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What are L-Arginine Benefits?

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  • Written By: S. Williams
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2016
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L-arginine is a common amino acid that is used by the body for various functions. The major L-arginine benefits include boosting the immune system, liver detoxification and increased male fertility. L-arginine also is credited with helping to release insulin and growth hormones to help with weight loss and building muscle mass. Some experts also consider L-arginine a useful treatment for a variety of heart conditions. L-arginine also helps the body rid itself of ammonia, a normal waste product of the human body.

The human body can convert food into L-arginine, which makes it a non-essential amino acid. By contrast, essential amino acids, such as those found in fish oils, must be acquired from external sources and can't be manufactured by the body from other materials. The fact that L-arginine is a non-essential amino acid has led to a debate over whether normal, healthy people derive any L-arginine benefits from supplementing their diets.

A healthy human body should naturally have an ample supply of L-arginine with a nutritious diet, but certain foods do contain a high percentage of arginine. To take advantage of L-arginine benefits in a natural manner, the daily intake of chocolate, peanuts or walnuts can be increased. Other food items that contain high levels of arginine are carob, coconut, soybeans and dairy products.

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Bodybuilding supplements include this amino acid in their formulations to help users receive L-arginine benefits. L-arginine helps to improve the nitrogen balance in the body so that it can convert protein into muscle mass in a more efficient manner. This also aids fat loss and helps bodybuilders gain muscle mass and increase muscle definition.

Many people feel that L-arginine can be used as an impotence remedy for men. Arginine stimulates nitric oxide production in the human body. This helps to promote blood flow in the male genital area, which is critical for a natural erection. As an additional benefit for couples who are trying to conceive, a high arginine dosage can help increase sperm count in cases where low counts were a problem.

While all side effects of L-arginine supplementation are not known at this time, it is thought that certain types of people should not add additional L-arginine to their diet or vitamin regimen. Growing children, herpes sufferers and people with schizophrenia should avoid excess L-arginine. The side effects that have been reported include headaches, breathing problems, chest pain and diarrhea.

A normal diet naturally includes about 5.5 grams of arginine in a typical day. The United States Food and Drug Administration has not set a recommended daily allowance for supplemental L-arginine, and consumers should proceed with caution. There are incidental reports of heart patients consuming up to 30 grams a day, but most users restrict their supplementation to no more than 9 grams in a day.

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burcinc
Post 3

I started taking this supplement just for improved energy benefits of l-arginine. I've been wanting to exercise more regularly, but I'm always so tired and cannot make myself exercise. L-arginine has definitely helped in that department, but that's not all. I also had a lot of muscles aches and pains. I have a spinal problem, which causes a lot of back and neck pain. After starting l-arginine, I noticed that I have less pain and I'm not taking pain relievers frequently anymore.

I don't know if there are any scientific studies on the relationship between pain and l-arginine and I realize that this is just anectedol evidence. But it might be something to consider for those who have muscle aches and pains.

SarahGen
Post 2

@turquoise-- I don't know about the effects of l-arginine on diabetes, but it does have a positive affect on high blood pressure. I take an l-arginine supplement regularly and it lowers my blood pressure, as well as my high heart rate. But I did check with my doctor before I started using it. I would not recommend anyone to start this supplement without checking with their doctor first, especially when it's concerning serious conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.

Also, even though l-arginine has many benefits like improving blood circulation, energy and mood, it can also have side effects. It is possible to take too much of an amino acid and it can cause toxicity. So it's

not a good idea to take very high doses or to take it for long periods of time unless your doctor tells you to do so.

I do take it regularly, but I take a low l-arginine dose. I also take a break from it completely for one week every month. So I'm being very careful and this is the right way to go about it. Everyone doesn't react to supplements the same way and it doesn't hurt to be cautious.

turquoise
Post 1

Does l-arginine have health benefits for blood pressure or diabetes?

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