Type 2 diabetes has become a global public health problem affecting approximately 380 million people throughout the world. It can cause many complications and lead to greater mortality. At present, there is no available medicine for effectively preventing diabetes. L-arginine, a functional amino acid, the precursor of nitric oxide, plays a crucial role in maintenance, reproduction, growth, anti-aging and immunity for animals. Growing clinical evidence indicates that dietary L-arginine supplementation can reduce obesity, decrease arterial blood pressure, resist oxidation and normalize endothelial dysfunction to bring about remission of type 2 diabetes. The potential molecular mechanism may play a role in modulating glucose homeostasis, promoting lipolysis, maintaining hormone levels, ameliorating insulin resistance, and fetal programing in early stages. The possible signaling pathway of the beneficial effects of L-arginine likely involves L-arginine-nitric oxide pathway through which cell signal protein can be activated. Accumulating studies have indicated that L-arginine may have potential to prevent and/or relieve type 2 diabetes via restoring insulin sensitivity in vivo.
Keywords: L-arginine; diabetes; glucose/lipid metabolism; insulin-resistance; nitric oxide.
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