Health benefits of L-Arginine
L-arginine is surprisingly beneficial as it can improve erectile dysfunction, improves cardiac health, and is suitable for your overall health. It is a chemical building block known as an amino acid. You can obtain it from the diet and is essential for your body to make proteins. L-arginine is also present in red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy items. It can also be prepared in a laboratory and utilized as a medicine.
It is most commonly utilized for recovery after surgery, a pregnancy complication due to high blood pressure and protein in the urine. You can also use L-arginine for many other health issues, but there is no suitable scientific evidence to support plenty of these usages.
This amino acid is converted in your body into a chemical known as nitric oxide. Nitric oxide leads your blood vessels to open wider for better blood flow. L-arginine also promotes the secretion of growth hormone, insulin, and other materials in your body.
Here we are going to discuss why L- arginine is essential to our body and its potential health benefits with enough scientific shreds of evidence. So let get started!
What is L-Arginine?
It is one of the important amino acids that your body requires to function adequately. Like any other amino acids, it also plays a significant role in building protein. Your body can utilize the protein to aid in building muscle and reshape the tissue. Additionally, building protein, L-arginine secretes nitric oxide in your blood.
Nitric oxide functions to widen blood vessels in your bloodstream that may help in specific circulatory issues. An individual body naturally forms L-arginine under normal conditions. Individuals also obtain additional L-arginine as part of their daily diet.
Red meats, fatty fish, dairy items, and eggs all comprise low amounts of this amino acid that you're your body to replenish its essential resources. Typically, a person's requirement for it may exceed the body's ability to synthesize or eat naturally. It is the reality for aged people or individuals with specific medical issues.
In these situations, adults may be recommended synthetic form of this amino acid as oral medication, injections, or creams. A large number of potential health problems may benefit from an enhanced consumption of L-arginine.
Specific individuals consume L-arginine as a pill. As with any dietary pill, an individual utilizes it with pure attention and real guidance.
Although it is taken as safe in moderate doses, a high intake of L-arginine may involve serious side effects, like nausea, vomiting, etc. It is significant to learn how the L-arginine supplement may interact with your body and with additional medications before consuming it as a regular dose.
What Does L-arginine do in the body?
The medical society classifies it as a semi-essential amino acid. It means that your body makes it and also takes it from foods.
There are three basic types of amino acids;
- Semi-essential acids that your body makes and absorbs from external sources
- Essential acids that your body does not make
- Non-essential acids that your body prepares and does not require to supplement via absorption
- Kids require absorbing a specific amount of L-arginine your diet to build their growth or development. People tend only to require what their body makes.
Uses of L-Arginine
L-arginine comprises of two main effects; it transforms into nitric oxide and aids your body build protein. These impacts provide an array of health benefits that range from heart health and chest pain to aiding to build muscles, heal wounds, and improve male fertility. Although there are plenty of claims related to the uses of L-Arginine, not all of them are proved by scientific research based-studies.
Below are some examples of uses of L-arginine;
- Development hormone reserve test
- Minimizing high blood pressure
- Improving inborn errors of urea formation
- Helpful for the treatment of heart disease
- Curing erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Relieving swelling or inflammation of the digestive tract in premature infants
- Regulating blood sugar in individuals suffering from diabetes
Also, L-arginine may have the efficiency to aid with numerous other health conditions. However, more studies require to be conducted to evaluate further its potential to do the following;
- Maintain blood flow
- Heal wounds instantly
- Get rid of anxiety
- Treat burns
- Regulate kidney function for individuals suffering from congestive heart failure
- Increase your exercise or workout performance
There are a lot of other areas that scientists are interested in discovering relating L-arginine and its impacts on the human body. It is significant for anyone interested in consuming L-arginine as a supplement to consult with their physician about the potential effects and risks before beginning to utilize it.
Health benefits of L-Arginine
In your body, the amino acid L-arginine converts into nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide is a potential neurotransmitter that aids blood vessels to relax and also promotes circulation.
