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Randomised controlled trial of the effects of L-ornithine on stress markers and sleep quality in healthy workers.

Author(s): Miyake M(1), Kirisako T, Kokubo T, Miura Y, Morishita K, Okamura H, Tsuda A.

Affiliation(s): Author information: (1)Research Laboratories for Health Science & Food technologies, Research & Development Division, Kirin Co,, Ltd,, 1-13-5, Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-0004, Japan. m-miyake@kirin.co.jp.

Publication date & source: 2014, Nutr J. , 13:53

BACKGROUND: L-ornithine is a non-essential, non-protein amino acid. Although L-ornithine is contained in various foods, the amount is usually small.Recently, studies have shown that orally administered L-ornithine reduced the stress response in animals.From these findings, we speculated that L-ornithine may play a role in the relieve of stress and improve sleep and fatigue symptoms in humans. Through a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, we asked if L-ornithine could be beneficial to stress and sleep in healthy workers. METHOD: Fifty-two apparently healthy Japanese adults who had previously felt slight stress as well as fatigue were recruited to be study participants and were randomly divided into either the L-ornithine (400 mg/day) or placebo group. They orally consumed the respective test substance every day for 8 weeks. Serum was collected for the assessment of cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate (DHEA-S). Perceived mood and quality of sleep were measured by the Profile of Mood States (POMS), Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS), and Ogri-Shirakawa-Azumi sleep inventory MA version (OSA-MA). RESULTS: Serum cortisol levels and the cortisol/DHEA-S ratio were significantly decreased in the L-ornithine group in comparison with the placebo group. Also, anger was reduced and perceived sleep quality was improved in the L-ornithine group. CONCLUSION: L-ornithine supplementation has the potential to relieve stress and improve sleep quality related to fatigue, both objectively and subjectively.

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