Parenteral or enteral arginine supplementation safety and efficacy

Martin D. Rosenthal, Phillip W. Carrott, Jayshil Patel, Laszlo Kiraly, Robert G. Martindale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Arginine supplementation has the potential to improve the health of patients. Its use in hospitalized patients has been a controversial topic in the nutrition literature, especially concerning supplementation of septic patients. In this article, we review the relevant literature both for and against the use of arginine in critically ill, surgical, and hospitalized patients. The effect of critical illness on arginine metabolism is reviewed, as is its use in septic and critically ill patients. Although mounting evidence supports immunonutrition, there are only a few studies that suggest that this is safe in patients with severe sepsis. The use of arginine has been shown to benefit a variety of critically ill patients. It should be considered for inclusion in combinations of immunonutrients or commercial formulations for groups in whom its benefit has been reported consistently, such as those who have suffered trauma and those in acute surgical settings. The aims of this review are to discuss the role of arginine in health, the controversy surrounding arginine supplementation of septic patients, and the use of arginine in critically ill patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2594S-2600S
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Arginine supplementation
  • Critical care
  • Immunonutrition
  • Sepsis
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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