L-arginine isone of the most common natural amino acids. It is usually produced by the humanbody in the sufficient amounts, but it has to be supplemented to preterm babiesand people suffering from different medical problems. This amino acid is necessaryfor children that have genetic problems with the enzymes responsible forarginine production, and also in people who suffered serious injuries,infections or burns.
In the body,L-arginine is responsible for excretion of waste products (ammonia), used forsynthesis of other amino acids (L-glutamate, L-proline) and also for creatineproduction. L-arginine is important for release of different hormones in thebody, including prolactin and growth hormone. Because it produces nitric oxide,this amino acid is used to help patients suffering from intermittent claudication(limping), erectile dysfunction and atherosclerosis.
L-arginine isproduced in the kidneys and liver, but some foods are also relevant sources ofit. Plant and animal products can be rich in arginine, especially: meat,poultry, fish, milk and dairy products. Soy products, nuts and other plantproteins contain even more L-arginine than animal proteins.
Where to Use L-arginine
L-arginine isused in the therapy of heart-related problems, healing of wounds, erectiledysfunction, hypertension, migraines and interstitial cystitis.
This aminoacid makes nitric oxide in the body and potentiates its action, leading to vasodilatation(relaxing of the blood vessels muscles) and increased blood flow. Because ofthat fact, many people suffering from heart diseases and erectile dysfunctionuse L-arginine.
However, somepeople should be careful when using these supplements. Studies have revealed thatL-arginine might cause lethal consequences in patients who had heart attack,and worsening of cardiac shock symptoms.
Sometimes,L-arginine is used instead of the sildenafil (Viagra) to treat erectile dysfunction.There is a difference in the mechanism of their actions, but both medicationsproduce the same effect – erection. For this indication, L-arginine should betaken every day. Women are also encouraged to use this amino acid to improvetheir sexual function.
People sufferingfrom severe wounds are also patients that can be treated with L-argininesupplements. L-arginine is enhancing synthesis of L-proline and in that way causingbetter collagen production.
Some of the L-argininesides effects include: nausea, headaches and also digestion problems, heartburnand ulcers. It might be responsible for low blood pressure, because of its wayof action.
It is notrecommended for the treatment of people with the history of heart attacks, genitalherpes, diabetes mellitus, and liver or kidney problems. Patients using, NSAIDs(non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, painkillers), ACEI (angiotensin-convertingenzyme inhibitors), lysine or diuretic medications that spare potassiumshould be always supervised by their doctors.
Do not useL-arginine in children or in pregnant women.