Arginine amino acid supplement dosage, benefit, side effects
Influence on blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, impotence, sexual function, nitric oxide levels, diabetes, growth hormone, testosterone, hair loss, hgh, drug interactions, joint pain, kidney disease, liver health, natural sources, overdose
Buy capsules and powder supplements, available in dosages 500 mg, 750 mg, and 1,000 mg per capsule or in powder form
January 1 2018

Benefits for blood pressure, nitric oxide production, hypertension
L-Arginine is an amino acid involved in numerous areas of human biochemistry, including ammonia detoxification, hormone secretion, and the immune system. It is also well known as a precursor to nitric oxide, a key component of endothelial-derived relaxing factor. The endothelium is the lining inside blood vessels and supplements help make more nitric oxide. Therefore, by making more nitric oxide, it helps to relax and dilate blood vessels. Because of arginine’s nitric oxide-stimulating effects, there have been claims that this amino acid is useful in hypertension, preeclampsia, intermittent claudication, and erectile dysfunction. It has been studied for its role in athletic performance, burns and trauma, diabetes and syndrome X, male and female infertility, and interstitial cystitis.

Even though this supplement has been claimed to be useful for some of the conditions listed above, it would be premature to be overly excited. Much research needs to be done before we can be more confident about the health benefits of arginine supplements. However, thus far, it appears to play a role in conditions involving blood vessel dilation. Whether the dilation is short lived or continues for an adequate period is still being evaluated.

Buy L Arginine amino supplement 750 mg per pill, 60 Capsules
Some products have 500 or 1000 mg per pill.

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For erectile dysfunction or impotence
Even though arginine dilates blood vessels, it is not very effective for sexual enhancement. An effective herbal formula for this purpose is Passion Rx.

Passion Rx with Yohimbe

Passion Rx with Yohimbe

Usage or dosage: Take 1 to 6 arginine supplement capsules daily, preferably on an empty stomach, or as directed by your qualified health consultant. As with most nutrients, we recommend taking breaks from use. In the case of the amino acid supplement, it appears to be safe to take for extended periods as long as the dose is less than 3 grams a day. If your dose is 1 to 5 g, the capsules work. If you plan to take more than 5 grams, then the powder is more efficient. The dosage depends on the condition being treated. In some cases, an amount more than 5 grams a day may be required.

Buy Arginine amino acid supplement capsules and powder

Erectile dysfunction studies, benefit for sexual enhancement
Do arginine amino acid supplements improve erection, do they influence libido?

We are not impressed in terms of its benefits for erection problems, its effects are weak. There are many more potent ED herbs and formulas that work better. There are many potent herbs that have sexual enhancement properties. Arginine is not on our top ten list of aphrodisiac supplements. We prefer the sex enhancing herbs found in Passion Rx, such as maca, catuaba, muira puama, Eurycoma, epimedium, and tribulus, which are much more potent and effective as Libido stimulators. It may work better in combination with pine bark extract or Pycnogenol.

However, what makes it interesting is that it can be metabolized to nitric oxide. NO is the most powerful chemical known to dilate and engorge blood vessels in the penis and clitoris. What does the research say about the role of arginine in erectile dysfunction?

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 50 men with erectile dysfunction tested l arginine at a dose of 5 grams per day for six weeks. About a third of the participants showed improvement, and that improvement was greater than the 10% improvement seen in the placebo group.

The amino acid L arginine has been studied in combination with other nutrients as a treatment for sexual dysfunction in women. A small trial found some improvement with a combination treatment providing a daily dose of 2,500 mg of l arginine, as well as ginseng, ginkgo, and damiana. In a four-week, double-blind study, women with decreased libido were given either the combination product or a placebo. Those taking the arginine blend showed statistically greater improvement, reporting increased sexual desire. Other improvements included relative satisfaction with sex life and heightened clitoral sensation. No significant side effects were seen in either group. However, we don’t know if the arginine had anything to do with the results.

