©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Ornithine

What other names is Ornithine known by?

Chlorhydrate d'Ornithine, L-Ornithine, L-Ornithine HCl, L-Ornithine Hydrochloride, L-5-aminorvaline, L-2,5-diaminovaleric acid, Ornithine HCl, Ornitina.

What is Ornithine?

Ornithine is a chemical called an amino acid. It is made in the body. It can also be made in a laboratory. People use it as a medicine.

Ornithine is used for improving athletic performance, reducing glutamine poisoning in the treatment of a brain condition due to liver disease (hepatic encephalopathy), and for wound healing.

Don't confuse ornithine with ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate (OKG).

Possibly Effective for...

  • Brain complications caused by liver disease (hepatic encephalopathy). Most research suggests that infusing L-ornithine-L-aspartate intravenously (by IV) or taking L-ornithine-L-aspartate by mouth improves ammonia levels and disease status in people with hepatic encephalopathy.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Athletic performance. Early research suggests that taking ornithine by mouth might reduce fatigue and improve measures of athletic performance such as speed, strength, and power in some people. Also, taking ornithine in combination with arginine seems to improve strength and power in male weightlifters.
  • Wound healing.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of ornithine for these uses.

How does Ornithine work?

It's not known how ornithine might work for medical uses.

Are there safety concerns?

There isn't enough reliable information about the safety of ornithine.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking ornithine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Dosing considerations for Ornithine.

The appropriate dose of ornithine depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for ornithine. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

QUESTION

Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 9/17/2019
References

Abid S, Mumtaz K Abbas Z Hamid S Jafri N Ali Shah H Jafri W. Efficacy of infusion of L-ornithine L-aspartate in cirrhotic patients with portosystemic encephalopathy: a placebo controlled study. Journal of Hepatology. 2005;42 (Supp 2):84.

Acharya, S. K., Bhatia, V., Sreenivas, V., Khanal, S., and Panda, S. K. Efficacy of L-ornithine L-aspartate in acute liver failure: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Gastroenterology 2009;136(7):2159-2168. View abstract.

Agli, A. N., Schaefer, A., Geny, B., Piquard, F., and Haberey, P. Erythrocytes participate significantly in blood transport of amino acids during the post absorptive state in normal humans. Eur.J.Appl.Physiol Occup.Physiol 1998;78(6):502-508. View abstract.

Ahmad, I., Khan, A. A., Alam, A., Dilshad, A., Butt, A. K., Shafqat, F., Malik, K., and Sarwar, S. L-ornithine-L-aspartate infusion efficacy in hepatic encephalopathy. J.Coll.Physicians Surg.Pak. 2008;18(11):684-687. View abstract.

Anon. Therapeutic efficacy of oral L-ornithine-L-aspartate on minimal encephalopathy. EBM Reviews - Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. 2008;ClinicalTrials.gov

Aoki, T. T., Brennan, M. F., Muller, W. A., Soeldner, J. S., Alpert, J. S., Saltz, S. B., Kaufmann, R. L., Tan, M. H., and Cahill, G. F., Jr. Amino acid levels across normal forearm muscle and splanchnic bed after a protein meal. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 1976;29(4):340-350. View abstract.

Beaumier, L., Castillo, L., Ajami, A. M., and Young, V. R. Urea cycle intermediate kinetics and nitrate excretion at normal and "therapeutic" intakes of arginine in humans. Am.J.Physiol 1995;269(5 Pt 1):E884-E896. View abstract.

Brosnan, M. E. and Brosnan, J. T. Hepatic glutamate metabolism: a tale of 2 hepatocytes. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 2009;90(3):857S-861S. View abstract.

Chen, M. F., Li, R. C., Chen, C. H., and Gao, X. C. [Therapeutic effect of L-ornithine-L-aspartate on liver cirrhosis complicated by hepatic encephalopathy]. Di Yi.Jun.Yi.Da.Xue.Xue.Bao. 2005;25(6):718-9, 722. View abstract.

