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.