Arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid because it can be synthesized from the amino acids glutamine, glutamate, and proline. Despite this, dietary intake remains the preferred means of obtaining this amino acid because the rate of arginine synthesis in the body is not altered in response to depletion or low supplies.40 Arginine exerts many positive effects in the body, not all of which are covered here. One area where arginine has significant use and effect is on the endocrine system, specifically adrenal and pituitary function. Arginine is well-known for its ability to stimulate catecholamine release, insulin and glucagon, prolactin, and growth hormone.41 The mechanism of action behind these effects is not well understood at present.
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