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Metabolism. 1994 Jan;43(1):114-22.

Plasma arginine kinetics in adult man: response to an arginine-free diet.

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Laboratory of Human Nutrition and the Clinical Research Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02149.


To explore the response of whole-body arginine metabolism to a change in arginine intake, plasma arginine kinetics were investigated in eight healthy adult men who received an L-amino acid diet supplying an Arg-rich or Arg-free intake for 6 days before undergoing a tracer study on day 7. The tracer protocol lasted for 8 hours. For the first 3 hours subjects remained in the postabsorptive (fasted) state, and during the following 5 hours they consumed small meals at 30-minute intervals. Primed continuous intravenous infusions of L-[guanidino-13C]arginine, L-[5,5,5-2H3]leucine, and [15N2]urea were administered to estimate plasma amino acid fluxes and the rate of urea production. For the fasted and fed states, plasma arginine fluxes (, mean +/- SD) were 69 +/- 8 and 87 +/- 12 (P < .01), respectively, for the Arg-rich diet and 63 +/- 14 and 51 +/- 7 (P < .01, from Arg-rich) for the Arg-free diet. Compared with the Arg-rich results, fed-state plasma arginine and ornithine concentrations were decreased (P < .01) and citrulline concentration was increased (P < .01) during the Arg-free diet period. Leucine fluxes and rates of urea production did not differ between the diet groups. The lower fed-state arginine flux in subjects receiving the Arg-free compared with the Arg-rich diet appears to be entirely due to the decreased rate of entry of arginine from the intestine in the former group.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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