L-arginine is a type of amino acid that help in the synthesis of proteins. In its gaseous state, l-arginine is called nitric oxide, and helps promote erection by relaxing blood vessels.
L-arginine is popularly known for its use in people with erectile dysfunction and other conditions. It is believed to be most effective and produces best results. Its use as a supplement has risen to popularity, especially among athletes. This amino acid has several health benefits in the human body when taken in the right dosage. This article will explore health benefits of l-arginine, its side effects and dosage.
What Is L-arginine?
As mentioned earlier, l-arginine is an amino acid which helps in the production of proteins. Amino acids are the main building blocks of proteins. They are usually divided into essential and nonessential. Amino acids that are naturally produced by your body are called nonessential, while those that your body cannot produce and must thus be obtained from the diet, are called essential amino acids. L-arginine is partly essential or conditionally essential. This means that there are certain conditions that calls for its production in the body. Such conditions include infancy, pregnancy, trauma, and serious illness.
L-arginine, besides helping in the synthesis of proteins like glutamate, proline, and creatine, it is used in other important processes in the body. It is needed for the production of nitric oxide, which is a molecule that is used for various bodily functions, such as communication between cells, regulation of blood flow, and functioning of mitochondria. L-arginine is also used to strengthen the immune system. For instance, it is used for the maturation of T-cells – a group of white blood cells that has numerous roles in the immune system. Since L-arginine performs critical and crucial functions in the body, a deficiency in it can cause multiple organ disruption and lead to serious health problems.
This amino acid is produced in various ways. It can be produced from an amino acid called citrulline when the body proteins are broken down. It can also be obtained from the food you eat. These foods are specifically rich in proteins and include soybean and its products, poultry, nuts, meat, and fish. The recommended daily intake of this amino acid is 4-6 g. Another definitive source of L-arginine is dietary supplement. These supplements are sold widely and come in different formulations including tablet, liquid, powder, and capsule.
Health Benefits and Uses of L-arginine
The supplement preparations of L-arginine are affordable and can be taken by different people. These supplements are commonly used by athletes and people with different health conditions, such as hypertension. They are also used in hospitals to treat people with major wounds or those who are critically ill. The following are the researched health benefits and uses of L-arginine.
Can Be Used To Enhance Athletic Performance
The use of L-arginine is more common among athletes. This is because the amino acid promotes exercise performance by increasing the supply of nitric oxide in the body, and ensures that oxygenated blood is delivered to muscles effectively. Research suggests that taking only 2 grams of L-arginine per day can significantly increase sport performance among soccer players. It is also believed that drinking a beverage that contains L-arginine before exercise can improve blood flow to tissues, improve endurance and make you exercise longer.
May Help In the Regulation of Blood Pressure
L-arginine can also be used to help regulate blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. Published studies indicate that taking the supplements of this amino acid may help reduce both the systolic and diastolic pressures. L-arginine is used in the production of nitric oxide, which relaxes the walls of blood vessels and help regulate blood pressure. It can be taken both orally and intravenously in cases of increased blood pressure for quick relief.
Used In The Management of Critical Illness
There are circumstances when your body really needs arginine and its demand is heightened. These may include compromised immunity as seen during serious infections and traumas like burns. In such circumstances, arginine production in the body is below the needed amount. To help satisfy these needs, an external source must be provided. Depletion of arginine especially after surgery or during critical illness can result to severe health effects, including compromised immune function. These are the times when arginine replacement in form of supplements is necessary. Research has shown that oral or intravenous arginine is best for chronic disease, burns, sepsis, or necrotizing enterocolitis in infants.
May Be Used To Control Blood Sugars
L-arginine possesses blood sugar-regulation properties. This is good news for people with diabetes. It is said to work by improving insulin sensitivity and metabolism of glucose. Remember that L-arginine is essential for the production of nitric oxide. This molecule has numerous vital functions when it comes to cellular performance and insulin response. Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for transportation of glucose from the bloodstream to muscle tissues where they are used for energy production. It thus means that making nitric oxide more available may help stimulate the cells that produce insulin to produce more of it and increase utility of blood sugar in the body. The use of L-arginine supplements for long, according to studies, my help prevent diabetes in people at risk.
May Help Correct Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is a humiliating condition that many men deal with. Interestingly, L-arginine can help with this condition and restore glory to affected men. Erection occurs when blood is pumped to penile tissues and is maintained for sexual satisfaction. Erectile dysfunction is considered when the erection is short-lived before achieving sexual satisfaction. Research suggests that taking arginine supplements of certain doses may significantly improve erectile dysfunction by widening blood vessels in the penis.
L-arginine is an amino acid that is produced from citrulline when proteins are broken down. It performs various roles in the body including treating erectile dysfunction, enhancing athletic performance, and improving blood sugar regulation. It can also be used clinically to treat critical health problems like burns and wounds.