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Iron Lou

L-arginine and food intake

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I was idly looking at Ronnie Coleman videos on YouTube, as you do and ended up on a website with what is purported to be one of his diet plans. Nothing out of the ordinary, lots of protein and carbs. 

What struck me was the amount of L-ARGININE he is meant to have taken, based on this diet that is. He apparently (along with other stuff....) Had 3-5g 30 mins before eating.

I looked in to l-arginine and it is a Nitric Oxide precursor. In turn, it's been suggested that Nitric Oxide is a signalling/effector molecule and modulates the release of Ghrelin. So other than providing vascularity(through vasodilation) and muscle pumps it can also apparently be an appetite stimulant.

This abstract below seems to make the connection with L-arginine, Nitric Oxide and Ghrelin. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/12948844/

I thought I'd post this as I know that lots of people on a lean bulk struggle to get their requirements in and wondered if anyone has any additional suggestions?

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I didn't know Ronnie Coleman used arginine to boost appetite, that's interesting.

In theory, and according to numerous rodent studies, NO boosting supplements should increase appetite, although I have no idea what would constitute an effective or suggested dose to try.

I've used NO boosters myself in the past - arginine, ornithine, citrulline, and the only one I remember ever actually noticing an increase in appetite on was ornithine (alpha ketoglutarate), and that was a large dosage at around 24g daily.

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5 hours ago, dtlv said:

I didn't know Ronnie Coleman used arginine to boost appetite, that's interesting

I'm going by a "diet plan" of his that I found, but given that he took it 30mins before eating according to this plan, it would appear that way. Those were the meals around his training interestingly. 

I believe Alpha ketoglutarate supps are 2 arginine molecules bound with an additional molecule of alpha ketoglutarate, which then would mean if arginine is an appetite stimulant, then it would be more noticeable than say a regular arginine supplement.

Given that RC at his weight was purported to have used about 15g a day, 10-15g a day would probably work for the rest of us, but it's all down to personal effects. I've been using 10g at 77kg bw and been easily getting 350g clean fibrous carbs in. 

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1 hour ago, Jordan08 said:

I have read the opposite. L-Arginine reduces appetite.

Same here, I've read conflicting studies on lots of things though. Trying it on myself seems to make me hungrier but it could well be a placebo effect

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26 minutes ago, AestheticManlet said:

Arginine went from a hype supplement to pretty worthless in recent years according to studies.

A lot of supplements go through the same process, I think it depends on who is funding the studies sometimes, other times it depends on the purpose of the study etc etc. As I mentioned above, I've read lots of conflicting studies on it too and just because RC is 'meant' to have taken it doesn't make it a panacea alas. Time will tell if it's placebo or not

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10 hours ago, Jordan08 said:

I have read the opposite. L-Arginine reduces appetite.

The problem is, appetite regulation is a complex process relying on multiple pathways, and things like arginine are involved in both positive and negative appetite signalling. The amino acid Tyrosine is another amino like that, with theoretical reasons saying it should both suppress, and increase appetite. Studies don't help either because some studies show one effect, whilst others show the opposite.

The devil is of course though in the detail, and what you are doing in addition to the supplement in question. There is also a well established genetic variation between individuals and which appetite regulating hormones a person is more sensitive to and more responsive to. This further complicates an already difficult to navigate area.

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8 hours ago, Iron Lou said:

I'm going by a "diet plan" of his that I found, but given that he took it 30mins before eating according to this plan, it would appear that way. Those were the meals around his training interestingly. 

I believe Alpha ketoglutarate supps are 2 arginine molecules bound with an additional molecule of alpha ketoglutarate, which then would mean if arginine is an appetite stimulant, then it would be more noticeable than say a regular arginine supplement.

AKG salts are generally good vessels for amino acids IMO - they help get the target amino to the liver well, and themselves are a useful and effective glutamine donor.

I've often mused that sometimes the AKG part of certain supplements is actually more useful than the amino or other compound/molecule the AKG is used to transport - arginine AKG possibly being one such supplement.

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3 hours ago, dtlv said:

 The devil is of course though in the detail, and what you are doing in addition to the supplement in question. There is also a well established genetic variation between individuals and which appetite regulating hormones a person is more sensitive to and more responsive to. This further complicates an already difficult to navigate area.

Assuming arginine has both properties of stimulating and suppressing appetite, if one took it on empty it could well stimulate appetite. I'd say this is evidenced by the pathway through which arginine is metabolised, namely through Nitric Oxide synthases. Seeing as Ghrelin administration increases these synthases in the hypothalamus, it would suggest that NO is a regulator of food consumption. Taking it on empty may well reverse engineer the effect. As I leave it 30 mins before eating, by which time I'm almost ravenous. 

I did notice that a specific ester of L-arginine is used in some studies which is shown to inhibit Nitric Oxide synthases. I saw somewhere that arginine could increase leptin sensitivity but I can't find it to check so I'm not sure on that, but that would explain why it could suppress hunger. 

Which is funny because it's a precursor for biosynthesis of NO as well as being involved in the Krebs cycle among others. 

Another point to mention is that it's an important amino acid for children, as it supports Hgh production in children. Being that hgh and Ghrelin are peptides, it's reasonable to assume that the pathways are similar?

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