Childress, B., Stechmiller, J. K., and Schultz, G. S. Arginine metabolites in wound fluids from pressure ulcers: a pilot study. Biol.Res Nurs. 2008;10(2):87-92. View abstract.

Cynober, L., Coudray-Lucas, C., De Bandt, J. P., Guechot, J., Aussel, C., Salvucci, M., and Giboudeau, J. Action of ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate, ornithine hydrochloride, and calcium alpha-ketoglutarate on plasma amino acid and hormonal patterns in healthy subjects. J.Am.Coll.Nutr. 1990;9(1):2-12. View abstract.

Cynober, L., Dinh, F. N., Blonde, F., Saizy, R., and Giboudeau, J. Plasma and urinary amino acid pattern in severe burn patients-evolution throughout the healing period. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 1982;36(3):416-425. View abstract.

De Bandt, J. P. and Cynober, L. A. Amino acids with anabolic properties. Curr.Opin.Clin.Nutr.Metab Care 1998;1(3):263-272. View abstract.

Demura, S., Morishita, K., Yamada, T., Yamaji, S., and Komatsu, M. Effect of L-ornithine hydrochloride ingestion on intermittent maximal anaerobic cycle ergometer performance and fatigue recovery after exercise. Eur.J.Appl.Physiol 2011;111(11):2837-2843. View abstract.

Demura, S., Yamada, T., Yamaji, S., Komatsu, M., and Morishita, K. The effect of L-ornithine hydrochloride ingestion on performance during incremental exhaustive ergometer bicycle exercise and ammonia metabolism during and after exercise. Eur.J.Clin.Nutr. 2010;64(10):1166-1171. View abstract.

Druml, W., Heinzel, G., and Kleinberger, G. Amino acid kinetics in patients with sepsis. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 2001;73(5):908-913. View abstract.

Elam, R. P. Morphological changes in adult males from resistance exercise and amino acid supplementation. J.Sports Med.Phys.Fitness 1988;28(1):35-39. View abstract.

Elam, R. P., Hardin, D. H., Sutton, R. A., and Hagen, L. Effects of arginine and ornithine on strength, lean body mass and urinary hydroxyproline in adult males. J Sports Med.Phys.Fitness 1989;29(1):52-56. View abstract.

Feher J, Lang I Gogl A Varga L Varga L Tompos G Pronai L. Effect of ornithine-aspartate infusion on elevated serum ammonia concentration in cirrhotic patients - Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind multicentre trial. Medical Science Monitor. 1997;3(5):669-673.

Fleig WE, Kircheis G Spengler U Zeuzem ST Gortelmeyer. Placebo-controlled, double-blind evaluation of L-ornithine-L-aspartate (LOLA) granules in patients with cirrhosis and subclinical (SHE) or mild overt hepatic encephalopathy (HE). Journal of Hepatology. 1999;30(1):65.

Hartung, H. D. [Amino acids prevent hepatic encephalopathy. Ornithine-aspartate in hyperammonemia--results of a study]. Fortschr.Med. 3-15-1989;107(8):56. View abstract.

Holm E, Hess Y Leweling H Barth H-O Hagmuller E. Ornithine aspartate (OA) promotes amino acid (AA) retention in the peripheral tissues of patients with liver cirrhosis A double-blind randomized crossover study. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. 2000;15(1):368.

Hong Y, Yang ZB Wang YF. Clinical Control Study of L-ornithine-L-aspartate in the Treatment of Subclinical Hepatic Encephalopathy. West China Medical Journal. 2003;18(4):509-510.

Hunold, W. [Clinical experiences in liver diseases (specially in patients with fatty liver due to alcoholism and food poisoning) under monotherapy with ornithine aspartate]. Z.Allgemeinmed. 4-10-1973;49(10):469-472. View abstract.

Jeevanandam, M., Young, D. H., Ramias, L., and Schiller, W. R. Effect of major trauma on plasma free amino acid concentrations in geriatric patients. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 1990;51(6):1040-1045. View abstract.

Jiang, Q., Jiang, X. H., Zheng, M. H., and Chen, Y. P. L-Ornithine-l-aspartate in the management of hepatic encephalopathy: a meta-analysis. J.Gastroenterol.Hepatol. 2009;24(1):9-14. View abstract.