Some scientific proves that it may aid in improving blood flow in the arteries of the heart. That may promote symptoms of clogged arteries, or angina, and coronary artery disorder. On the other hand, there is no clear data on how the long-term usage of L-Arginine influences cholesterol or heart health. But overall, it can improve heart health and maintain cholesterol levels.
As it can help arteries relax and promote blood flow, this beneficial amino acid may also aid in erectile dysfunction. There are other potent health advantages with arginine, like possible decrease of blood pressure in some individual and regulated walking distance in people with intermittent leg cramping and weakness called intermittent claudication.
But the scientific studies are not convincing enough for scientists to make any firm suggestions. Not all research on arginine has been significant. A 2007 study indicated that it was not helpful and may have been dangerous for treating heart attacks with standard treatment.
Below are the remarkable health benefits of L-arginine;
- May Improve Cardiac Health
A study revealed that L-Arginine supplement could improve the cardiac health of people suffering from following cardiac disorders.
- Clogged Artery
- Coronary Artery Disease
It has been observed in the various analysis that if we take an L-Arginine supplement daily, it can cure peripheral vascular disease. It is a condition in which the diameter of arteries reduces, and blood pressure to limbs decreases.
Another study also observed that taking L-Arginine supplements after cardiac stroke may impose some worst effects on your cardiac health. So if you have any previous history related to cardiac health, it is better to consult your physician before taking an L-Arginine supplement.
- Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction
Due to peripheral vascular disease, arteries may shrink, leading to a decrease in blood flow. Most people suffer this disease in their lower areas of the body. Due to this reason, blood flow in the penis also decreased to a great extent that leads to erectile dysfunction in males. In such a condition, they find it challenging to achieve a healthy erection.
Research says that L-Arginine supplements increase the diameter of blood vessels in the human body in such areas and increase blood flow. Due to this reason, the urologist recommends L-citrulline in the case of erectile dysfunction. Our body then converts L-citrulline into L-Arginine, giving proper erection in males.
- Helpful in Regulation of Blood Sugar
Research says that L-Arginine is the best tonic for diabetic patients. It can enhance glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in our bodies. For proper functioning and response of insulin, Nitric oxide is much necessary for our body that is gained through L-Arginine supplements.
It gives a boost to all hormones that help insulin to transport sugar molecules from the blood to the cells where energy is required. Indirectly, we can say that nitric oxide improves cells responsible for insulin production and aid our body in utilizing blood sugar more efficiently. However, some researchers say that intake of L-Arginine supplements for longer duration may cause complete eradication of diabetes, but it has not been accepted worldwide. Further studies are still going to prove this statement.
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
L-Arginine supplement is recommended in the duration of pregnancy and breastfeeding by doctors to avoid preeclampsia. This supplement can also reduce the risk of intrauterine growth. Studies say that if an L-Arginine supplement is delivered while pregnant to the females, it improves their fetal and mental health.
Our body needs L-Arginine in a lot of quantity for the proper development of fetal organs. The ratio required for this cannot be achieved via a balanced diet, so doctors recommend an additional dose of L-Arginine supplement to meet these needs. This supplement may also be subjected to women that are poor in their food and suffer nausea, vomiting during pregnancy. To avoid all such problems, doctors recommend the L-Arginine supplement.
- Treatment of High Blood Pressure
L-Arginine supplement is used to treat high blood pressure in a cardiac patient as we all know that L-Arginine is an amino acid that donates Nitric oxide to our body. Due to the reduced diameter of blood vessels, blood pressure is not smooth to all the organs. That is a very critical situation that may lead to any unpleasant incident like brain stroke or cardiac failure etc. In this case, the L-Arginine supplement is given to such patients for smooth blood flow.
It dilates blood vessel that reduces blood pressure to a great extent and prevents us from the disease. However, further studies are still going on L-Arginine supplements that could be the average dosage that should be recommended in such situations.
