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15.12.2010


N-Carbamyl Glutamate versus L-arginine

N-Carbamyl Glutamate
Last week we wrote about how N-carbamyl glutamate [structure shown below] boosts muscle tissue production in piglets by enhancing arginine synthesis. So can you achieve the same effect with arginine supplements? Yes and no, say Chinese and American animal scientists.

When the results of the study we wrote about last week were published, the news was picked up fast by bodybuilding forums. [forum.bodybuilding.com 03-05-2007] [anabolicminds.com/forum 03-05-2007] And on the Anabolic Minds forum even Patrick Arnold was in action. [anabolicminds.com/forum 06-29-2007]

N-Carbamyl Glutamate "is supposed to activate an enzyme responsible for arginine synthesis", posted Arnold. "So this is just an arginine raiser. We already have enough arginine supplements out there. Taking a bunch of citrulline should do the same thing but cheaper."

A Chinese-American animal study published in August 2010 in Amino Acids suggests that Arnold is at least half right. The researchers gave piglets N-carbamyl glutamate or L-arginine every day for a week and observed that they grew faster as a result. This was largely because both amino acids protected the piglets against diarrhoea.


N-Carbamyl Glutamate versus L-arginine


N-Carbamyl Glutamate versus L-arginine


N-Carbamyl Glutamate versus L-arginine


The table immediately above shows that both L-arginine and N-carbamyl glutamate supplementation raises the concentration of L-arginine in the blood. L-Arginine is a precursor of NO, a simple compound that encourages fat loss and muscle growth, but also makes the immune system more efficient too. This last factor explains why the piglets had less diarrhoea. Arginine strengthens the immune cells in the gut, and they make mincemeat of the germs that cause diarrhoea.

So N-carbamyl glutamate is indeed "just an arginine raiser", as Arnold puts it. Nevertheless, N-carbamyl glutamate is an incredibly effective arginine booster. In the study N-carbamyl glutamate is more effective than L-arginine, while the researchers used 7.5 times less of it than the L-arginine.

Source:
Amino Acids. 2010 Aug; 39(3): 831-9.

More:
N-Carbamyl Glutamate boosts muscle tissue synthesis 09.12.2010