Kawada H. Clinical efficacy of ornithine aspartate for chronic liver injury accompanied by hyperammonemia: a double-blind study. The Japanese Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. 1979;56(4):1294-1306.

Kircheis G, Metz M Frey S Seiller E. Correlation between pharmacokinetic aspects and clinical efficacy of L-ornithine-L-aspartate (OA): results of randomized, controlled clinical trials. Journal of Hepatology. 1996;25 (Suppl 1):S131.

Kircheis, G., Nilius, R., Held, C., Berndt, H., Buchner, M., Gortelmeyer, R., Hendricks, R., Kruger, B., Kuklinski, B., Meister, H., Otto, H. J., Rink, C., Rosch, W., and Stauch, S. Therapeutic efficacy of L-ornithine-L-aspartate infusions in patients with cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy: results of a placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Hepatology 1997;25(6):1351-1360. View abstract.

Kowalski, P. and Bieniecki, M. Pharmacokinetics and bioavailability study of L-ornithine-L-aspartate in healthy volunteers--a comparative study of two oral formulations. J.Pharm.Biomed.Anal. 6-7-2006;41(3):1061-1064. View abstract.

Kuttig H. Ornithine aspartate improves toleration of large-volume abdominal radiotherapy. Cochrane Central Register of Controlled TrialsTHERAPIEWOCHE. 1983;33(25):3495-3511.

Lang I, Feher J Gogl A Varga L Varga L Pronai L Werling K. Ammonia-lowering effect of ornithine-aspartate infusion in cirrhotic patients with hepatic encephalopathy. Gut. 1994;35 (Suppl 4):A158.

Liu, C. P. and Yu, Z. J. [Study on L-Ornithine-L-Aspartate in the treatment of acute-on-chronic liver failure]. Zhonghua Gan Zang.Bing.Za Zhi. 2011;19(1):63-64. View abstract.

MacLaren, D. P., Nevill, A. M., Thake, C. D., Campbell, I. T., Cheetham, E., Keegan, M. A., Lane, C., and Roberts, N. B. Human erythrocyte and plasma amino acid concentrations during exercise. Med.Sci.Sports Exerc. 2000;32(7):1244-1249. View abstract.

Melzer, H., Weber, D., and Wotzka, R. [On the therapy of liver diseases with ornithine aspartate]. Med.Klin. 1969;64(35):1541-1544. View abstract.

Mittal, V. V., Sharma, B. C., Sharma, P., and Sarin, S. K. A randomized controlled trial comparing lactulose, probiotics, and L-ornithine L-aspartate in treatment of minimal hepatic encephalopathy. Eur.J.Gastroenterol.Hepatol. 2011;23(8):725-732. View abstract.

Ndraha, S., Hasan, I., and Simadibrata, M. The effect of L-ornithine L-aspartate and branch chain amino acids on encephalopathy and nutritional status in liver cirrhosis with malnutrition. Acta Med.Indones. 2011;43(1):18-22. View abstract.

Nefyodov, L. I., Uglyanitsa, K. N., Smirnov, V. Y., Karavay, A. V., and Brzosko, W. Comparative evaluation of blood plasma and tumor tissue amino acid pool in radiation or neoadjuvant preoperative therapies of breast cancer with the antitumor drug Ukrain. Drugs Exp.Clin.Res. 2000;26(5-6):231-237. View abstract.

Neki NS, Batra KS Talwar AS Sharma RK Sharma N Multani LS. A comparative study of silymarin and l-ornithine - l-asparate in the treatment of viral hepatitis. The Journal of the Association of Physicians of India. 2000;

Nilius R, Kirecheis G. Improvement of hepatic encephalopathy (HE) in cirrhotic patients by treatment with L-ornithine-L-aspartate (OA) infusion concentrate Results of a placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial. Journal of Hepatology. 1992;16 (Supp 1)(S39)

O'Rourke, D. J., Ryan, S., Salomons, G., Jakobs, C., Monavari, A., and King, M. D. Guanidinoacetate methyltransferase (GAMT) deficiency: late onset of movement disorder and preserved expressive language. Dev.Med.Child Neurol. 2009;51(5):404-407. View abstract.

