L-arginine is an essential amino acid, which builds the body protein. L-arginine can be a primary or semi-essential amino acid depending upon the health status and developmental stage of the individual.
The rich sources for L-arginine are poultry, fish, dairy products, and red meat. L-arginine has its applications in medicine, that’s why we can prepare it in laboratories.
The most common use of L-arginine is in recovery after undergoing surgery, pregnancy, or hypertension. Several complications as pre-eclampsia (protein in the urine), blood vessels or heart conditions, and angina (chest pain) also utilize L-arginine as an intervention. The body produces L-arginine in a smaller amount, that’s why we need to take it orally or topically as a supplement.
L-arginine is a vasodilator so, it can treat several cardiovascular problems and erectile dysfunction.
L-arginine converts into nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide is a vital vasodilator, which opens the blood vessels and improves the blood flow. L-arginine tends to stimulate the release of growth hormones, body substances, and insulin.
History of L-Arginine
L-arginine is either a non-essential or essential amino acid depending upon the specific circumstances. In the year 1883, two German Chemists E. Bosshard and Ernst. Schulze isolated L-amino acid (L-glutamine) from sugarbeets juice.
In the year 1886, the same researcher Schulze was the first one to isolate L-arginine from lupin seedlings. L-arginine is a vital amino acid for protein synthesis in the body.
The absence of L-arginine in the body can cause trauma, chronic infections, or biochemical abnormalities.
Some drugs like insulin and statins can interact with L-arginine. After the administration of L-arginine, plasma levels of the following compounds can increase:
- Glyceryl trinitrate,
- Sodium nitroprusside,
- Isosorbide mononitrate.
The recommended oral dosage for L-arginine is 6 to 30 g/day. It comes under several brand names.
Uses of L-Arginine
L -arginine is a vital component for protein formation. Indications of L-arginine are the treatment of dietary imbalance or dietary shortage.
The most common uses of L-arginine are the treatment of:
According to researches, oral intake of L-arginine can reduce the higher blood pressure levels in healthy individuals. This intake can help individuals with or without diabetes and patients with chronic or acute hypertension.
- Erectile dysfunction:
5 g oral intake of L-arginine can improve the sexual function in patients suffering from erectile
dysfunction. Lower dosage intake of L-arginine can not be effective in treating ED.
According to the studies, the intake of lower dose L-arginine in combination with aquatic pine bark extract can be useful for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
- Peripheral arterial disease:
Narrowing of blood vessels can cause poor circulation in limbs, which can lead to peripheral arterial diseases.
According to researches, oral or intravenous intake of L-arginine for eight weeks can increase the flow of blood in patients suffering from PAD.
Pre-eclampsia is a complication of pregnancy in which body proteins and blood pressure levels increase above optimal levels.
According to researches, L-arginine can help to reduce hypertension among pregnant women suffering from pre-eclampsia. We can also use L-arginine as a preventive measure (for pre-eclampsia) for pregnant women.
- Angina (chest pain):
Intake of L-arginine can help to decrease the symptoms of chest pain, improve tolerance for exercise, and improve life’s quality among patients suffering from angina.
Other health benefits:
There are two main benefits of L-arginine:
- Production of nitric oxide
- Build up of body proteins.
These effects can help to repair body wounds, improve fertility in males, and build body muscles. The following are some benefits of L-arginine in the body.
- Improves the flow of blood to ischemic areas of the body
- Helps to heal the wounds better
- Can effectively alleviate anxiety
- Can treat the body burns
- Can improve the congestive heart failure and kidney functions
- Can control the blood sugar levels in diabetic patients
- Can ease the inflammation of GIT tract among pre-mature infants
- Can help the body to improve its exercise performance.
The most common side effects due to a higher dosage of L-arginine are:
- Abdominal cramps
Some patients can show these symptoms even at a lower dosage of L-arginine.
Where can you get it?
The body produces L-arginine in a small amount, that’s why we need an external source of L-arginine.
The best sources for L-arginine are:
- Turkey meat (breasts)
- Chicken meat (3rd best source of L-arginine)
- Pumpkin seeds (one cup of pumpkin seeds is enough)
- Soybeans (one cup of roasted soybeans contains 4.6 g of arginine, which is enough for the body’s needs)
- Spirulina (blue-green algae in powder form to give extra nutrients to shakes and smoothies)
- Alpha Male Plus Over the counter male enhancer
You can also buy supplements of L-arginine online or in markets. Always get prescribed supplements from your physicians.
L-arginine is an essential amino acid. Our body can produce a smaller amount of L-arginine. L-arginine has many health benefits; therefore, we must take diet and supplements rich in L-arginine.
Arginine is the most potent natural amino acid for jumpstarting nitric oxide signaling in order to improve erectile function; however, if ingested conventionally it is rapidly changed by your liver via destructive metabolism causing nitric oxide (NOx) levels to quickly return to baseline. In contrast, AMP’s proprietary chewable gummies permit fractional absorption in the mouth which bypasses first-pass metabolism in the liver and ultimately promotes more sustained nitric oxide signaling.
H. Chang Rhim et al., “The Potential Role of Arginine Supplements on Erectile Dysfunction: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2019.
“L-Arginine and Erectile Dysfunction – Full Text View – ClinicalTrials.gov.” [Online]. Available: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT00777075. [Accessed: 26-Mar-2020].
L. Gallo, S. Pecoraro, P. Sarnacchiaro, M. Silvani, and G. Antonini, “The Daily Therapy With L-Arginine 2,500 mg and Tadalafil 5 mg in Combination and in Monotherapy for the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction: A Prospective, Randomized Multicentre Study,” Sex. Med., Mar. 2020.
R. Stanislavov and V. Nikolova, “Treatment of erectile dysfunction with pycnogenol and L-arginine,” J. Sex Marital Ther., 2003.
S. M. Morris, “Arginine Metabolism: Boundaries of Our Knowledge,” J. Nutr., 2007.