The importance of L-arginine cannot be overstated. It is one of the most common amino acids which are found in foods we consume, with numerous benefits on health. Even though it isn’t technically an essential amino acid, is very important in our overall health as it has many very essential functions.
Almost everyone can benefit from getting extra L-arginine in their diet, via supplementation, or consuming foods that are known to be rich in this amino acid. This is especially important in older men who tend to possess lower levels of L-arginine, and benefit significantly from increasing it as it is responsible for many functions such as the determining of erectile potency.
Interested to know what else did this amino acid can do for you? Then read on to find out more.
10 Proven Benefits of Arginine (L-arginine)
1. Promotes Circulatory Health
The circulatory system consists of the heart and numerous blood vessels contained within the body, and is responsible for ensuring the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to cells that need it. Reduced supply of oxygen or nutrients to the cells that need them can result in deficits or diminished metabolic function. L-arginine is necessary for the production of the component nitric oxide, which helps blood vessels to relax and reduce the pumping pressure of the heart. Persons with lower levels of this compound are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure or heart failure due to inability of the heart to meet the demands of working cells.
2. Promotes Healthy Weight Loss
Studies have found that subjects that consume diets higher in L-arginine are more likely to have greater amounts of lean body mass and an increased likelihood to burn off excess fat. There can be many reasons for this but one mechanism seems to involve regulation of the hormone insulin, which helps in the efficient removal of glucose from blood. This in turn, decreases the likelihood of glucose being stored as fat, but instead being used for energy production.
3. Improves Performance
L-arginine is one of the most popular supplements used by athletes, being regarded as an ergogenic aid. An Ergogenic aid is anything that improves performance naturally by improving strength output and also your resistance to fatigue. Clinical studies conducted have also indicated that elderly persons who consume more arginine are less likely to suffer from falls and fractures as a result of reduced muscle mass, with this effect more pronounced if they also partake in resistance training three times per week.
4. Possesses Anti-aging Properties
Did you know that getting more L-arginine in your diet could slow down the hands of time? Yes in fact this is due to the fact that L-arginine promotes the synthesis of growth hormone as we sleep, growth hormone being regarded as the true fountain of youth. Why is this so? Growth hormone functions to ensure that cells are repaired in a timely manner, so that their functions can be maintained at optimal levels. However, synthetic growth hormone has failed to live up effects of naturally synthesized growth hormone, making it a better effect to increase levels by increasing L-Arginine intake. If anti-aging is your primary goal, you should supplement with a L-arginine supplement or consume foods rich in L-arginine prior to bed as this is when the greatest surge of growth hormone occurs.
5. Modulates Blood Pressure
It is no surprise that something that improves the health of the circulatory system would also benefit our blood pressure readings. L-arginine helps to stimulate production of endothelial nitric oxide synthesis, which directly impacts our blood vessels ability to relax. Most people that consume a lot of L-arginine can report improvements to blood pressure levels, reducing overall cardiac risk significantly in the process. Over time, the need for prescription medications are reduced or can be eliminated completely if combined with a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
6. Promotes Blood Glucose Control
Diabetics that use L-arginine are more likely to have better control over their blood glucose levels, according to the results of studies. For one, L-arginine helps the metabolism of sugar so that there is less present in the blood stream at any time. Secondly, L-arginine supplementation is also believed to improve insulin sensitivity, insulin being a hormone that promotes the uptake of glucose into cells that need it. Diabetics typically possess reduced insulin sensitivities which tend to favor glucose’s storage as fat instead of being used in cells that need them. L-arginine can also help reduce diabetic complications as a result of elevated levels.
7. Speeds up the Healing of Wounds
If you find that you take very long to heal wounds after being injured, chances are that you possess low collagen synthesis rates. However, L-arginine has been shown to help accelerate healing of wounds thanks to the ability of it to help synthesize another amino acid known as L- proline. Proline is a closer step in the synthesis of collagen, a protein ultimately responsible for your skin and structural health. L-arginine also helps to promote reduction of pain and swelling thanks to improved blood flow.
8. Prevents Hair Loss
One of the best hair loss remedies of all time, Rogaine, works on a principle very similar to that L-arginine. Both of them work to increase levels of nitric oxide, improving blood flow to the scalp and the follicles that need them. Impaired blood flow is a major cause of hair loss in both men and women, though men are more likely to feel the brunt of it as a result of DHT reducing blood flow to the follicles. Though L-arginine is unlikely to reverse the effects of hair loss completely, you can see improvement following regular consumption patterns if you are male, or significant improvement if you are not prone to male pattern baldness or are a woman.
9. Helps Treat erectile dysfunction
Men that suffer from erectile dysfunction typically have impaired blood flow to the penis or suffer from some sort of pre-existing vascular deficits. However, L-arginine can help with this thanks to its ability to stimulate nitric oxide production from within the blood vessel walls. This explains why many male enhancement supplements contain L-arginine as a first line treatment and why they work best. Their effect on erection potency is most pronounced in older men that have lower levels of circulating nitric oxide, but can be of benefit to anyone that thinks they may have a problem.
10. Boosts immune system health
it has been mentioned how L-arginine helps speed up of wounds, but what is not being stated is the role it has on stimulating the immune system as well. L-arginine can help minimize your risk of infection, can help improve detection of precancerous cells, and even help to suppress allergies and asthmatic attacks before the can occur. It stimulates both leukocytes, T cells and MST cells which are important in cancer prevention.
Arginine is undoubtedly one of the most popular amino acids around today, and is an excellent adjuvant to good health. It is found abundantly in many meats and liver, making it easy to get in your diet. Watermelon is a great source of the amino acid L-citrulline, which converts efficiently into L-arginine and subsequently nitric oxide, much better than arginine does itself. For this reason, eating watermelon is one of the best ways to get your arginine in as well, via its conversion. Don’t miss out on all this super amino acid can do for you, start eating more of it today and be amazed by the dramatic improvement in your health!