urea cycle. Some research scientists have named orotic acid as vitamin B13. However, there is still a debate whether it is really a vitamin. It may help with the metabolism of vitamins B9 and B12.
In urea cycle disorder, carbamoyl phosphate and ornithine increase in the blood due to failing to convert into citrulline because of the deficiency of the enzyme ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC). Then excess carbamoyl phosphate converts into orotic acid.
Functions of Orotic Acid:
- It assists the metabolism of vitamins B9 and B12.
- It may help with the absorption of calcium and magnesium.
- It is required for the production of DNA and RNA.
- It supports and maintains ATP production.
- It is necessary for normal function of the heart.
Food Sources and Absorption:
Food sources of orotic acid are dairy products, organ meats such as liver and heart, whey, brewer`s yeast, carrots, parsnips, beetroot, artichoke, and turnips. Small amounts are produced in the body by intestinal bacteria. Dietary orotic acid is absorbed from the upper part of the small intestine into the blood stream.
Athletic Benefits of Orotic Acid:
- It maintains ATP pool in the body by providing ribose.
- It may enhance the uptake of glucose and the restoration of glycogen stores.
- It may increase the uptake of creatine by the muscles.
- It converts into beta – alanine, which is the precursor of carnosine and anserine. They are potent “proton buffering agents” and delay fatigue and improve endurance in athletes by preventing from lactic acid build up. See “Carnosine” under the section of “Antioxidants”.
- It may augment muscle mass.
- It may aid recovery from overtraining syndrome.
Non – Athletic Benefits of Orotic Acid:
The following conditions may benefit from orotic acid:
- Post myocardial infarction.
- Multiple sclerosis.
- Chronic hepatitis.
- Premature aging.
No RDA has been established for vitamin B13. It is not a part of any multivitamin products as well. It is usually combined with magnesium to form magnesium orotate. It is also available as orotic acid powder taken 500 – 1000 mg per day.