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L-arginine helps weight loss

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Friday April 18, 2014 (foodconsumer.org) -- Taking a dietary supplement called L-arginine may help weight loss or can be used to treat central obesity, a pilot study published in Journal of Dietary Supplements suggests.

L-Arginine has been known earlier to benefit male reproduction and help reduce risk of complications of type 2 diabetes mellitus among other benefits. 
 
Ryan T. Hurt, MD, PhD from Division of General Internal Medicine Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, USA  and colleagues conducted the study.

Visceral adiposity or central obesity has been linked to higher rates of cardiometabolic risk than other types of obesity.   Animal studies have already demonstrated L-arginine reduces visceral adiposity and fat mass.   Reduced visceral adiposity is expected to decrease the cardiometabolic risk.

The study was to assess the efficacy of L-arginine supplementation for reducing central adiposity, body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and weight in 20 nondiabetic obese women ages 18 to 40 years who had a BMI between 30 and 40 (obesity) and waist circumstance (WC) that was greater than 89 cm.

For the study, participants were asked to take three grams of L-arginine each time three times a day for 12 weeks and in the meantime were counseled on lifestyle modification. 

As a result, L-arginine supplementation led to a decrease in waist circumstance to 109 cm at 12 weeks of the study from 116 cm at baseline.  WC is a good measure for central adiposity.  

The 12-week L-arginine supplementation also induced an average loss of 6.5 pounds of weight and lowered BMI and WHR.
 
L-arginine was well tolerated and no side effects were observed. 

The authors concluded "L-Arginine may be effective at reducing central adiposity in obese patients."

L-Arginine can also boost the production of semen according to early studies and it has been known to prevent renal dysfunction in people living with type 2 diabetes mellitus.  L-arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide (NO), which dilates the blood vessels and help lower blood pressure.

L-Arginine is an amino acid commonly found in foods high in protein, particularly peanuts.   L-arigine is available as a dietary supplement and can be purchased on the internet.  (David Liu)

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