Medical Definition of Arginine

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Arginine: An essential amino acid and a key component of protein. Lack of arginine in the diet impairs growth, and in adult males it decreases the sperm count. Arginine is available in turkey, chicken, and other meats, and as L-arginine in supplements. Babies born without the enzyme phosphate synthetase have arginine deficiency syndrome; adding arginine to their diets permits normal growth and development.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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