Arginine or L-Arginine is considered a semi-essential amino acid that is obtained from the diet and is necessary for protein synthesis in the body. It helps the body get rid of ammonia, helps in making compounds such as creatine, L-glutamate, L-Proline and Glucose. Arginine is a pre-cursor to nitric oxide, which is a biological gas required for intra-cellular communication and blood vessel relaxation.
L-arginine is produced in the kidneys and to a lesser extent, in the liver. Dietary sources of this amino acid are dairy products, meat, poultry, walnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, sesame and sunflower seeds, raisins, gelatin, cereals, oats, and coconut. In general, plant proteins contain more L-Arginine than animal sources of protein.
While most people have adequate amount of L-arginine in their bodies, certain conditions such as infections, severe wounds, burns etc can deplete the arginine supply in the body. Under such conditions, it is essential to take L-Arginine supplements or increase the amount of plant and animal proteins in your diet.
Some symptoms of Arginine deficiency include alopecia (hair loss), skin rashes, constipation, poor wound healing and fatty liver. Various studies suggest that L-Arginine can treat physical ailments such as chest pain, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, peripheral vascular disease, erectile dysfunction, blood vessel swelling and so on.
Significance of L-Arginine
Arginine is required for a wide variety of functions in the body. These include – quick wound healing, assisting the kidneys in waste removal and maintaining Immune and Hormonal Functions. Arginine has also garnered a lot of attention for its heart benefits.
Here is a look at the other benefits offered by L-Arginine and how its supplementation could help you:
- Growth hormone deficiencies such as Gigantism, Pituitary Adenoma etc can be treated with Arginine injections.
- Proper dosage of L-arginine can improve blood flow in the arteries, and effectively treat coronary heart diseases.
- Studies of L-Arginine in patients suffering from chronic heart failures have also shown remarkable results. It is known to improve exercise tolerance in such patients.
- Arginine combined with Ibuprofen can decrease migraine headaches and provide quick relief.
- In case of leg pain caused by formation of plaque or blood clots in the leg arteries, L-Arginine therapy can help. It prevents formation of clots and also relieves the pain, thus improving the patient’s ability to walk long distances.
- Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is an inherited metabolic disorder characterized by formation of myelin sheaths (fatty coverings) on nerve fibers in the brain, and progressive destruction of adrenal glands. Studies show that Arginine injections can help manage this condition to a significant extent.
- Arginine is known to improve immune function and protein function in patients who have suffered severe burns or infections.
- Intravenous L-arginine can increase blood flow in patients with critical limb ischemia, a condition caused by improper blood flow to the arms and legs.
- Arginine supplements can greatly decrease the severity of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. It can also help in controlling the other complications associated with diabetes such as heart problems and nerve damage.
- Erectile Dysfunction in men is usually a result of low nitrate levels in the blood or urine. L-Arginine supplements increases the amount of Nitric Oxide in the blood, thus treating erectile dysfunction and other related problems. It is also known to increase sexual stamina in both men and women.
- Arginine supplements can temporary widen the arteries and reduce blood pressure levels in patients with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
- L-arginine dietary sources in combination with Canola oil can decrease rejection rate in kidney transplant patients.
- Arginine can stimulate the production of growth hormones – testosterone and IGF. As you grow older, the production of these hormones diminishes, leading to wrinkles and aging. Arginine supplementation helps in maintaining skin’s elasticity, giving it a younger and vibrant look.
- Arginine is known to assist in wound healing and increasing the rate of recovery in patients who have undergone a surgery for cancer. For quicker healing of external wounds, arginine-based creams/powder can also be directly applied to the skin.
The list of benefits offered by L-arginine is endless. Not only does it help in treating a variety of physical ailments, but is also essential for several biological functions including protein synthesis and waste removal from the body.
The Food and Drug Administration has not recommended any specific dosage for Arginine, as each individual’s need may vary depending upon their age and health condition.
When administered in appropriate amounts, L-arginine does not pose any risk and is quite safe. However, some people might experience side effects such as abdominal pain, cramping, allergies, inflammation and low blood pressure. It is best to consult a health practitioner to find out the right dosage of L-arginine that your body needs, and the best form of supplementation for you.
We did some research and found the best L-arginine product. Learn more about the L-Arginine Amino Acid