A study done at the University of Texas at Austin examined l arginine, combined with yohimbine, on sexual arousal in postmenopausal women. Twenty-four women participated in three sessions in which sexual responses to erotic stimuli were measured following treatment with either arginine glutamate (6 grams) plus yohimbine (6 mg), yohimbine alone (6 mg), or a placebo. Sexual responses were measured at one hour after taking the supplements. Compared to placebo, the combined oral administration substantially increased vaginal pulse amplitude responses to the erotic film. It is well known that yohimbine, alone, has a significant effect on sexuality and whether arginine was a factor is not known.

Does supplementation enhance the benefit of Viagra or Cialis or the one PD5 inhibitor Levitra?
Supplementation may theoretically improve the benefit of impotence drugs but this is speculative on our part and we don’t have any clinical experience to base it on.

Mechanism of action, how it works
The most likely explanation for the mild effectiveness of l arginine amino acid is its conversion into nitric oxide which is converted into cGMP, which becomes the secondary messenger that causes smooth muscle relaxation, resulting in blood vessel dilation, and more blood going into the genital organs, leading to erections. However, nitric oxide is quickly metabolized and any potential l arginine benefit could be short lived.

There is some supporting evidence that l arginine offers benefits in reducing angina and lowering blood pressure. Research indicates supplementation reduces pulmonary resistance and blood pressure. Supplementation improves renal function in patients with chronic heart failure. Polish researchers have found that arginine supplements increases exercise tolerance in stable coronary artery disease patients. Oral intake improves endothelial function in older healthy individuals.

Blood pressure
We don’t think l arginine stays in the bloodstream long enough to have a long term influence on blood pressure. Consider eating garlic instead for lowering blood pressure.

Body building, growth hormone release
Does supplementation with l arginine release growth hormone and are l arginine supplements a substitute for human growth hormone replacement?
L arginine supplements are not an effective way to raise human growth hormone levels.

L-arginine reduces cell proliferation and ornithine decarboxylase activity in patients with colorectal adenoma and adenocarcinoma.
Clinical Cancer Res. 2007.
We selected 60 patients with colorectal cancer and 60 patients with colorectal adenoma and divided them into four groups of 30 patients each. We gave 30 g of L-arginine everyday for 3 days to the test groups. The expression of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen, survivin, and nitric oxide synthase was examined, and ornithine decarboxylase activity was examined. Our results show that L-arginine can restrain crypt cell hyperproliferation and the expression of survivin, an inhibitor of apoptosis protein.

Gestational hypertension
L-arginine supplementation in patients with gestational hypertension: a pilot study.
Hypertension Pregnancy. 2007.
Patients with gestational hypertension and proteinuria and those without proteinuria were randomized in a double-blind design to receive either L arginine 20 grams / 500 mL intravenously daily, for 5 days followed by 4 grams / day orally for 2 weeks or placebo. Compared with baseline, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure 6 days after treatment were significantly reduced in the treatment group but not in the placebo group.

Heart attack
Q. I came across a web site where it says not to take l arginine supplements following a heart attack (does that apply to recent and old one?) and that six people had died during an arginine study. I am 66 and have had a heart attack and don’t take any drugs for it. I wanted to try an arginine supplement because of the benefits I have read about, especially erectile dysfunction, and better circulation, but am now afraid to do so.
A. We have listed the arginine heart attack study below. It would seem prudent to not use it the first few months after a heart attack. However, at least one or two additional studies are needed to determine whether the results of this study regarding the influence of l arginine supplements and heart attack were coincidence or whether it does have a negative impact on heart health in those who have had a recent heart attack.

