Dr. Oz is at it Again

arginineI can always count on my Dad to give me ideas during my annual visit to Western New York state. This week, Dr. Oz is promoting a new supplement to assist in weight loss: L-arginine.

Now, as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I am familiar with L-arginine: it is an amino acid, one of the building blocks of protein; it is conditionally non-essential, which means that your body can usually make enough of it to meet your needs. But if you break your leg or have major surgery to recover from you may need additional amounts to help you heal. It is also used to promote dilation of the blood vessels and may be important in reducing inflammation in the body.

Having said all of that, I don’t know of any peer-reviewed randomized controlled double blinded human research that even suggests arginine supplementation will promote weight loss.

Arginine is readily available in a number of food sources both plant and animal including  dairy products (e.g., cottage cheese, ricotta, milk, yogurt, whey protein drinks), beef, pork (e.g., bacon, ham), gelatin , poultry (e.g. chicken and turkey light meat), wild game (e.g. pheasant, quail), seafood (e.g., halibut, lobster, salmon, shrimp, snails, tuna), wheat germ and flour, lupins, buckwheat, granola, oatmeal, peanuts, nuts (coconut, pecans, cashews, walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pinenuts), seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower), chickpeas, cooked soybeans, Phalaris canariensis (canaryseed or alpiste).

Losing (and maintaining) weight loss will never be as easy as we would like. Weight loss schemes and supplements represent a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S. alone. Shame on Dr. Oz for once again giving credence and wide exposure to just another fad.


About nadineandadamblog

Nadine and Adam are mother and son. Nadine lives in Florida where she has provided outpatient MNT in a large healthsystem for the past 20 years. In addition, she teaches nutrition to second and third year family medicine residents. She is a past-spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Adam lives in Washington State. His career has largely been involved in recipe development and food production. He is currently developing recipes and menus for the Seattle schools to meet the new federal guidelines for school nutrition programs and he does outpatient nutrition counseling. He is also a voice in PSAs over Seattle radio representing the Washington Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
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