What Is Arginine Used For?

Reviewed on 2/18/2021
Arginine, also known as L-arginine, is one of the many amino acids that help the body produce proteins.
Arginine, also known as L-arginine, is one of the many amino acids that help the body produce proteins.

Arginine, also known as L-arginine, is one of the many amino acids that help the body produce proteins. It can be consumed as part of your diet through plant and animal foods, such as dairy products, nuts, meat, poultry, and fish. It is also available in the market as a dietary supplement.

Mixed research is available on the possible benefits of arginine supplements. Some studies have reported its health benefits, whereas some have reported that it may have harmful effects on some people.

Although the body makes enough arginine, arginine supplementation may be used for

Some experts also claim the benefits of L-arginine in

How does arginine work in erectile dysfunction?

Experts believe that arginine improves the levels of a chemical called nitric oxide produced at the site of the blood vessels that relaxes the muscles in the blood vessels of the penis. This results in widening of the blood vessels (vasodilation) that improves the blood flow in the penis and causes an erection.

Another study reported lower levels of amino acids in men with erectile dysfunction (ED) than in those without ED. This suggests that arginine supplementation may help in treating ED.

What are the possible side effects of arginine?

Using arginine is generally considered safe. The possible side effects include:

Arginine supplements are not likely to be safe if you have

Drug interactions:

Arginine may interact with certain medications such as:

Arginine hasn't been tested for safety in

  • Breastfeeding women.
  • Children.
  • People with medical conditions.
  • People on certain medications.

Given the possible drug interactions and lack of sufficient safety data of their consumption in diseases, you must speak to your doctor before trying arginine supplements.

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References
Jonker R, Engelen MP, Deutz NE. Role of specific dietary amino acids in clinical conditions. Br J Nutr. 2012;108 Suppl 2:S139-148.

L-arginine. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-l-arginine/art-20364681

McRae MP. Therapeutic Benefits of l-Arginine: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses. J Chiropr Med. 2016 Sep;15(3):184-189.

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