Arginine, or L-arginine as it is called with its L-structure, is a semi-essential amino acid. Arginine is involved in many metabolic processes and important in the treatment of heart diseases and high blood pressure. Arginine improves the circulation, strengthens the immune system and has a positive influence on male libido.1 Research suggests that the amino acid accelerates the rate of the healing of wounds2, improves the burning of excess fat3and can be used in weight-reducing diets. Its role in decreasing cholesterol levels can be ascribed to its function as biological precursor of nitric oxide (NO).
Potency can be increased through arginine
In 1998, the Nobel Prize for Medicine was given for specific research concerning nitric oxide and its conversion from arginine. The amino acid L-arginine improves the circulation and oxygen supply of the coronary and peripheral vessels through the release of nitric oxide. When people take arginine, the nitric oxide level in the blood
increases. Nitric oxide relaxes the walls of the blood vessels and thereby improves the circulation in the whole body, including the erectile tissue in the penis. Furthermore, arginine increases the nitric oxide level, which makes the arteries more elastic. This effect can lower blood pressure and improve the ability to have an erection. In addition, nutrients and oxygen is able to reach the organs quicker through the blood which on the whole has a positive effect on male potency, stamina and sexual performance.
Free of side-effects
Arginine’s ability to improve erections has been long since known. But the advantages of amino acids are so far only able to take pride of place when discussing the most well-known sexual enhancer pills. Ultimately arginine works in a similar way to synthetic pills, the difference being that it is cheaper and free from side effects. The difference between arginine and other potency pills is that arginine does not have an immediate effect and instead works over time. This is another reason why it is not dangerous to take arginine.
The vasodilating effect of arginine promotes hair growth
In addition to the potency-enhancing attributes, arginine is of great importance to hair growth, owing to its role as a precursor to nitric oxide. This is because the nitric oxide formed from arginine opens the potassium channels of the cells. This can improve the circulation to the hair roots and stimulate hair growth.4
Other functions of arginine
Arginine helps to reduce insulin resistance and increases glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Besides other measures which are important for diabetics, such as a healthy diet and weight control, arginine can help to minimize insulin requirements.5
Ammonia is a cellular toxin created from the building of protein. If there is too much ammonia in the body, for example because the liver isn’t working properly, ammonia can reach the brain and interfere with important functions. In some cases, insomnia can be the result of ammonia levels being too high. Simply put, taking supplements containing amino acids such as arginine, ornithine and glutamine can promote sleep, as they detoxify ammonia as part of the urea cycle.
Collagen is a protein which is a fundamental component of various connective tissues (such as cartilage) and bone. Arginine supports the production of collagen and is therefore an important contributor to bone growth. In turn, arginine supports the growth of the osteoblasts which form the bone mass. A study from 2002 has proven that an arginine deficiency, especially in older women, can be the cause of the emergence of osteoporosis.6
1Williams, J.Z., Abumrad, N. & Barbul, A. (2002) Effect of a Specialized Amino Acid Mixture on Human Collagen Deposition, Annals of Surgery, Volume 236, issue 3, (pp. 369 – 375)
2Lavie, L., Hafetz, A., Luboshitzky, R. & Lavie, P. (2003) Plasma levels of nitric oxide and L-arginine in sleep apnea patients, Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, Volume 21, issue 1, (pp. 57-63)
3Merimee, T.J., Lillicrap, D.A. & Rabinowitz, D. (1965) Effect of arginine on serum-levels of human growth-hormone Lancet, Volume 2, issue 7414, (pp. 668-670)
4Wu, G.A.B., Meininger, C.J., Knabe, D.A., Baze, F.W.A. & Rhoads, J.M. (2000) Arginine nutrition in development, health and disease, Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, Volume 3, issue 1, (pp. 59-66)
5Piatti, P.M., Monti, L.D., Valsecchi, G., Magni, F., Setola, E., Marchesi, F., Galli-Kienle, M., Pozza, G. & Alberti, K.G.M.M. (2001) Long-term oral L-arginine administration improves peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic patients, Diabetes Care, Volume 24, issue 5, (pp. 875-880)
6Ammann, P., Laib, A., Bonjour, J.-P., Meyer, J. M., Rüegsegger, P. & Rizzoli, R. (2002) Dietary essential aminoacid supplements increase the bone strength by influencing bone mass & bone microarchitecture in an isocaloric low-protein diet, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, Volume 17, issue 7, (pp.1264-1272)