Arginine or L-Arginine is known as a semi-essential or conditionally essential amino acid that is critical to the health of many newborn babies as often times when we are born our bodies do not produce a sufficient amount of arginine naturally. Arginine commonly goes by the name of L-arginine and plays a vital role in many key processes that take place within our bodies. Arginine aids the kidneys in removing waste from the body, reparative wound healing, and maintaining your immune system.
What is Arginine (L-Arginine)?
L-arginine is considered a conditionally essential amino acid, which means that it is only necessary when the right factors are present in the body. In circumstances where your body has sufficient levels of arginine, production on a natural basis may not occur as often. L-Arginine has several major roles in the human body, it is an amino acid which converts to nitric oxide in order to help with blood circulation and many issues related to the nervous system. Many athletes use arginine as a popular supplement to help with conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
What is arginine’s main purpose?
Arginine is a major player in wound healing, immune health, and hormonal triggers. Many research studies have pointed to L-arginine as a significant precursor for the onset of nitric oxide production in the body which can help increase blood flow and reduce the symptoms of diabetes, hypertension and other high blood pressure related diseases.
Its main purposes remain to be aiding the body in the process of illness prevention and blood flow regulation. While there has been some evidence to point to the conclusion that arginine may also help with erectile dysfunction, there have not been conclusive studies conducted. Arginine is used in small doses within dental products in order to coat your teeth with a protective layer of a substance similar to dentin, which is a tissue-like substance found beneath the enamel of our teeth naturally. These findings lead researchers to believe that arginine may have several beneficial effects towards strengthening teeth, although insufficient research has been performed in order to substantiate those claims.
L-arginine commonly known as arginine is often regarded as a supplement in which helps with the circulation of blood throughout the body. Conclusive evidence has been found to substantiate the theory that arginine is in fact a very effective precursor for the production of nitric oxide within the body, which is a neurotransmitter that relaxes the blood vessels in order for circulation to occur in a more efficient manner.
On top of its main beneficial effects for high blood pressure and heart related conditions, L-arginine is also known for its many positive effects relating to wound healing, hormone health, immune system strength and even kidney filtration.
Besides potentially helping with circulation, there are claims that Arginine may help with physical activity as it’s claimed that it increases Nitric Oxide in the body. As such, the supplement is popular with Athletes. However, studies have failed to show a strong link between Arginine and improving athletic performance of any sort.
Alpine nutrition’s L-arginine tablets contain 1000mg in each serving and is made from all natural ingredients without the use of fillers, GMO’s, dairy, wheat and other forms of protein that may cause an allergic reaction I some individuals. This supplement supports the synthesis of nitric oxide and protein within the body which can lead to a number of beneficial effects such as an increase in blood circulation and even reducing the effects of diabetes in some cases.
Arginine or L-arginine has many seemingly grey areas surrounding accurate research that points to useful medical information for the supplement. Most of these areas are in the realm of erectile dysfunction, blood pressure reduction, coronary artery disease and a number of other cardiovascular related conditions. With these findings still up for debate and contextual experiments to prove their effectiveness, there are many conclusive studies that have been conducted which relay information to prove the key role arginine plays in the body as it occurs naturally. A deficiency in arginine may cause things such skin rashes, hair loss, restrictive bowel movements, and a reduction in the amount of time your wounds heal.
L-arginine is classified as a semi-essential amino acid even when produced within the body itself. This is largely due in part to the reasoning that in some instances, supplementation may still be required for certain rehabilitation purposes. These instances often involve insufficient protein levels within one’s body, severe burns, excessive ammonia production in the body, infections, and rapid lysine growth. Arginine is primarily accredited for its beneficial usage in situations that involve severe wounds, l-arginine acts as a marker for L-proline which is one of the most essential proteins needed in order for collagen to form within the body.
Below are some links to proven research surrounding arginine:
- Arginine has been proven to help reduce blood pressure. Link to study
- Arginine has shown some potential benefits for increased oxygenation during exercise. Link to study
- Arginine has shown some possible links to increasing growth hormone naturally within the body. Link to study
- Arginine has shown substantial proof to indicate that is can help increase the flow of blood throughout the body. Link to study
- Supplemental use of arginine has been linked to increases in plasma arginine which is required by the body in a number of healing and disease prevention processes. Link to study
The research surrounding arginine points to some very compelling evidence to substantiate the claims that the semi-essential amino acid is very beneficial for a number of health conditions related to poor blood circulation and disease.
