Overview of Benefits:
- Helps to stimulate blood flow
- Helps Cardiovascular Problems
- Angina pectoris
- Male infertility
- Helps with Kidney disorders
L-arginine is a protein amino acid present in the proteins of all life forms. It is classified as a semi-essential or conditionally essential amino acid. This means that under normal circumstances the body can synthesize sufficient L-arginine to meet physiological demands. There are, however, conditions where the body cannot. L-arginine is essential for young children and for those with certain rare genetic disorders in which synthesis of the amino acid is impaired. Some stress conditions that put an increased demand on the body for the synthesis of L-arginine include trauma (including surgical trauma), sepsis and burns. Under these conditions, L-arginine becomes essential, and it is then very important to ensure adequate dietary intake of the amino acid to meet the increased physiological demands created by these situations.
L-arginine, even when it is not an essential amino acid as defined above, is a vital one. In addition to participating in protein synthesis, it plays a number of other roles in the body. These include the detoxification of ammonia formed during the nitrogen catabolism of amino acids via the formation of urea. In addition, L-arginine is a precursor in the formation of nitric oxide, creatine, polyamines, L-glutamate, L-proline, agmatin (a possible neurotransmitter in the brain) and the arginine-containing tetrapeptide tuftsin, believed to be an immunomodulator. L-arginine is a glycogenic amino acid; it can be converted to D-glucose and glycogen if needed by the body or it can be catabolized to produce biological energy.
L-arginine, when administered in high doses, stimulates pituitary release of growth hormone and prolactin and pancreatic release of glucagon and insulin. Intravenous L-arginine may be used as an aid in the evaluation of problems with growth and stature that may be due to growth hormone deficiency. Intravenous arginine hydrochloride may be used as a fourth-line agent in the treatment of severe metabolic alkalosis. L-arginine is also used as an immunonutrient in enteral and parenteral nutrition to help improve the immune status in those suffering from sepsis, burns and trauma.
L-arginine is predominately synthesized in the kidney. It is a key intermediate in the Krebs-Henseleit urea cycle. L-ornithine and L-citrulline are precursors in the synthesis of L-arginine, and L-arginine is converted to urea and L-ornithine via the enzyme arginase. The portion of L-arginine that is not converted to urea enters the circulation, and is distributed to the various tissues and metabolized as discussed above. A much smaller amount of L-arginine is produced in the liver.
Most dietary L-arginine comes from plant and animal proteins. Small amounts of free L-arginine are found in vegetable juices and fermented foods, such as miso and yogurt. Soy protein and other plant proteins are richer in L-arginine than are animal proteins, which are richer in lysine. It is thought that the possible hypocholesterolemic effect of soy protein is due, at least in part, to the higher L-arginine content in this protein.
Supplemental L-arginine is contraindicated in those with the rare genetic disorder argininemia. It is also contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of an arginine-containing preparation.
Because of absence of long-term safety studies, and because of the possibility of growth hormone stimulation, pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid L-arginine supplementation.
Those with renal or hepatic failure should exercise caution in the use of supplemental L-arginine.
Proteins of the herpes simplex virus are rich in L-arginine, and there are a few reports (mainly anecdotal) of those taking supplemental L-arginine who have had recurrences of oral herpes lesions. Although it is unlikely that those with a history of herpes simplex virus infection will have recurrences if they use L-arginine supplements, they should nevertheless be aware of this possibility.
Oral supplementation with L-arginine at doses up to 15 grams daily are generally well tolerated. The most common adverse reactions of higher doses — from 15 to 30 grams daily — are nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Some may experience these symptoms at lower doses.
Cyclosporine: L-arginine may counteract the antinaturetic effect of cyclosporin.
Ibuprofen: L-arginine may increase the absorption of ibuprofen if taken concomitantly.
Organic nitrates: L-arginine supplements theoretically may potentiate the effects of organic nitrates if taken concomitantly.
Sildenafil citrate: Theoretically, L-arginine supplements taken concomitantly with sildenafil citrate, may potentiate the effects of the drug.
Yohimbe: L-Arginine, if used concomitantly, may enhance the effect of yohimbe.
Shake well. Add 5 level scoop to 6-8 oz. water once daily as a dietary supplement, or as directed by a health care professional.