Literally meaning: “pertaining to birds”
Origin: Anc Greek
όρνις/ornis(=bird) > όρνυμι /ornymi(=stand up, rise, stimulate)
In 1877 chemist Jaffe isolated ornithine from ornithuric acid which was discovered in the urine of birds.
(Jaffe, M. 1877 Uber das Verhatten der Benzoesaure im organismus der Vogel. Beri.Deutsch. Chem. Gesellsch., 10: 1925).
L-ornithine is an important part of urea cycle in order to dispose of excess nitrogen as it is the result of breakdown of L-arginine after the action of enzyme arginase. Ornithine also helps for formation of aminoacids : proline, glutamic acid and citrulline.