One of the most definitive pieces of evidence that has been found when testing arginine is Its effect on increasing nitric oxide levels within the body. Being that nitric oxide is responsible for the dilation of blood vessels in the body, this research has led many medical professionals to believe that arginine may have several substantiating effects in other areas relating to cardiovascular health. Being that arginine is a semi-essential amino acid, supplementation is hardly ever recommended for healthy adults. Most of the people who find themselves in need of arginine supplementation are suffering from a debilitating disease or illness that has depleted nitric oxide and other valuable chemical substances that in essence “feed” off of arginine for activity.
Who is at risk for arginine deficiency?
Many people who are exposed to the potential risk of arginine deficiency maintain a diet that is inadequate in enough protein. Commonly burn victims and people who have suffered from an infection are the most likely group to need arginine supplementation. Many of the symptoms that point to a deficiency in arginine relate to hair loss and skin rashes mainly in part due to arginine’s major role in the circulation of blood throughout the body.
A deficiency in arginine may also be spotted in people who are recovering from burns or illness. Arginine aids in the process of wound healing and regeneration, it can be especially critical for people under these circumstances to consult with a professional if you notice any of these symptoms.
You can find arginine naturally occurring in many pork, beef, poultry, milk, and seafood products. The average healthy adult should consume enough protein in order to never have to worry about suffering from an arginine deficiency. In some instances, you may be pre-disposed to certain medical conditions that make it harder for your body to absorb protein.
If you have a known history for insufficient levels of proteins within the body or suffer from a condition that leaves you absent of all the vital nutrients that you need in order for your body to produce energy, you should consider trying arginine supplementation to see what potential effects it may bring you.
L-arginine should be measured for supplementation according to the specific activity that is to be performed. Pre-work out dosages are recommended at from 3g-6g. As a supplement to maintain health and energy throughout your daily routine, a combined total dose of 15g-18g is recommended. One thing to keep in mind is that taking arginine in excess of 10g can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues so if you suffer from irregular bowel movements or chronic gastrointestinal issues then you may want to consider lowering your dosage.
Possible side effects of arginine supplementation
While arginine supplementation doesn’t commonly cause severe side effects for the vast majority of patients, in some isolated cases it may cause nausea, stomach cramps, heart burn, diarrhea, and headaches. Before deciding on whether or not you should take arginine as a supplement you should always consult with your doctor in order to see if you are at risk for any pre-disposed conditions that may adversely affect you after usage.
Does it actually work?
The honest answer is, it all depends. Research performed on arginine has shown substantial benefits in cases where patients are suffering from burns and other illnesses. However, in the average adult arginine isn’t a necessity as there are many sources for the semi-essential amino acid that occur in regular food products.
The Research Consensus
I hate bullshit supplements that make claims and don’t deliver. Arginine seems to be one of the more hyped up supplements on the market.
Arginine has undergone research for many years in order to test its potential health benefits as it relates to a number of cardiovascular and blood related illnesses and conditions. While there are still enormous amounts of progress to be made within the field of arginine research, we do have some pretty conclusive findings in order to support a range of beneficial properties that the semi-essential amino acid may host.
Much of the evidence that we have to work with as It relates to how effective arginine supplementation is reflects a very interesting pattern among users who experience severe burns or disease.
Arginine supplementation is highly recommended for people who experience deficiencies in essential minerals and protein. Many medical professionals and researchers however do not recommend arginine supplementation for healthy adults who don’t seem to experience any symptoms related to arginine deficiency.
How effective are Arginine supplements?
In principles arginine supplementation and how effective it is all depends on the person in question. For the average healthy adult who consumes enough protein-rich foods and doesn’t suffer from any cardiovascular or blood related conditions, arginine supplementation is something that will neither help nor hinder you.