Ong, J. P., Oehler, G., Kruger-Jansen, C., Lambert-Baumann, J., and Younossi, Z. M. Oral L-ornithine-L-aspartate improves health-related quality of life in cirrhotic patients with hepatic encephalopathy: an open-label, prospective, multicentre observational study. Clin.Drug Investig. 2011;31(4):213-220. View abstract.

Payne-James J, Grimble G Cahill E Silk D. Jejunal absorption of ornithine in man. Clin-Nutr. 1988;7:18.

Poo JL, Gongora J Sanchez-Avila JF Aguilar-Castillo S Garcia Ramos G Fernandez-Zertuche M Rodriguez-Fragoso L Uribe M. Efficacy and safety of L-ornithine-L-aspartate (LOLA) administration. Open label randomized controlled trial versus lactulose in cirrhotic patients with hyperammonemic hepatic encephalopathy. Journal of Hepatology. 2007;46(4 (Suppl 1)):S36.

Poo, J. L., Gongora, J., Sanchez-Avila, F., Aguilar-Castillo, S., Garcia-Ramos, G., Fernandez-Zertuche, M., Rodriguez-Fragoso, L., and Uribe, M. Efficacy of oral L-ornithine-L-aspartate in cirrhotic patients with hyperammonemic hepatic encephalopathy. Results of a randomized, lactulose-controlled study. Ann.Hepatol. 2006;5(4):281-288. View abstract.

Rees C, Oppong K Al-Mardini H Hudson M Rose J Record C. The effect of L-Ornithine-L-asparate on tips patients undergoing glutamine challenge. European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 1996;8(Suppl 5):A1.

Rees CJ, Oppong K Al-Mardini H Hudson M Rose J. The effect of L-ornithine-L-aspartate on TIPS patients undergoing glutamine challenge. Advances in hepatic encephalopathy & metabolism in liver disease. 1997;56:407-411.

Reynolds N, Downie S Smith K Kircheis G Rennie MJ. Treatment with L-ornithine-L-aspartate (LOLA) infusion restores muscle protein synthesis responsiveness to feeding in patients with cirrhosis. Journal of Hepatology. 1999;30(Suppl 1):65.

Schmid M, Konig F Ferenci P Gang A Peck-Radosavljevic M. Prospective randomized pilot trial of i.v. l-ornithine-l-aspartate (LOLA) vs. placebo on postural control in patients with cirrhosis. Journal of Hepatology. 2008;48(Suppl 2):S12.

Schmid M, Peck-Radosavljevic M König F Mittermaier C Gangl A Ferenci P. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of intravenous L-ornithine-L-aspartate on postural control in patients with cirrhosis. Liver Int. 2010;30(4):574-582.

Sikorska, H., Cianciara, J., and Wiercinska-Drapalo, A. [Physiological functions of L-ornithine and L-aspartate in the body and the efficacy of administration of L-ornithine-L-aspartate in conditions of relative deficiency]. Pol.Merkur Lekarski. 2010;28(168):490-495. View abstract.

Simell, O. and Perheentupa, J. Renal handling of diamino acids in lysinuric protein intolerance. J.Clin.Invest 1974;54(1):9-17. View abstract.

Soarez, P. C., Oliveira, A. C., Padovan, J., Parise, E. R., and Ferraz, M. B. A critical analysis of studies assessing L-ornithine-L-aspartate (LOLA) in hepatic encephalopathy treatment. Arq Gastroenterol. 2009;46(3):241-247. View abstract.

Staedt, U., Leweling, H., Gladisch, R., Kortsik, C., Hagmuller, E., and Holm, E. Effects of ornithine aspartate on plasma ammonia and plasma amino acids in patients with cirrhosis. A double-blind, randomized study using a four-fold crossover design. J.Hepatol. 1993;19(3):424-430. View abstract.

