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Ammonia

Ammonia is a metabolic byproduct of amino acids, with increases in serum ammonia being associated with some disease states (hepatic encephalopathy) or prolonged exercise; its reduction may improve endurance.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Jul 5, 2013
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect ammonia
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-b Notable Very High See all 4 studies
A decrease in ammonia has been noted, and appears to influence both hepatic encephalopathy as well as persons with no significant liver damage
grade-b
Minor
Low See all 3 studies
Differential effects on ammonia, with decreases being present when glutamine is taken as part of a daily supplement routine and measured during prolonged exercise with a possible increase with high acute doses (which fades with time)
grade-c
Minor
- See study
Human studies suggest time-dependent influences on ammonia (increase after exercise up until 2 hours, a reduction the next day) while animal studies suggest that overdosing BCAAs can reverse a reduction into an increase
grade-c
Minor
- See 2 studies
Although supplementation of Ornithine is recommended to reduce ammonia (which it appears to do in both models of hepatic encephalopathy and prolonged physical exercise) at least one study noted that for short term strenuous exercise ornithine caused an increase in ammonia
grade-c - - See study
Although it is plausible that arginine could decrease ammonia (secondary to ornithine), it does not appear to reliably occur
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
No significant effects on plasma ammonia detected with supplemental bicarbonate