Biomarkers of arginine and lysine excess. Conference Paper uri icon


  • Arginine supplementation is used in several disease states. In arginine-deficient states, supplementation is a logical choice of therapy. However, the definition of an arginine-deficient state is complex. For example, plasma arginine levels could be within normal range but intracellular arginine levels could be reduced because of membrane transport problems. Lysine competes with arginine for transport into the cell. In these situations, arginine supplementation of higher than required levels is proposed. Arginine has several important functions in metabolism as it is a precursor of metabolically active components such as nitric oxide (NO), ornithine, creatine, and polyamines. Supplementing arginine in excess could potentially overstimulate metabolism via enhanced production of NO. NO is a reactive component that, via production of radicals, will inactivate proteins. NO is also a powerful vasodilator, which could lead to severe hemodynamic instability. A good marker for excess supplementation of arginine or lysine could be an increased or reduced production rate of NO. However, NO production is difficult to measure because NO is a very labile component and is rapidly oxidized in blood. Stable isotope-labeled arginine and citrulline are used to trace the arginine-NO route. During supplementation of arginine in septic pigs or patients in septic shock, NO production, measured with stable isotope technology, is enhanced.

published proceedings

  • J Nutr

altmetric score

  • 6.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Luiking, Y. C., & Deutz, N.

citation count

  • 38

complete list of authors

  • Luiking, Yvette C||Deutz, Nicolaas EP

publication date

  • June 2007