Stauch S, Rosch W. Effects of L-ornithine-L-aspartate granulate on hyperammonemia in cirrhotic patients with hepatic encephalopathy (HE). A placebo-controlled double-blind study. Zeitschrift fur Gastroenterologie. 1992;30(4):300-301.

Stauch, S., Kircheis, G., Adler, G., Beckh, K., Ditschuneit, H., Gortelmeyer, R., Hendricks, R., Heuser, A., Karoff, C., Malfertheiner, P., Mayer, D., Rosch, W., and Steffens, J. Oral L-ornithine-L-aspartate therapy of chronic hepatic encephalopathy: results of a placebo-controlled double-blind study. J.Hepatol. 1998;28(5):856-864. View abstract.

Stechmiller, J. K., Childress, B., and Cowan, L. Arginine supplementation and wound healing. Nutr.Clin.Pract. 2005;20(1):52-61. View abstract.

Stegink, L. D., Filer, L. J., and Baker, G. L. Effect of sampling site on plasma amino acid concentrations of infants: effect of skin amino acids. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 1982;36(5):917-925. View abstract.

Sugino, T., Shirai, T., Kajimoto, Y., and Kajimoto, O. L-ornithine supplementation attenuates physical fatigue in healthy volunteers by modulating lipid and amino acid metabolism. Nutr.Res. 2008;28(11):738-743. View abstract.

Trevisani, F., Bernardi, M., Arienti, V., Scrivano, P., Mazziotti, A., Cavallari, A., Patrono, D., Piazzi, S., Gozzetti, G., and Gasbarrini, G. Early and late changes in fasting and absorptive plasma amino acids and ammonia after distal splenorenal shunt in cirrhosis. Hepatology 1994;19(2):329-338. View abstract.

Tsai B-H, Lee N-Y. Effect of arginine and ornithine supplementation on weightlifters' fat free mass and anaerobic power. Nutritional Sciences Journal. 1997;22(4):373-383.

Tsuei, B. J., Bernard, A. C., Barksdale, A. R., Rockich, A. K., Meier, C. F., and Kearney, P. A. Supplemental enteral arginine is metabolized to ornithine in injured patients. J Surg.Res 2005;123(1):17-24. View abstract.

Yu, Y. M., Ryan, C. M., Burke, J. F., Tompkins, R. G., and Young, V. R. Relations among arginine, citrulline, ornithine, and leucine kinetics in adult burn patients. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 1995;62(5):960-968. View abstract.

Yu, Y. M., Ryan, C. M., Castillo, L., Lu, X. M., Beaumier, L., Tompkins, R. G., and Young, V. R. Arginine and ornithine kinetics in severely burned patients: increased rate of arginine disposal. Am.J.Physiol Endocrinol.Metab 2001;280(3):E509-E517. View abstract.

Yu, Y. M., Young, V. R., Castillo, L., Chapman, T. E., Tompkins, R. G., Ryan, C. M., and Burke, J. F. Plasma arginine and leucine kinetics and urea production rates in burn patients. Metabolism 1995;44(5):659-666. View abstract.

Yuan, Wenming. Li Jing. Xu Lin. Zhang Mingming. Lu Zhenchan. Feng Shejun. Wang Ling. L-ornithine-L-aspartate for hepatic encephalopathy. Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009;

Bucci LR, Hickson JF Jr, Wolinsky I, Pivarnik JM. Ornithine supplementation and insulin release in bodybuilders. Int J Sport Nutr 1992;2:287-91. View abstract.

Fogelholm GM, Naveri HK, Kiilavuori KT, Harkonen MH. Low-dose amino acid supplementation: no effects on serum human growth hormone and insulin in male weightlifters. Int J Sport Nutr 1993;3:290-7. View abstract.

Manufacturer: Twinlab. Ronkonkoma, NY.

Rees C, Oppong K, Mardini H, et al. Effect of L-Ornithine-L-Aspartate on patients with and without TIPS undergoing glutamine challenge: a double blind, placebo controlled trial. Gut 2000;47:571-4.. View abstract.

CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors