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bodybuilder smilingAmino Acids: Ornithine is not a member of the 20 amino acids that make up proteins in humans. It is also not an essential component of the diet since it is readily made from arginine.

Ornithine is an important intermediate in the production of urea, the primary route of excretion of excess nitrogen in the urine. Ornithine can also be back-converted to arginine if concentrations of arginine are low. In this sense, ornithine is a precursor to nitric oxide as well. Like arginine, ornithine has been shown to stimulate the release of growth hormone. A salt of this amino acid called ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate has been shown to be more effective than either of its components as an anabolic.

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