L-arginine therapy in acute myocardial infarction: the Vascular Interaction With Age in Myocardial Infarction (VINTAGE MI) randomized clinical trial.
JAMA. 2006.
A total of 153 patients following a first ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction were enrolled; 77 patients were 60 years or older. Patients were randomly assigned to receive L-arginine (goal dose of 3 grams 3 times a day) or matching placebo for 6 months. Baseline characteristics, vascular stiffness measurements, and left ventricular function were similar between participants randomized to receive placebo or L-arginine. There was no significant change from baseline to 6 months in the vascular stiffness measurements or left ventricular ejection fraction in either of the 2 groups, including those 60 years or older and the entire study group. However, 6 participants (8%) in the L-arginine group died during the 6-month study period vs none in the placebo group. Because of the safety concerns, the data and safety monitoring committee closed enrollment. L-arginine, when added to standard postinfarction therapies, does not improve vascular stiffness measurements or ejection fraction and may be associated with higher postinfarction mortality.

Heart failure and heart disease
L-arginine supplements may improve the physical fitness of heart failure patients by enhancing their endurance to exercise. Dr. Stephane Doutreleau and colleagues from Institut de Physiologie, Strasbourg, France, examined the potential benefits of 6 weeks of such supplements on endurance exercise in 10 patients with chronic stable heart failure. Patients who took the amino acid experienced a significant decrease in their average heart rate throughout exercise and the recovery period. There were no significant changes in blood pressure and respiratory parameters. The current study supports a prior study in which a group of heart failure patients were shown to benefit from a combination of exercise and L-arginine supplements. In that study, the combination appeared to help correct the abnormal functioning of blood vessels seen in chronic heart failure. International Journal of Sports Medicine 2006.

Oral L-arginine supplementation improves endothelial function and ameliorates insulin sensitivity and inflammation in cardiopathic nondiabetic patients after an aortocoronary bypass.
Metabolism. 2009.
We evaluated the effects of long-term oral L-arginine treatment on endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, adipokine levels, glucose tolerance, and insulin sensitivity in nondiabetic patients with stable cardiovascular disease. Thirty-two patients with nondiabetic response were eligible to receive L-arginine (6.4 g/d) or placebo for 6 months. An evaluation of insulin sensitivity index during the oral glucose load, markers of systemic nitric oxide bioavailability and inflammation, and blood flow was performed before and at the end of the treatment in both groups. Compared with placebo, L-arginine decreased asymmetric dimethylarginine levels, indices of endothelial dysfunction, and increased cyclic guanosine monophosphate. Finally, L-arginine increased insulin sensitivity index and adiponectin and decreased interleukin-6 levels. In conclusion, insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction, and inflammation are important cardiovascular risk factors in coronary artery disease patients; and L-arginine seems to have anti-inflammatory and metabolic advantages in these patients.

Herpes simplex
There are some mentions on certain web sites that the use of l arginine causes herpes outbreaks but we don’t have any clinical evidence to confirm this claim.

Muscle strength in women
The effect of L-arginine administration on muscle force and power in postmenopausal women.
Clin Physiology Funct Imaging. 2008.
Therefore, 11 females took daily 18 g L-arginine hydrochloride (equivalent of 14 g L-arginine) over 6 months) and were compared to a placebo group. The women were analysed for biomechanical parameters (MIGF, maximal isometric grip force; PJF, peak jump force; PJP, peak jump power) and for the cross-sectional muscle area (MA) and fat area (FA) at forearm and leg (calf). Supplemented females had a significant increase of PJF/kg in comparison with the control group. PJP/kg, MIGF, MA and FA were not significantly influenced by the administration. In conclusion, the administration of L-arginine increased maximal force in mechanographic analyses and may prevent a decline of muscle force in postmenopausal women.
Comment: Creatine supplements are probably more effective than arginine supplements for this purpose.