- Increasing Athletics Performance
L-Arginine supplement is taken by athletes to meet their energy requirements. L-Arginine helps us a lot in the proper regulation of blood sugar in our bodies. It improves insulin to make sugar molecules to the place where energy is needed for cell functioning. It also prevents them from high blood pressure and diseases like diabetes. We can say that the best tonic that we can recommend to a player to increase its stamina is the L-Arginine supplement.
It aids them in exercising for a long time that makes them durable. Some studies also say that it improves the performance of lungs while exercise, but it has not been accepted because of insufficient evidence in investigations. However, researches are still going to find more about this supplement.
- Other potential benefits
Besides the potential benefits mentioned above, some scientists recommend that L-arginine supplements be beneficial when used in the below ways;
- A 2018 review of 12 studies discovered that consuming L-arginine supplements in doses ranging from 1.5–5 grams on a daily basis effectively maintains the low sexual drive of individuals, compared with a placebo or no treatment.
- Some evidence recommends its supplements may improve brain function and blood flow in particular populations. On the other hand, study results are conflicting, and most of them have discovered that it has no benefit.
- A plethora of studies has explained that treating with L-arginine during pregnancy may help prevent and eliminate preeclampsia, a harmful condition featured by high blood pressure and protein in the urine.
- L-arginine has been studied to influence different conditions, including obesity, heart disease, certain cancers, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), depression, and anxiety, either utilized on its own or in combination with other dietary pills.
- But a study on the impacts of L-arginine in individuals suffering from these and many other health issues is limited and inconclusive, indicating the requirement for future research.
- Additionally, the definite advantages and uses above, plenty of individuals consume L-arginine supplements for plenty of other reasons, involving minimizing the risk of the common cold and improving weight loss. Yet, many of these advantages aren't supported by scientific studies.
Possible Side Effects
L-arginine may lead to a lot of negative impacts involving indigestion, vomiting, headache, bloating, fatigue, restlessness, blood abnormalities, allergies, airway swelling, worsening of an asthma condition, reduced insulin sensitivity, and reduced blood pressure.
Increased doses of this amino acid may enhance stomach acid; therefore, it may also worsen heartburn or digestive distress because of medications. Additionally, L-arginine may aggravate signs in individuals suffering from herpes.
It may interact with specific medications, like blood pressure drugs, diabetes drugs, or medicines utilized for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. If you are suffering from a heart disorder, don't use the dietary supplements of L-arginine.
Certain research-based studies have discovered that chronic L-arginine supplementation may lead to insulin sensitivity, while others have highlighted no impact or enhanced insulin sensitivity.
As with plenty of other pills or capsules, it hasn't been tested for safety in pregnant ladies, nursing mothers, kids, and those with specific medical issues or who are consuming medications.
Food Sources of L-Arginine
Below are the food sources of L-arginine;
You will get the most considerable amount of L-arginine in turkey breast. One cooked breast contains 17 grams! You cannot say that turkey is the only good source of protein; because it contains a rich concentration of other nutrients, such as B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.
Another high-protein food is pork loin that is a good source of L-arginine with 14 g per rib. It is also one of the leanest cuts of pork; therefore, it is low in fat. Utilize a marinade to include flavor without the additional fat.
I love pork loin myself, and you can also like to include it in your diet because aside from the L-arginine source, it is also essential for your overall health and if you want to weight loss.
It is another popular and healthy way to obtain healthy protein. It's also the most beneficial source of L-arginine. One chicken breast contains almost 75 percent of your regular suggested protein and almost 10 g of L-arginine. You should check these diabetes-friendly chicken recipes.
Animal sources aren't the only technique to obtain protein and arginine. One cup of pumpkin seeds requires almost 8 g. Pumpkin seeds are also a suitable source of your essential minerals, iron, or zinc. You should add them as a crunchy salad topping and a part of a trail combination. You can also experience a positive effect on your body.
