Arginine, also known as just plain arginine, is one type of amino acid that's commonly available in supplement forms and can also be obtained naturally from foods such as meat, poultry, fish, nuts and dairy products. This amino acid is important for protein production in the body. It also helps to stimulate the release of insulin and get rid of ammonia, a waste product. Nitric oxide, a compound which relaxes blood vessels, is created with the use of L-arginine. Some studies have emphasized the capacity for arginine to improve heart conditions while other research point out that it may bring harm on some people.
What Are the Uses for Arginine?
The amino acid is responsible for a number of different body functions including immunity and hormonal function maintenance, healing of wounds and waste removal from the kidneys. Some proponents claim that arginine could aid in the prevention or improvement of the following:
Some individuals also use arginine for bodybuilding, to shorten their recuperation after surgery and to improve athletic performance.
What Are the Benefits a Person Can Reap from Using This?
Several studies show that arginine could help with these specific health conditions:
Angina -- An increased intake of arginine rich foods may ease symptoms, improve the blood circulation and increase exercise tolerance of people with angina pectoris.
Congestive Heart Failure -- According to a study conducted by the Clinical Cardiology in 2000, the amino acid may help improve the cardiac performance of people who are suffering from this disease. On the other hand, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) warns that arginine shouldn’t be used as a replacement for standard treatments prescribed by doctors and health experts.
Erectile Dysfunction -- Since arginine is believed to enhance nitric oxide action in the body making the muscles around the blood vessels relaxed and dilated blood flow in the penis is increased.
Are There Some Other Studies About Arginine?
Other studies saw the potential of arginine to relieve leg cramping, manage inflammation of the bladder and weakness due to blocked arteries. It is also believed to improve kidney functions after transplant. When combined with ribonucleic acid and EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid also formally known as eicosapentaenoic acid, arginine can help promote healing of wounds, protection against infection and shorten recovery period. arginine also works well with B vitamins.
Are There Any Side Effects In Using It?
Arginine is considered safe when taken in the short-term but some studies reveal that it may cause several side effects such as headache, indigestion, bloating, diarrhea, gout, nausea, allergies, blood abnormalities, worsening of asthma, airway inflammation and even low blood pressure. When an individual takes a high dosage of a dietary supplement containing arginine, the level of stomach acid could go up and worsen heartburn or ulcers. Patients with diabetes, herpes, those who have suffered a heart attack, pregnant and nursing women should avoid taking arginine.
Is Arginine supplement safe and must be taken for health purposes?
Clinical trials show that arginine can be used safely but can also bring some minor side effects. If a person is taking some other medication, he should consult his doctor first because arginine may interact with certain medicines and drugs. Since the body maintains sufficient amount of arginine in most cases, there’s really no serious need to take arginine supplements. However, in case of severe injuries, infections and burns, the supply of this substance in the body is depleted. You may opt to take arginine in proper dosage to cater to your body’s needs, as many athletes and bodybuilders report increases in performance and concentration when supplementing with arginine.
What Are the Contraindications of Taking Arginine?
Several users claim that they can get a prosexual effect by taking arginine 45 minutes before sex. However, people with herpes should refrain from taking this because arginine may aggravate the severity of the outbreaks. Arginine is also considered as a great supplement for people wanting to improve overall sexual health, performance and desire.
How Much Is the Proper Dose of Arginine that Must Be Taken Daily?
Experts say there is no recommended daily dosage for arginine because the human body produces enough supply of the nutrient; however, most supplements for arginine come in 500 and 1,000 mg doses.