February 15 2021
L arginine is an amino acid which helps in building proteins in our body. Proteins are made of up amino acids which are linked with each other through bonding called peptide bonds. Long chains of amino acids (which can either contain one type of amino acid or different type of amino acids) make different kinds of proteins.
There are two kinds of proteins in our body which includes :
Essential amino acids: which are not synthesized in our body and need to be taken in diet.
Non-essential amino acid: which are synthesized in the body and not necessarily be taken in diet. Development of the deficiency of these amino acids is very difficult to be developed since they are synthesized in sufficient quantity in our body but in case of any deficiency, it can be consumed via external sources.
L arginine is a semi-essential or conditionally essential amino acid which means that it needs to be taken in the diet only when it is required such as in case of pregnancy, infancy, trauma and critical illness, otherwise our body synthesizes most of this protein to regulate normal body functions.
Role in the body?
It is necessary for the production of NO (that is Nitric oxide) which helps in improving blood flow, mitochondrial function and cell communication. Moreover, it acts as a precursor for the production of other amino acids such as proline, glutamine and creatine and is quite essential for the proper functioning of the body.
How is it synthesized in the body?
Precursor for the synthesis of L arginine is another amino acid called citrulline by a breakdown in the body or it can be consumed externally in the form of diet.
These days, supplements are also used quite commonly. So, this becomes another way of consuming arginine.
Are foods rich in arginine?
Food items such as meat, nuts, dairy, fish, poultry and soy products are rich in arginine. So, having a balanced diet is crucial to prevent the development of arginine deficiency in the body. Although the deficiency is not very common in most people if you have any underlying disease condition which may result in the deficiency then diet plays a more important role in those cases.
Improves athletic performance: Very little evidence is available to show that L arginine provides better athletic performance. Since many studies reveal that it is not that effective with this regard but few of them show positive results. The possible action by which this can occur is due to the ability of arginine to produce NO which in turn improves the blood flow and provides more oxygenated blood to the muscles.
Regulation of Blood pressure: Some studies reveal that arginine helps to control Blood pressure, mainly people with high BP (hypertension). It reduces both systolic (the upper number) and diastolic (lower number). The probable action is again due to the production of NO which improves blood flow (acts as a vasodilator) and relaxes the blood vessels and regulates the BP.
Blood sugar regulation: Research provides evidence that arginine improves insulin sensitivity (insulin is a hormone which sends glucose to the cells where it is utilized for the production of energy) and improves glucose metabolism. NO generated by arginine plays a very crucial role in regulating the function of cells secreting insulin.
Some other benefits include :
Treating preeclampsia (a condition wherein there is the persistence of high blood pressure and appearance of protein in the urine).
Treatment of erectile dysfunction:
Benefit in conditions including obesity, heart diseases, PCOS, anxiety and infertility.
Overall L arginine is considered to be safe with minimal side effects. However, always ask your doctor before consuming L arginine as a supplement.
Some of the common side effects which can be seen include :
It is not advised to consume it after a heart attack since it can be problematic. It can worsen the symptoms of asthma.In the case of genital herpes or cold sores: if consumed in large amounts can be problematic.
Some of the natural sources to get L arginine to include :
The best way to consume this amino acid by avoiding many side effects is by taking a healthy and balanced diet. It is commonly found in food items containing proteins such as meat, eggs, fish, turkey breast, chicken, pork loin and dairy products.
While for people who are either vegan or are vegetarian, peanuts, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, lentils and soybean. People who feel that they are having a deficiency of arginine because of inadequate diet might want to modify their diet in such a way that it includes all the essential components and is balanced at the same time.
But, if you want to consume this amino acid in the form of a supplement, then there are a wide variety of products available in the market today. However, it should be incorporated along with your diet only by your doctor’s advice.
You can find one such product which is provided by Alvizia Healthcare called Alvizia’s L arginine amino acid supplement 500 mg. This product contains 100 capsules.
The capsules are easy to swallow and are manufactured in a WHO-GMP approved facility which ensures that the product is of good quality. Moreover, it is Gluten-free and NON-GMO.
The ingredients used in the formulation of the product are FSSAI approved and the company has ICH certification.
The product claims to :
Improve workout performance.
Increase immune function.
Reduces muscular pain.
Improves mental capacity.
Inside of the product package, there is a cotton ball which is used to protect the product during transportation.
Storage of the product: Ingredients may go bad on exposure to light, heat and humidity hence, store the product in cool, dry and dark place away from direct sunlight.