Roasted soybeans are one of the great sources of protein. One cup of roasted soybeans contains 4 grams of L-arginine. They are also a suitable source of the minerals potassium or magnesium. You should use them as a healthy snack alternative. Individuals like roasted soybeans on a diet because it saves them from any side effect of a weight loss diet.
Peanuts are an essential source of L-arginine. A cup of peanuts comprises of 4.5 g of this amino acid, although you don't need to consume a whole cup in one sitting as the nuts are rich in fat. Instead, spread that cup out with a few one-half cup servings throughout your week. Additionally, their protein content, they are an excellent source for vitamins B or E and niacin.
It is a type of blue-green algae that develops in the sea. It's often purchased as a powder and utilized to include extra nutrients to smoothies. One cup of Spirulina contains 4 g of L-arginine along with plentiful amounts of calcium, potassium, and niacin.
On the other hand, for smoothie recipes, you can utilize Spirulina tablespoon that would put the L-arginine count at 0.27 grams.
However, some people do not prepare adequate amounts of L-arginine. If they do not absorb adequate from the diet, they can develop a deficiency.
According to a study published in 2010, issues with the blood vessels or your immune system may cause L-arginine deficiency. The scientists discovered that further study is required to determine the efficiency of dietary supplements.
Can You Use Its Supplements
In several scientific studies, L-arginine has been utilized safely with few side effects for up to two months. Possible drawbacks related to using its supplements involve abdominal pain, restlessness and bloating, diarrhea, and gout. It may also cause a worsening of breathing in individuals with asthma.
It may interact with some medications that reduce blood pressure. L-arginine may also interact with specific heart medications and drugs like Viagra that are used for erectile dysfunction.
Pregnant ladies and females who are nursing must not consume their supplements without first consulting with their doctors and physician.
Be careful with the following combination;
- Medications for rich blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) may interact with L-arginine. It seems to reduce blood pressure. Consuming L-arginine and drugs for the high blood pressure may lead your blood pressure to go too low.
- Medications that boost blood flow to the heart (Nitrates) interact with it. L-Arginine maximizes the blood flow. Taking it with medications that boost blood flow to your heart may enhance the chance of dizziness and lightheadedness.
- Sildenafil (Viagra) interacts with these amino acids. The former may reduce blood pressure. L-arginine may also lower blood pressure. Using sildenafil and L-arginine in combination may lead your blood pressure to reduce too much. Blood pressure that is decreased can cause vomiting, nausea, dizziness, and other negative impacts.
Dosage and Preparation
There is no average suggested dose of L-arginine. The adequate dose for you may rely on factors involving your age, gender, and medical history.
Plenty of other doses of L-arginine have been studied in a study investigating its impact on various conditions. For example, for headache or pain, a dose of 3-6 g two to three times regularly for up to two months has been utilized.
For erectile dysfunction, a dose of 4-5 grams daily has been utilized for one month. And in studies considering high blood pressure, a dose of 5-25 g per day for 4-24 weeks has been utilized.
No doubt, there are a lot of health benefits of using L- Arginine. But people should avoid taking it if they are suffering from any condition and always consult with their doctor or physician for better understanding.
L-arginine is a form of amino acid that facilitates your body prepares proteins. It can be received naturally in your diet and available in dietary supplement form in different markets or online stores. Foods are high in L-arginine, such as plant and animal proteins, such as dairy items, meat, poultry, fatty fish, and nuts.
This amino acid has plenty of health benefits like it helps to rid your body of ammonia (a waste product) and promotes the release of insulin. Additionally, your body utilizes L-arginine to synthesize nitric oxide (a compound that relieves the blood vessels). Although individual research recommends that L-arginine be beneficial for specific health conditions, other research highlights that it may also have dangerous effects on some people.
You should take its supplements according to the instructions mentioned on the label. The most important thing to note that you should take it with proper guidance and after speaking to your doctor or medical health care provider to avoid any side effects!