Strictly speaking, L-arginine is a semi-essential amino acid that plays an important role in many metabolic pathways, because it can serve as a precursor for the synthesis of bioactive substances, such as nitric oxide, growth hormone and creatine, for cell proliferation, increase resistance, oxidative defense and enhanced cellular protection mechanisms are essential.
One of the most famous is that L-arginine can be used as a precursor for the synthesis of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is an important biological signal molecule in the human body, which is different from laughing gas, nitrous oxide is that it does not make people excited, but it can determine your health. Nitric oxide can act on various tissues, and can act as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It is also an important regulator in the immune system. Even the heart and the vascular system nitric oxide is a vasodilator and anti-atherosclerosis factor. In most cases, the endogenous synthesis of arginine is sufficient to meet the needs of the human body, and no additional supplement is required. However, under certain physiological and pathological conditions, such as growth, pregnancy, and diseases, such as infection and cancer, often require arginine to be synthesized endogenously in multiple tissues through the arginine-citrulline cycle.
1. L-Arginine Boosts Athletic Performance
Physical activity requires prolonged periods of high metabolic rate and adequate nutrition to maintain performance at peak levels. Adequate nutrition is therefore important for tissue growth and repair, and is necessary for athletes to fully recover between training and competition, directly to improve performance, and indirectly by providing training support, physique control, and musculoskeletal relief pain, rapid recovery from injury and improved mood.
A systematic literature review and meta-analysis (including 15 randomized placebo-controlled trials) found that arginine supplementation has a positive effect on the results of anaerobic and aerobic exercise-related performance tests.
2. L-Arginine is Beneficial for Blood Lipid Regulation
The prevention and treatment of dyslipidemia is considered an integral part of cardiovascular disease interventions, because dyslipidemia is a serious risk factor for cardiovascular events such as coronary heart disease, cerebral ischaemia, cerebral infarction and peripheral vascular disease.
Statins remain the treatment of choice to date, as they have been shown to reduce the risk of major vascular events by lowering LDL cholesterol, while treating dyslipidemia reduces the risk of heart disease over a 5-year period about 30%.
A systematic literature review and meta-analysis, including 11 randomized controlled trials, with a total of 561 participants, pointed out that L-arginine supplementation can only help reduce serum triglyceride levels, and has no effect on changing total cholesterol, low or HDL cholesterol not significantly helpful.
3. L-Arginine for Weight Loss
The World Health Organization defines obesity (Obesity) as: A state in which the percentage of body fat increases to the extent that it impairs health and well-being, and has declared it a “global epidemic”, affecting more than 600 million adults worldwide, and the number continues to increase. It is the result of a complex interplay of factors such as genetics, lifestyle, dietary habits, energy expenditure, nutrition and metabolism.
A systematic literature review and meta-analysis (meta-analysis, including 8 randomised controlled trials, a total of 461 participants) indicated that:
Overall, oral arginine (daily doses ranging from 2 to 9 grams, intervention period ranging from 3 weeks to 25 weeks) significantly reduced waist circumference (WMD: -2.97 cm) compared to placebo, but had no effect on body mass index. (BMI) and weight did not have a significant effect, but subgroup analysis found that the effect of arginine on reducing body weight and body mass index can be seen in long-term intervention (≥8 weeks) and daily dose < 8 g research object. The underlying mechanism may be related to L-arginine promoting lipid utilisation, insulin signalling and glucose transport.
4. L-Arginine Regulates Blood Pressure
Hypertension is an insidious, common and fatal condition often discovered incidentally during routine doctor’s check-ups or workplace health checks.
An estimated 1 billion people worldwide suffer from high blood pressure, including approximately 80 million people over the age of 20 in the United States alone.
According to statistics, 51% of stroke deaths and 45% of coronary heart disease deaths are caused by elevated blood pressure. In addition, high blood pressure can also increase the risk of heart disease, heart failure, stroke and kidney disease.
A meta-analysis of the literature (11 randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, 387 participants) showed that oral arginine (median dose 9 g/day, for 4 weeks ) significantly reduced systolic blood pressure by 5.39 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 2.66 mm Hg. Hence, oral L-arginine has the effect of regulating blood pressure.
5. Arginine Benefits Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (erectile dysfunction), defined as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual activity, increases with age, with a prevalence of 2% in men under the age of 40 and in aged 40 to 70 about 52%, more than 85% of aged 80 and over.
In addition, psychological variables such as coronary artery disease, obesity, smoking, depression, high blood pressure, preoperative pelvic surgery, and spinal cord injury are also contributing factors.
The development of erectile dysfunction often has a profound impact on a man’s interpersonal, social, emotional, and especially mental health.
A systematic literature review and meta-analysis (Meta-Analysis, including 10 randomised controlled trials, a total of 540 patients with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction) showed that oral arginine was associated with health benefits compared with placebo or no treatment. Drugs (daily doses ranging from 1500 mg to 5000 mg) can significantly improve erectile dysfunction.
In addition, subgroup analysis showed that arginine-related health products can improve the sub-function variable name scores of the International Index of Erectile Function, including overall satisfaction, sexual intercourse satisfaction, orgasmic function, erectile function (but libido scores did not differ significantly)
Conclusion, for patients with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction, the use of arginine or arginine-containing health products has a positive effect on symptom improvement.
Safety Precautions and Side Effects
- It may increase gastric acid secretion, please use it with caution if you have peptic ulcer or take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Do not use together with hypoglycemic or hypotensive drugs, which may interfere with drug effects
- People with abnormal liver and kidney function should not use it (arginine may increase blood potassium concentration, which may be dangerous in some cases)
- Do not use in patients with herpes (may lead to aggravation of the disease)
- Do not use it in patients with acute myocardial infarction, it may increase the mortality rate, but other studies have not found this result. Note 11
- The safety of pregnant women, lactating women, children or infants is unknown (please avoid using)
- Do not use Guanidinoacetate methyltransferase deficiency (a rare genetic disease of transferase deficiency, unable to metabolize arginine)
- Patients with hypotension should not use it, because arginine may have a blood pressure lowering effect
- Do not use for two weeks before surgery
- Do not use it together with vasodilator drugs, because arginine has the effect of increasing blood flow, and if used together, it may increase the chance of dizziness. Related drug names are: nitroglycerin (nitroglycerin), isosorbide (isosorbide dinitrate)
- Do not use it in combination with Sildenafil (sildenafil or Viagra), a drug for treating male erectile dysfunction, because arginine and Viagra have the effect of lowering blood, and if used in combination, it may cause hypotension.
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