The relationship between homoarginine and liver biomarkers: a combination of epidemiological and clinical studies

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Ali Aghdassi - , University of Greifswald (Author)
  • Edzard Schwedhelm - , University of Hamburg, Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislaufforschung (DZHK) (Author)
  • Dorothee Atzler - , University of Hamburg, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislaufforschung (DZHK) (Author)
  • Matthias Nauck - , Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, University of Greifswald (Author)
  • Jens Peter Kühn - , Institute and Polyclinic of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Technische Universität Dresden (Author)
  • Marie Luise Kromrey - , University of Greifswald (Author)
  • Henry Völzke - , Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislaufforschung (DZHK), University of Greifswald (Author)
  • Stephan B. Felix - , Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislaufforschung (DZHK), University of Greifswald (Author)
  • Marcus Dörr - , Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislaufforschung (DZHK), University of Greifswald (Author)
  • Till Ittermann - , Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislaufforschung (DZHK), University of Greifswald (Author)
  • Martin Bahls - , Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislaufforschung (DZHK), University of Greifswald (Author)


Homoarginine (hArg) is a non-essential cationic amino acid which inhibits hepatic alkaline phosphatases to exert inhibitory effects on bile secretion by targeting intrahepatic biliary epithelium. We analyzed (1) the relationship between hArg and liver biomarkers in two large population-based studies and (2) the impact of hArg supplementation on liver biomarkers. We assessed the relationship between alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT), alkaline phosphatases (AP), albumin, total bilirubin, cholinesterase, Quick’s value, liver fat, and Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) and hArg in appropriately adjusted linear regression models. We analyzed the effect of L-hArg supplemention (125 mg L-hArg daily for 4 weeks) on these liver biomarkers. We included 7638 individuals (men: 3705; premenopausal women: 1866, postmenopausal women: 2067). We found positive associations for hArg and ALT (β 0.38 µkatal/L 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.29; 0.48), AST (β 0.29 µkatal/L 95% CI 0.17; 0.41), GGT (β 0.033 µkatal/L 95% CI 0.014; 0.053), Fib-4 score (β 0.08 95% CI 0.03; 0.13), liver fat content (β 0.016% 95% CI 0.006; 0.026), albumin (β 0.030 g/L 95% CI 0.019; 0.040), and cholinesterase (β 0.003 µkatal/L 95% CI 0.002; 0.004) in males. In premenopausal women hArg was positively related with liver fat content (β 0.047% 95%CI 0.013; 0.080) and inversely with albumin (β − 0.057 g/L 95% CI − 0.073; − 0.041). In postmenopausal women hARG was positively associated with AST (β 0.26 µkatal/L 95% CI 0.11; 0.42). hArg supplementation did not affect liver biomarkers. We summarize that hArg may be a marker of liver dysfunction and should be explored further.


Original languageEnglish
Article number5230
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

External IDs

PubMed 36997574


ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Severity of Illness Index, Albumins, Alanine Transaminase, gamma-Glutamyltransferase, Humans, End Stage Liver Disease, Liver, Homoarginine/pharmacology, Biomarkers, Male, Female, Alkaline Phosphatase

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