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L–arginine is amino acid produced in the kidneys and liver.Usually, the body produces sufficient amounts of this amino acid, but somehealth problems may cause L-arginine deficiency. Serious injuries, burns,infections, and even genetic disorders might cause lack of this amino acid.

Supplements containing L-arginine are very popular thesedays, among various groups of people. This amino acid is used to treat erectiledysfunction and other sexual problems, in both men and women. It is known thatarginine improves the sperm count and the sperm motility. It can also increasethe circulation of many organs (including sexual organs, as well).

Bodybuilders use L-arginine to increase muscle mass, becauseit improves formation of proteins and production of creatine, also. While buildingthe muscles, this amino acid is able to assist in losing fat from the body.

Other roles of this important amino acid include: antioxidantproperties, boost of the immune system and the release of HGH (human growthhormone). It is also very helpful in recovering from bone and tissue injuries,because it supports the healing process. Many women, arthritis patients andathletes may benefit from this effect.

L-arginine is also found to help to reduce the risk of manycardiovascular problems. Its use is, however, limited to the patients who didn’thave heart attack, since it may cause lethal consequences.

Recommended Dose

There are no FDA (Food and DrugAdministration) recommendations for the usage of L-arginine. The safest way to increase L-arginineis to eat more food that is rich in this amino acid, such as dairy products,legumes, nuts or sunflower seeds.

Be careful when using these supplements, since the dosesuitable for your friend might not be good for you. Consult your doctor and onlythen start the treatment. First results might be expected after 3 to 4 weeks. Mostdoctors suggest using 2 to 3g of these tablets, couple of times every day, andadvise not to use more than 9g per day.

Studies researching the influence of taking 500mg (up to2000mg) of L-arginine every day are still ongoing and there are no definiteresults yet.

Adverse Effects

People with liver problems should be cautious when usingthis amino acid as supplement, since it can affect the level of potassium andlead to some medical problems.

Do not use these supplements if you are suffering from kidneydisease.

Do not use L-arginine in children or if you are pregnant orbreastfeeding.

Be aware that some medications might interact withL-arginine and always consult your doctor and pharmacist before the start ofthe treatment.

L-arginine supplements can be beneficial but may also causeside effects if not carefully used. These supplements may cause nausea, digestionproblems, abdominal and joint pain or be responsible for flushing. L-argininecan also cause hypotension (low blood pressure),worsen digestive problems orulcers and increase blood sugar (which, potentially, might lead to diabetes).

This amino acid can also affect the balance of many other electrolytesin the body, such as sodium, phosphate or chloride, and cause medical problems.

Severe side effects might be allergic reactions toL-arginine or vein damage, if L-arginine is taken intravenously.

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