Arginine supplementation in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis

Med Hypotheses. 1994 Nov;43(5):339-42. doi: 10.1016/0306-9877(94)90113-9.


Oral administration of L-arginine in pharmacological doses induces growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I responses and stimulates nitric oxide synthesis. Growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I are important mediators of bone turnover and osteoblastic bone formation, while nitric oxide is a potent inhibitor of osteoclastic bone resorption. Because of this dual effect on physiological regulators of bone remodeling, L-arginine could potentially increase bone formation over bone resorption, and, consequently, increase bone mass. It is, therefore, hypothesized that oral supplementation of L-arginine may be a novel strategy in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Studies of this simple, safe, and inexpensive therapy seem warranted.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Arginine / administration & dosage
  • Arginine / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Development
  • Bone Remodeling
  • Growth Hormone / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control*


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone
  • Arginine