Keep in mind that while arginine supplementation may not have beneficial effects for the healthy adult, in excess amounts arginine supplements can cause ulcers or heart burn due to an increased amount of stomach acid. On the contrary many people do find arginine supplementation useful especially when dealing with burn recovery, high blood pressure, poor blood flow, and a number of other cardiovascular related symptoms.
Should you supplement with Arginine?
The answer to this question is probably one of the simplest out of all of the readily available supplements. Arginine is produced naturally within the body on a constant basis to aid organisms in various processes such as blood circulation. Arginine supplementation is not recommended nor required for any healthy adult who maintains a protein rich diet.
After reviewing much of the information available surrounding arginine supplementation there are two main points that can be concluded when asking the question of whether or not you should consider taking it.
The first point: in normal adults who maintain a healthy diet, arginine supplementation is not recommended nor does it seem to show any substantial effects for people who are adequate in the right protein and blood levels. The second point: for people who experience protein deficiency and suffer from poor blood circulation arginine supplementation has provided some very compelling evidence to suggest that it helps in the process of wound healing and blood flow regulation.
Should you supplement long term?
The simple answer to this question is no. Arginine supplementation over long periods of time for healthy adults does not have any beneficial medical properties, in fact arginine supplementation in excess can cause stomach ulcers in rare instances. If you are pre-disposed to any medical conditions that relate to poor blood circulation or cardiovascular health, then I would suggest contacting a medical professional in order to see if you may need to supplement with arginine for an extended period of time.
Arginine supplementation for fighters
For fighters, arginine supplementation does not seem to have any substantial benefit. The supplement is popular with athletes, in part due to the claim that it increases Nitric Oxide production. But the actual results when put to the test are mixed and mostly unsubstantiated.
Arginine supplementation for fighters: What to do
Supplement if: you are deficient in protein and suffer from chronic cardiovascular conditions that may restrict your blood flow. However, this is unlikely to be most of you reading this.
Don’t supplement if: you maintain a healthy diet and don’t display any symptoms of a arginine deficiency or poor cardiovascular health. Basically, most fighters.
The Final Word
Arginine is one of the most popular supplements on the market for people who experience poor blood circulation and a number of other cardiovascular related illnesses and diseases.
There have been many studies conducted on arginine in order to see what potential medical benefits it has outside of wound healing and blood oxidation.
Being that arginine is a semi-essential amino acid that acts as a precursor for so many other very important chemicals and processes within the body, it leads many doctors and medical professionals to believe that arginine may in fact help a number of conditions relating to erectile dysfunction and weight management. Arginine is really one of those supplements that you only need to take if you are in a position that calls for it. Outside of promoting the fast regeneration of wounds and helping oxide blood within the body, arginine doesn’t serve any true purpose for the average healthy adult.
So my opinion based on looking at the research: Don’t bother supplementing with Arginine. It does NOT look like it provides any real benefit. If you are an athlete, no repeatable studies have so far shown a benefit for improved performance. If you are keen on throwing down money on it, Arginine won’t hurt you, but again, the benefits are likely small to non existent unless you are actually deficient in it. Until some actual studies show benefits, the hype so far is just hearsay.
Top Recommended Arginine Supplements
If you really feel you need to supplement with Arginine, here are five legit brands that are recommended based on customer feedback and reviews.
#1 NOW Foods L-Arginine- NOW Foods L-Arginine contains 500mg of the semi-essential amino acid arginine and promotes the production of nitric oxide within the body which in turn supports vasodilation.
#2 Alpine Nutrition L-Arginine- Alpine Nutrition L-Arginine contains 1000mg of top quality lab tested arginine that promotes healthy blood circulation and even stamina. This product acts as an aid in the process of protein synthesis by way of nitric oxide production.
#3 Jarrow Formulas L-Arginine- Jarrow Formulas L-Arginine contains 1000mg of the first isolated form of arginine which was characterized in 1886. This product contains easily absorbable forms of arginine which promote all around cardiovascular health and even disease prevention.
#4 Maximus Nitric Oxide Tablets- Maximus Nitric Oxide Tablets is a nitric oxide supplement that carries many of the same health benefits as traditional arginine supplements with more effectiveness. This product contains 2000mg of a highly potent form of nitric oxide which helps promote healthy blood circulation and a number of other cardiovascular related diseases.