The role of arginine in nutrition has not as yet been completely defined. It is essential for growth in some animals, required for optimal growth in others, while in still others it does not seem to be at all necessary for growth. Arginine is required for growth by the turkey poult1 and the chick,2 the requirement being especially high during the first few weeks of life. This high requirement is due to a complete inability to synthesize arginine; in fact, the young fowl is unable to synthesize arginine even when ornithine is provided.3 Both young rats4 and weanling pigs5 can grow at subnormal rates without arginine, but it is necessary for optimal growth. Apparently the synthesis of arginine cannot proceed rapidly enough or in large enough amounts to provide for the rapid growth of these animals. The young mouse6 seems to grow well on
SNYDERMAN SE, BOYER A, HOLT LE. The Arginine Requirement of the Infant. AMA Am J Dis Child. 1959;97(2):192–195. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1959.02070010194006
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