Background: Imbalances in a variety of factors, including genetics, intestinal flora, and mucosal immunity, can contribute to the development of ulcerative colitis and its side effects. This study evaluated the effects of pretreatment or treatment with arginine by oral administration on intestinal permeability, bacterial translocation (BT), and mucosal intestinal damage due to colitis. Methods: C57BL/6 mice were distributed into 4 groups: standard diet and water (C: control group), standard diet and dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) solution (Col: colitis group), 2% L-arginine supplementation for 7 days prior to DSS administration and during disease induction (PT: pretreated group), and 2% L-arginine supplementation during disease induction (T: treated group). Colitis was induced by administration of 1.5% DSS for 7 days. After 14 days, intestinal permeability and BT were evaluated; colons were collected for histologic analysis and determination of cytokines; feces were collected for measurement of immunoglobulin A (IgA). Results: The Col group showed increased intestinal permeability (C vs Col: P < .05) and BT (C vs Col: P < .05). In the arginine-supplemented groups (PT and T), this amino acid tended to decrease intestinal permeability. Arginine decreased BT to liver during PT (P < .05) and to blood, liver, spleen, and lung during T (P < .05). Histologic analysis showed that arginine preserved the intestinal mucosa and tended to decreased inflammation. Conclusions: Arginine attenuates weight loss and BT in mice with colitis.