L-arginine is a semi-essential amino acid: our body can synthesize arginine, but not always in sufficient quantities. Especially in children and adolescents, but also in physically or mentally demanding situations, the need for L-arginine can exceed the amount produced by the body. In these cases, the amino acid becomes essential and must be supplied through food. Arginine supports you during athletic, physical or mental challenges. In the body, L-arginine is converted into nitric oxide, which can lead to an improvement in blood flow throughout the body and thus to numerous health benefits. Discover our dietary supplements and functional foods that contain L-Arginine as well as other essential amino acids.
L-Arginine is an amino acid that is needed in the human body to produce important proteins. People can take L-arginine with food or supplements. The amino acid is found in plant and animal products.
L-arginine helps rid the body of the waste product ammonia and stimulates the release of insulin. In the human body, the amino acid is used to produce nitric oxide, a substance that relaxes blood vessels. L-Arginine can fight fatigue and strengthen the immune system.
L-arginine is a semi-essential (or conditionally essential) amino acid. This means our body can produce this amino acid itself if we take in the necessary building materials through our food. In the body, L-arginine is found in most tissues and body fluids.
The letter L stands for “levorotatory.” This chemical term explains the spatial arrangement of the molecules. There is still a “dextrorotatory” structure, but only the L form is recognized by the body’s enzymes and used for metabolism. If in dietary supplements, such as Amino Vida, Amino Eight or Arginine Vida of arginine is mentioned, is always the L-form meant.
Many protein-rich foods contain L-arginine, including:
Fish – salmon, haddock
Meat – red meat, chicken, poultry
Legumes – beans, soy, chickpeas
Dairy products – milk, cheese, yogurt
Whole grain products – brown rice, oats
nuts and seeds – peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashews
The amino acid is available in two forms: intravenous injection or orally taken capsules or tablets. Amino Vida, Amino Eight, or Arginine Vida are different types of L-arginine supplements available over the counter. Talk to your family doctor before you start taking L-arginine. He will find the right dosage according to your age, reason for taking it and other factors.
Depending on the reason for taking it and the type of amino acid, it often takes up to 24 hours for L-arginine to be absorbed by the body. In some cases, it can take up to three months for the full effects of L-Arginine to be seen.
In the body, the amino acid is converted into nitric oxide. This leads to an improvement in blood flow, which can lead to numerous health benefits.
L-arginine is considered safe for adults when ingested through protein foods such as meat or nuts. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, a recent heart attack, or are pregnant (or breastfeeding), your family physician should be consulted before taking arginine as a food supplement.
Although taking L-arginine via food supplementation is considered safe, diarrhea, bloating, or nausea are occasionally reported as side effects. Asthma symptoms may also worsen. Therefore, it is recommended to consult your primary care physician before taking L-arginine. Threatening side effects may include:
difficulty breathing or a tight feeling in the chest
Allergic reaction such as skin rash, itching, hives.
If these side effects occur, the family doctor should be contacted immediately.
L-arginine may interact with certain medications such as blood pressure medications, diabetes medications, or erectile dysfunction medications. Do not take L-arginine as a dietary supplement without first talking to your primary care physician. The doctor knows your medical history and can evaluate whether it is appropriate for you to take it.
Arginine plays a role in a number of biological functions. Among the main roles of this amino acid is the removal of waste from the body. L-arginine relaxes the arteries, maintains immune and hormonal functions, and contributes to protein synthesis. The benefits of this amino acid are:
Sports performance enhancement
Regulation of blood sugar
Improvement of the immune system and blood circulation
Due to the production of nitric oxide, the amino acid has a relaxing effect on blood vessels. For this reason, the blood flow increases and there is an improved oxygen and nutrient supply to the muscles. If L-arginine is taken as a supplement during endurance training, it can lead to a moderate increase in performance. When it comes to athletic performance, endurance athletes are most likely to see benefits, although efficiency is limited. L-arginine may help reduce muscle damage and speed recovery.
There is evidence that L-arginine may help regulate blood sugar levels. When combined with adequate exercise and a controlled diet, glucose metabolism may improve.
By strengthening the immune system, L-arginine helps improve health. The amino acid binds free radicals, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the immune system.
Since arginine helps improve blood flow, it is possible that the amino acid can slightly lower blood pressure in healthy people.
This text is for informational and educational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. If you are interested in L-arginine, you can find more information for example in the preparations Amino Vida, Amino Eight or Arginin Vida. For further questions about amino acids contact us or ask your doctor.