L-Arginine is an amino acid that is found in some food materials, like red meat, white meat (chicken, fish, etc.), and dairy products.
It can also be produced in the body and can be synthesized in the laboratory.
L-Arginine preparations are increasingly being recommended and used in Urology to support the treatment of erectile disorders of mild or medium severity.
Erectile Dysfunction, ED is characterized by the inability of the man to get or keep an erection for sex.
- L-Arginine is the only element or reactant (starting point) for the formation of nitric oxide (NO).
- Nitric oxide is the neurotransmitter for the widening and expansion of vessels and muscles in the body. It goes into the blood vessel walls and stimulates the nerves, causing the muscle to relax and vessels to widen. This ensures the elasticity of the vessels and muscles.
- For the penis to become erect, the muscles must relax, allowing the accumulation of venous blood, allowing the arterial blood flows into the penis at the same time, aided by the widening of the vessels. Without a sufficient supply of L-Arginine, resulting in NO, this may not be possible.
Benefits of L-Arginine
L-Arginine is converted into nitric oxide (NO) in the body, which causes blood vessels to expand and thus, can increase blood flow.
It is also taken as a dietary supplement for different purposes, including:
- Improving erectile function in men with erectile dysfunction problems.
- Increasing sperm count and motility in men.
- It improves overall heart health and circulation.
- Reduce blood pressure, and leg pain that results from poor circulation.
- It improves healing and recovery, especially after surgical treatment.
L-Arginine for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
An erection is the result of a series of physiological steps that begin with sexual stimulation, causing the brain to send nerve impulses that relax the smooth muscles and arteries that supply blood to the penis.
This relaxation allows blood to engorge the penis, causing it to become toughen and erect.
Any interruption at any step of the process can ruin a man’s ability to get an erection.
There are many causes of ED.
They include; hypertension (high blood pressure), decreased blood flow, old age, diabetes mellitus, hormone problems, depression (psychological difficulties), smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, drug abuse, pelvic surgery, and conditions of the nervous system.
L-Arginine for ED and Men’s Health
On the other hand, L-Arginine is one of the most used alternative remedies for erectile dysfunction. It increases the levels of nitric oxide (NO) in the blood.
L-Arginine is an effective vasodilator that generates a similar effect to PDE5 inhibitor drugs, like Viagra and Cialis.
However, one must consume large quantities of it to notice an improvement in penile blood flow and erection strength.
L-arginine is a substrate for the enzyme, “endothelial nitric oxide synthase” (eNOS), which acts on L-arginine to produce nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide is a signaling molecule involved in some physiological functions, including the development of erections.
It relaxes smooth muscle and blood vessels, which is necessary to allow sufficient blood flow to the penis for an erection to occur.
In some studies carried, daily doses of 6 grams, 8 grams, 10 grams, and up to 30 grams were used to treat men with ED.
Although results varied for each user, it was indeed found to be a helpful supplement for erections.
There was an interesting study where they noticed that taking pine bark extract together with a relatively low dose of L-Arginine was many times more successful in improving ED than taking L-Arginine alone.
Thus, for the treatment of ED and for generally improving sex drive and fertility, L-Arginine can be combined with other supplements.
It is often used with Tongkat Ali, Pycnogenol (Pine Bark Extract), Horny Goat Weed, L-Citrulline, and Korean Ginseng.
Dosage of L-Arginine
There are different dosages used in dietary supplements and ranges up to 30g for men with ED.
It is recommended that you start with a dosage of 1,200mg daily, which you can take in the morning.
If that is not effective, especially, if you have ED, you can increase the dosage gradually up to 9,000mg (9g) daily; 4,000mg in the morning and 5,000mg in the afternoon; or 3,000mg in the morning, 3,000mg in the afternoon, and 3,000mg in the evening (whichever you prefer).
Taking L-Arginine with a glass of water, on an empty stomach is believed to deliver the best results, and if you take it with a meal containing protein it can significantly reduce absorption and effectiveness.
Natural Medicines rates the use of L-arginine as “Possibly Safe” when used in the short-term, at appropriate doses. Information is insufficient regarding the safety of long-term use.
Follow the label instructions when taking L-arginine, and do not use L-arginine for ED if you are already taking a PDE5 inhibitor like Viagra.
Always make sure to speak with your doctor before taking L-arginine for ED, especially, if you suffer from herpes, low blood pressure, or any cardiovascular disorder.