Peripheral artery disease
L-arginine supplementation in peripheral arterial disease: no benefit and possible harm.
Circulation. 2007.
L-arginine is the precursor of endothelium-derived nitric oxide, an endogenous vasodilator. L-arginine supplements improve vascular reactivity and functional capacity in peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in small, short-term studies. We aimed to determine the effects of long-term administration on vascular reactivity and functional capacity in patients with PAD. The Nitric Oxide in Peripheral Arterial Insufficiency (NO-PAIN) study was a randomized clinical trial of oral L-arginine (3 grams a day) versus placebo for 6 months in 133 subjects with intermittent claudication due to PAD in a single-center setting. In patients with peripheral artery disease, long-term administration does not increase nitric oxide synthesis or improve vascular reactivity.

Arginine deficiency
Symptoms of arginine deficiency include poor wound healing, hair loss, skin rash, constipation, and fatty liver. Arginine is considered a semi-essential amino acid, because although it is normally synthesized in sufficient amounts by the body, supplementation is sometimes required (for example, due to inborn errors of urea synthesis, protein malnutrition, excessive lysine intake, burns, peritoneal dialysis, and rapid growth).

L Arginine side effects, danger, safety concerns, overdose and toxicity
We are not aware of significant l arginine side effects. It is possible that one adverse effect of high dosage use is nausea. Other possible l arginine side effects on very high dosages are digestive disturbances. We have taken more than 10 grams at one time at least on three different occasions without any significant side effects. But, it is not clear whether it has side effects if used in high dosages daily for many months or years. It is unlikely that dosages less than 3 grams a day would lead to any significant side effects.

Q.  I would like to call your attention to a problem I had recently with taking 6 grams per day over several months, I came down with rosacea, which cleared up when I stopped taking it and with standard treatment by a dermatologist. I have read stories by body builders of their faces getting “rough” when taking large doses of l arginine and wonder if they have undiagnosed rosacea.
A. Thanks, this is the first we have heard of any potential reaction.

Review and Nitric oxide
Arginine is a precursor of nitric oxide, which causes blood vessel relaxation. Although there is some evidence that suggests that supplements may be useful in the treatment of medical conditions that are improved by vasodilation, such as angina, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, erectile dysfunction, heart failure, intermittent claudication / peripheral vascular disease, and vascular headache, more proof is needed. The appropriate dosage and long term safety is not clear at this time. Arginine also stimulates protein synthesis and has been studied for wound healing, bodybuilding, enhancement of sperm production (spermatogenesis), and prevention of wasting in people with critical illness.

Metabolism by the kidneys
The kidney plays a major role in arginine synthesis, creatine synthesis, and arginine reabsorption. Arginine is made in the kidney from citrulline produced by the intestine. The rate of arginine synthesis depends on citrulline delivery and does not appear to be regulated by dietary arginine availability. Renal synthesis in humans produces approximately 2 grams per day, which may be compared to an intake, from a Western diet, of approximately 4 to 5 grams a day. Spontaneous, nonenzymatic breakdown of creatine and creatine phosphate to creatinine causes the excretion of 1 to 2 g creatinine a day and requires the replacement of an equivalent amount of creatine from the diet and by endogenous synthesis. The first enzyme of creatine biosynthesis, L-arginine:glycine amidinotransferase, occurs in the kidney and produces guanidinoacetate, which is released into the renal vein. The renal output of guanidinoacetate, however, is rather low, and we propose that the entire pathway of creatine synthesis may also occur in the liver. Renal arginine reabsorption salvages approximately 3 grams of arginine per day. At the apical membrane of proximal tubular cells, arginine shares a transporter with lysine, ornithine, and cystine.

Glutamine and arginine amino acids
A metabolic relation exists between glutamine and arginine, two amino acids with properties that enhance the recovery of seriously ill patients. It is possible that glutamine exerts part of its beneficial effects by enhancing the availability of arginine. Glutamine is an important precursor for the synthesis of arginine in humans.

Types of arginine supplements available over the counter
L Arginine Alpha Keto Glutarate is a form promoted to enhance nitric oxide production.
Arginine ethyl ester is a new form and as of 2017 we are not aware of extensive human studies with arginine ethyl ester supplements.
Citrulline is produced from arginine during metabolism.