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Important Study Shows Arginine May Help Fight Obesity

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Scientists from Texas AgriLife Research says arginine, an amino acid may be an important contributor in the fight against obesity. The researchers found that arginine reduces fat mass in diet-induced obese rats, leading the study authors to believe the findingsā€¦" could be directly translated into fighting human obesity."

The results of the study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, found that arginine supplements promoted muscle gain in the rats. According to Dr. Guoyao Wu, an AgriLife Research animal nutritionist in College Station and Senior Faculty Fellow in the department of animal science at Texas A&M University, "Given the current epidemic of obesity in the U.S. and worldwide, our finding is very important."

The study showed that rats fed a high fat, as well as those fed a low fat diet for twelve weeks experienced a 63 and 65 percent reduction in body fat respectively. Arginine supplements had no adverse side effects.

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The scientist found that arginine might promote the growth of lean body tissue. They also discovered that arginine lowered serum concentrations of other chains of amino acids.

Dr. Wu explains, "This metabolic change is likely beneficial because elevated concentrations of branched-chain amino acids may lead to insulin resistance in obesity. Additionally, arginine can stimulate muscle protein synthesis, a biochemical process that requires large amounts of energy. Thus, dietary energy would be utilized for lean tissue rather than fat gain."

The group plans to begin studies on children and adults. The findings that arginine can reduce fat mass and promote lean body tissue in mice, may translate to a breakthrough in the fight against the obesity epidemic in humans.

Arginine discovery could help fight human obesity