L-arginine is a precursor for nitrate biosynthesis in humans

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1989 Sep 15;163(2):1032-7. doi: 10.1016/0006-291x(89)92325-5.


Nitrogen from L-arginine was incorporated into urinary nitrate in human subjects. Two subjects given an oral dose of [15N2]L-arginine excreted 24 and 17 umol [15N]nitrate/24 hr, respectively, in their urine in the 24 hr period following the dose. This work demonstrates that L-arginine, a nitrogen source for biosynthesized nitrate in cultured cells and research animals, is a precursor for endogenously synthesized nitrate in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arginine / metabolism*
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nitrates / metabolism*
  • Nitrates / urine


  • Nitrates
  • Arginine