sure you don’t see any artificial ingredients, preservatives, colors, flavors or known allergens (dairy, gluten, nuts, et al).
If you are taking ornithine as a powder, you can easily control your initial dosage by using less per serving. If you want to take ornithine in capsule or tablet form, try to select a form with a lower dose per capsule so you can start slowly and build up to higher doses without side effects.
By taking the time to learn more about what ornithine is, how it works, how your body can use it best, how to select a supplement and what dosage to begin with, you can make sure that you have the best possible experience and achieve your desired results.