What you will learn...
Arginine, also known as L-arginine, is involved in a number of different bodily functions. Such functions include:
- Wound healing
- Helping the kidneys remove waste products from the body
- Maintaining immune and hormonal function
- Dilates and relaxes the arteries
In the body, the amino acid L-arginine changes into nitric oxide (NO), which is a powerful neurotransmitter that helps blood vessels relax and also improves circulation.
The effects of L-arginine on the body are thought to be numerous, and some suggestion shows that arginine may help improve blood flow in the arteries of the heart, helping to improve symptoms of clogged arteries, chest pain or angina, and coronary artery disease.
L-arginine is involved in the synthesis of Nitric Oxide (NO) and creatine in the body. It is also required for the production of urea, which is required to remove ammonia from the body.
Arginine also acts as a building block of proteins and can be used for a variety of purposes, ranging from supporting cardiovascular function to athletic performance.
L-Arginine effects also include improved sexual functions and supporting the ability to achieve an erection for the men folks.
L-arginine affects many vital functions in the body. For example, in the brain, L-arginine is oxidized to nitric oxide gas, and this gas diffuses rapidly from cell to cell as one of the possible chemical messengers involved in learning and memory.
Scientists found that “L-arginine metabolism in the brain is very important for normal brain functioning.
Furthermore, L-arginine, as a precursor of nitric oxide, plays a prominent role in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer's is thought to involve disruption of neurotransmitters in the brain and is one of the most common causes of severe memory loss and intellectual deterioration in the elderly.
In a 2008 study published in “International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology,” a Dr. Jing Yi found that L-arginine could affect the origination and development of Alzheimer’s.
L-arginine benefits and effects can sometimes be enhanced when combined with other supplements and over-the-counter drugs.
L-arginine may support some cardiovascular conditions, such as atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, including erectile disorders.
As mentioned earlier, this amino acid has been observed to convert to nitric oxide in the body, which is one of its main therapeutic effects.
Nitric oxide on its own, serves to relax blood vessels, allowing them to dilate or widen. This enables enhanced blood flow and circulation.
L-arginine is also believed to fuel the release of insulin and growth hormone in the body, which may help support symptoms of diabetes and thyroid disorders.
In the brain, nitric oxide gas forms through the oxidation of L-arginine.
This nitric oxide gas helps relaxes the smooth muscles of the arteries that supply blood to the heart, thereby enhancing healthy blood flow to the areas of the brain and other vital parts of the body.
L-arginine also is helpful in fostering the easy and efficient flow of blood through the blood vessels to the brain and areas they are most needed.
Human Growth Hormone
The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain and produces human growth hormone, HGH.
This HGH is also known as the anti-aging hormone, as it improves memory and reduces the signs of aging.
A study published in the January 2008 “Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care” reports that nitric oxide in L-arginine helps fuels the release of human growth hormone, HGH, and reduces the signs of aging.
Effects for Bodybuilders and Sexual Function
Bodybuilders and athletes also supplement with L-arginine, to promote muscle growth and improved workout efficiency.
Nitric Oxide boosters like L-Arginine are regularly used to increase protein synthesis, shorten recovery time for workouts, and augment strength gains.
When Nitric Oxide synthesis is increased in the body, it causes the blood vessel walls to relax or dilate.
This results in increased circulation, without causing blood pressure to rise, further leading to improved delivery of oxygen and other nutrients to all cells of the body.
Nitric Oxide can also support sexual performance. It can achieve this by increasing libido, stamina, and erectile function.
L-Arginine has been observed to be combined with Pycnogenol (Pine Bark Extract) in the treatment for Erectile Dysfunction, ED.
By supporting circulation to the genitals, these supplements help alleviate some of the causes of ED.
In clinical trials, arginine has been used safely with minor side effects for a period of up to three months.
However, possible side effects include abdominal pain and bloating, diarrhea, and gout.
It may also lead to a worsening of breathing in people with asthma.
Arginine may interact with certain drugs that lower blood pressure, and may also interact with certain heart medications and drugs that treat erectile dysfunction, such as Viagra.