Special amino acids are of specific interest with regard to growth and development, metabolism, and protection from environmental toxins and diseases; arginine is one such vital amino acid.
Arginine is an amino acid that has an important role to play in wound healing, detoxification, immune functioning and promotion of the secretion of several hormones. By and large, the body makes adequate amounts of arginine, even while the diet is lacking.
Arginine Rich Foods
Foods that are good sources of arginine include: peanuts, beans including lima beans and red beans, almonds, walnuts, cashews, chocolate, buckwheat, salmon, tuna, sardines, sesame seeds and flax seeds. Make sure you have at least one serving of nuts and seeds daily; it will supply the essential amino acid and encourage normal functioning of the body.
Benefits of Arginine: Arginine Uses
Some of the common health benefits associated with Arginine include,
- Arginine prevents heart diseases: Arginine can help prevent as well as manage angina, hypertension, congestive cardiac failure and peripheral vascular insufficiency. Arginine increases the level of nitric oxide; nitric oxide relaxes the blood vessels and regulates blood flow and reduces blood clot formation and enhances fluidity of the blood.
- Arginine treats interstitial cystitis: Interstitial cystitis is seen as increased urinary frequency, burning / pain while urinating and urgency to urinate. however, there is no evidence of infection. Arginine helps manage interstitial cystitis by increasing nitric oxide levels. This compound has an important part to play in bladder control too.
- Arginine is of immense help in male infertility: Atginine can help improve fertility in males; however, the critical determinant is the level of sperm count. If the count is less than 20 million per milliliter, then, arginine supplements are less beneficial. Supplementation an enhance sperm count as well as sperm motility.
- Arginine promotes the secretion of HGH or the human growth hormone: An extremely popular use of arginine is HGH stimulation from the pituitary gland. The level of HGH secretion tends to decrease with age, thus making you feel tired, increasing the tendency to put on weight and raising the susceptibility to a host of illnesses. Arginine can boost the secretion of HGH from the pituitary gland naturally, thereby, perking up energy levels appreciably, helping build muscle, burning superfluous fat, augmenting hair and skin quality and preventing lifestyle-related diseases.
- Arginine encourages muscle building: Arginine helps build muscle by boosting the production and release of the human growth hormone from the pituitary. The growth hormone is responsible for stimulating muscle and skeletal growth. Body builders often take arginine supplements to increase the natural output of HGH. HGH improves lean muscle mass and enhances muscle tone. It burns unwanted fat and helps in body contouring.
Our body synthesizes sufficient amounts of arginine; nevertheless, in some instances, the body may not be able to keep up with the increased requirements, and thus, supplementation may prove to be useful.
The therapeutic dose, i.e. the dose that is considered safe is 400 to 6000 milligrams. The dose of arginine supplements varies depending on the disease condition, the person’s health status and administration of other medications. For example, to manage male infertility, experts advocate 4 grams of l-arginine daily for 3 months; for interstitial cystitis, about 1500 milligrams daily for a month is advised. Thus, it is very essential that you confer with your health care professional, before embarking up on arginine supplementation.
The herpes virus utilizes arginine, consequently, diets that are high in arginine in those individuals who may be harboring the virus, could lead to reactivation. Thus, you need to balance your intake of arginine, by increasing the intake of amino acid lysine.
Arginine Side Effects and Warnings
By and large, l-arginine is well tolerated, when taken orally, intravenously, or topically applied. However, in some cases, side effects of arginine have been recorded which include diarrhea, nausea, bloating, skin rash, endocrine changes, GI discomfort, increased blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine, lower back pain, numbness, or systemic acidosis.