People with major depressive disorder are often deficient in one important amino acid, according to a new study. The low level of arginine leads to a reduction in the production of nitric acid, which is a mediator of the nervous system and immune system.
The study is an early step toward understanding the link between arginine and depression. “Although our study shows that people with depression have reduced arginine bioavailability, this doesn’t mean that taking an arginine supplement would protect against depression,” said lead researcher Toni Ali-Sisto, a doctoral student at the University of Eastern Finland. “That’s an area for further research."