Lower Arginine Levels Seen in Depressed Patients

Depression and L-ArginineNew information alludes to a link between lower levels of the amino acid L-Arginine and major depressive disorder (MDD).  L-Arginine is used by the body to produce nitric oxide.  Nitric oxide helps with increasing blood flow into the muscles.  Reduced nitric oxide production may increase inflammation of the central nervous system (CNS) and oxidative stress which are believed to be involved in MDD.  A key biomarker, global Arginine bioavailability ratio (GABR) is used to measure decreased L-Arginine bioavailability.

Over 350 individuals participated in this study, 99 were adults diagnosed with MDD and the rest were non-depressed controls.  Blood levels of three amino acids (L-Arginine, L-Citrulline and L-Ornithine ) were measured at the onset of the study.  Additionally researchers analyzed asymmetric and symmetric dimethylarginine concentrations.  Both of these have both been known to inhibit nitric oxide synthase, which is an enzyme that initiates nitric oxide production from L-Arginine.

The levels of the 3 amino acids were compared between the non-depressed control and the depressed participants.  Baseline levels of serum L-Arginine and GABR were reduced in patients with MDD when compared with the non-depressed control group. There was an additional follow up after eight months at which times these amino acids were again measured.  Researchers looked at differences between participants with continuing depression and compared those with participants who were in “remission”.   Results showed participants with depression had reduced L-Arginine bioavailability. However the participants who were in “remission” had only marginally higher levels of bio-available L-Arginine than those who continued to have depression.

Further studies are needed to determine if supplementation with the amino acid L-Arginine may help improve depression and to determine what exactly causes reduced L-Arginine bioavailability in individuals with depression.






Published by


I have been involved in the Wellness Industry for over 25 years. I am a Certified Dietary Supplement Specialist and regularly lectures at various higher learning institutions on basic vitamin/mineral/herbal supplement facts. I became involved in the industry after being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Not satisfied with conventional treatment methods, I began to learn about natural remedies and slowly began to see changes in my condition. Driven by my own results with natural products I developed a passion to pass on those same benefits to others who also suffered any number of ailments and wanted a natural treatment alternative that offered results. In store, myself and my highly trained staff of vitamin specialists offer free consultations and vitamin fitting options that create lifestyle programs that customers can live and thrive with for noticeable benefits. By doing extensive research about quality the store is able to cut the guess work out for out customers. Instead of offering a multitude of different brand alternatives, we only offer the highest quality products that way insuring optimal results for the customer. The store’s fundamental philosophy focuses on integrity selling and results. Please feel free to call on us to answer all of your vitamin and nutritional needs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s