Amino acids have several functions in our body. Along with proteins, they are called the building blocks of life. Out of the many, at least twenty amino acids are necessary to stay healthy and function properly. While our body can make eleven of those, nine are essential and which our body can’t produce.
L-arginine is one of the amino acids that fall in the non-essential category because the body can create it. This amino acid also involves in several functions and offers multiple health benefits.
This article will focus on the various health benefits that L-arginine provides so you can continue reading this short write-up.
What is L-arginine?
L-arginine is a non-essential amino acid available in the human body. It involves in protein-building and the release of nitric oxide. Protein helps build muscles and repair tissues, while nitric oxide enlarges blood vessels and enables free blood circulation.
L-arginine is also present in many foods, such as
- Red meat
- Pork loin
- Poultry (chicken and turkey breast)
- Pumpkin seeds
Laboratories also make L-arginine, and these are available in supplements. You can take them after consulting with your doctor. If you take part in intensive training, you will need the l-arginine supplements, so it’s better to speak with an expert.
Health Benefits of L-arginine
As mentioned above, L-arginine offers many health benefits. Here are some of them in no particular order.
It helps improve blood flow
Many people suffer from peripheral arterial disease, a disorder when blood vessels shrink and hinder blood flow to the limbs. Studies have shown that taking oral supplements regularly can improve blood circulation.
L-arginine increases Nitric Oxide and the NO’s release enlarges blood vessels enabling blood to flow freely.
When blood flows throughout the body without any hindrance, the body functions properly, and there is improvement in every sphere.
It helps to build muscles
L-arginine plays a role in building protein and releasing nitric acid, both necessary for muscle development. When you have a continuous supply of the amino acid and train regularly, there will be muscle gain and you can maintain the level.
It regulates blood pressure
Millions of people suffer from hypertension and high blood pressure and even lose their lives. Experiments conducted on volunteers showed that regular usage of L-arginine supplements lowered blood pressure and maintained the balance.
The experiments included both oral use and intravenous administration. The positive effects are because L-arginine helps widen the blood vessels, enabling free blood supply and circulation.
Pregnant women also suffer from high BP sometimes. L-arginine via IV can be beneficial and lower blood pressure. But patients must get treated only by healthcare professionals for this issue.
It maintains blood sugar levels
Diabetes is a cause of disease and death among millions of people worldwide. People suffer from it because of several reasons. It can be lifestyle, obesity, diet habits and heredity because diabetes is a hereditary ailment.
Studies have shown that taking L-arginine supplements boost glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. People who took L-arginine daily for eighteen months had less risk of developing diabetes than those in a placebo group.
Nitric Oxide improves cellular function, and since L-arginine releases nitric Oxide, it can help increase insulin and allow the body use blood sugar more efficiently.
It may improve physical performance
Some studies have also indicated that athletes who took L-arginine supplements for at least forty-five days showed improvements in their physical performance than those who took a placebo.
Those athletes in the former group also showed signs of increased blood flow, and they could train longer.
If you are planning to undergo intensive training to build muscles, L-arginine supplements may be beneficial.
It may lower the risk of angina
Angina is a condition that produces chest because blood cannot flow freely to the heart. It happens due to the contraction of blood vessels. (1)
Experiments conducted on angina patients with L-arginine showed that symptoms lowered, and they could exercise longer than before. The quality of life also improved for those patients.
However, blood vessels didn’t seem to enlarge for those with the disease. Patients will therefore need other treatments to cure that. L-arginine may therefore be suitable for the prevention of narrowing blood vessels before angina sets on.
It may improve male sexual health
Many men have problems related to their sexual health. One of these is erectile dysfunction or ED. Having this problem can lower morale and confidence as they are unable to perform.
Men with erectile dysfunction (ED) who took a daily dose of 2.5-5 grams L-arginine orally seemed to show improvements. However, experts also suggest that taking it along with medication may be more beneficial than taking either one of them alone.
It may prevent Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)
NEC is a disease associated with premature infants that affect the intestines. It causes the intestinal tissue to inflame and die. The condition happens due to t several reasons, such as
- Inadequate oxygen or blood flow to the intestines during or after birth
- Injury to the intestinal lining
- Excessive growth of bacteria in the intestine
- Viral or bacterial infection in the intestine
Including L-arginine in their formula may lower the risk and prevent the condition. Healthcare professionals will add L-arginine to formula if a baby is at risk of being affected by the condition.
Other possible health benefits
Though more studies need to be conducted, L-arginine may be beneficial in treating the following issues.
- It may heal injuries faster
- It may reduce anxiety and depression
- It may boost kidney failure in people who have congestive heart failure
- It may heal burns
However, as mentioned, before using L-arginine for any of these issues, it is advisable to consult your doctor.
If you are a healthy person, you can get L-arginine from your diet. There are both non-veg and vegan options, so you can choose as needed.
If you want to take supplements, seek experts’ advice before using any product.
With L-arginine providing many health benefits, it’s vital to have an endless supply possible via your diet.
If you consider taking supplements, choose the right one after checking out reviews, ratings and testimonials.
While L-arginine is a safe substance, a high dosage can be harmful, just as any other thing. So, stay within dosage for positive results and well-being.
Some people may, however, have side effects since everyone reacts differently to an ingredient. If so, consult with a doctor and use the supplement only if you get a go-ahead sign.