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Definition of «Arginine»


Arginine: An amino acid, one of the 20 amino acids that serve as the building blocks in protein. Arginine is not an "essential" amino acid. It is not essential to the diet, but can be made by the body from other substances. However, it is usually considered essential to the diet for children so they can grow normally. Lack of arginine in the diet impairs growth and in adult males it decreases the sperm count.

Arginine is available in foods such as turkey, chicken and other meats and as L-arginine in supplements.

Babies born without an enzyme called phosphate synthetase have arginine deficiency syndrome. Adding arginine to their diet permits normal growth and development.

Arginine is the direct metabolic precursor (forerunner) of urea, the dominant nitrogenous waste product. Arginine was discovered in protein in 1895. It is abbreviated Arg.

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