The amino acid L-Arginine may decrease weight gain in over eaters

March 10, 2009

Researchers at Texas A&M University found that the amino acid L-Arginine reduced the body fat mass in obese rats. Dr. Guoyao Wu, Senior Faculty Fellow in the department of animal science at Texas A&M states “This finding could be directly translated into fighting human obesity.” Researchers fed rats both low-fat and high-fat diets. When they fed rats L-Arginine supplements for twelve weeks, fat gain decreased by 65 percent in the group of rats fed the low-fat diet and by 63 percent in the group fed the high-fat diet.  

The findings indicated that L-Arginine may increase the growth of lean tissue growth. When L-Arginine was given to pigs in a separate study it increased muscle gain.  

Dr. Wu believes L-Arginine reduced serum concentrations of branched-chain amino acids which may lead to insulin resistance in obesity. It also appeared to stimulate the synthesis of muscle protein, a process that uses a lot of energy. “Thus, dietary energy would be utilized for lean tissue rather than fat gain,” he said.