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Arginine is a non-essential amino acid which is abundant in protamines and histones. Both of these proteins are associated with nucleic acids (part of DNA) and was first isolated in 1895 from animal horn. Arginine was first isolated from a Lupin seedling extract in 1889 by the Swiss chemist Ernst Schulze.
This amino acid can be produced in the body. However, newborns infants may produce this amino acid too slowly and since production may not occur quickly enough to keep up with requirements, for them Arginine should be seen as an essential amino acid. It is therefore very important in early life. There are foods high in Arginine, which include, chocolate (yeah), dairy products, meat, poultry, fish, and wheat and there is more. Adults are able to synthesize Arginine in the urea cycle naturally. L-Arginine has a number of functions in the body. It helps dispose of ammonia, is used to make compounds in the body such as nitric oxide, creatine, L-glutamate, L-proline and can be converted to glucose and glycogen if needed.
Arginine is a complex amino acid that is often found at the active (or catalytic) site in proteins and enzymes due to its amine-containing side chain. Although Arginine is considered an essential amino acid (it must be obtained through the diet), this is true only during the juvenile period in humans. Arginine is incorporated in proteins at about a 4.7 percent on a per-mole basis when compared to the other amino acids.
ARGININE USES, HEALTH BENEFITS & SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
Below is a list of things that Arginine and L-Arginine assists with or works with alone.
Arginine is useful in treating sterility in men. Arginine improves circulation, and is sometimes used in the treatment of male sexual health problems and sterility. The amino acid is sometimes used as a sexual stimulant as well. Seminal fluid contains Arginine. Studies suggest that sexual maturity may be delayed by Arginine deficiency; conversely, arginine is useful in treating sterility in men. Arginine is often used as a sexual stimulant as people report longer and more intense organisms when their intake of Arginine is increased. L-arginine has been used for erectile dysfunction. While L-aginine is a food supplement, L-arginine enhances the action of nitric oxide similar to Sildenafil Citrate, which relaxes muscles surrounding blood vessels supplying the penis. As a result, blood vessels in the penis dilate, increasing blood flow that helps maintain erections. The main difference is that the L-arginine is to be taken daily to support this natural process.
Arginine is acquiring a reputation for keeping the body's biggest muscle, the heart, in tip-top shape. In fact, this workhorse nutrient performs numerous vital functions. Arginine is gaining popularity as a nonprescription treatment for high cholesterol.
Arginine Improves the function of cells in lymphatic tissue. Arginine is widely used as a nutritional supplement for people suffering from AIDS and other diseases that suppress the immune system. This amino acid is used by the immune system to help regulate the activity of the thymus gland, which is responsible for manufacturing T lymphocytes. (These are the T-cells, which assist the immune system and body defenses). Arginine retards the growth of tumors and cancer by enhancing immune function. It increases the size and activity of the thymus gland, which manufactures T lymphocytes (T cells), crucial components of the immune system. Arginine may therefore benefit those suffering from AIDS and malignant diseases that suppress the immune system.
Arginine is involved in a variety of key enzymes and hormones such as glycogen and insulin. In the pancreas, Arginine is used to stimulate the release of insulin. It also supports the pituitary gland by assisting the release of hormones from the pituitary gland - Arginine is a component of the pituitary hormone vasopressin, and assists in the release of growth hormones. Insulin production, glucose tolerance and liver lipid metabolism are impaired if the body is deficient in Arginine.
Arginine is also good for liver disorders such as cirrhosis of the liver and fatty liver; it aids in liver detoxification by neutralizing ammonia.
Arginine is important for and needed by your body for muscle metabolism. It helps to maintain a proper nitrogen balance by acting as a vehicle for transportation and storage, and aiding in the excretion, of excess nitrogen. This amino acid aids in weight loss because it facilitates an increase in muscle mass and a reduction of body fat.
Arginine is found in high concentrations in the skin and connective tissues. Arginine is a component of collegen and it is an important and helpful component in the healing and repair of damaged soft tissue, the formation of collagen, and in the building of new bone and tendon cells. Arginine is good for arthritis and connective tissue disorders. Arginine reduces nitrogen losses in people who have undergone surgery. Scar tissue that forms during wound healing is made up of collagen, which is rich in Arginine.
Arginine supplements appear to reduce mildly elevated blood pressure by enhancing the synthesis of nitric oxide (a gas) in the cells that line the blood vessels. This helps dilate vessel walls and improve blood flow around the heart. In fact, nitric oxide ranks as the body's most potent blood vessel expander.
Arginine supplements may also inhibit the buildup of plaque and other substances that can harden blood vessels, a condition known as atherosclerosis. Recent findings indicate that this amino acid may lower cholesterol as well. Its positive effect on circulation makes it potentially useful for treating coronary artery disease; here blood flow to the heart is limited and causes damage to this muscle. Arginine may also benefit angina (chest pain), a condition associated with tightening of vessels around the heart.
In addition, Arginine may help in treating male infertility caused by circulation problems.
OTHER INTERESTING ARGININE USES INFORMATION
Arginine pyroglutamate, in addition to having cognitive enhancing effects, is an excellent growth hormone releaser because it is carried more efficiently across the blood-brain barrier than Arginine alone. In Italy, this form of amino acid is used to treat senility, mental retardation, and alcoholism. Arginine pyroglutamate is an arginine molecule combined with a pyroglutamate molecule. Arginine alone does not produce cognitive enhancing effects.
Arginine is a nutrient that is gaining popularity as a non-prescription treatment for high cholesterol as animal studies and preliminary studies in humans suggest that it may improve coronary blood flow and lower cholesterol levels with its antioxidant property, and helping to keep blood-vessel tissue elastic.
ARGININE & HEART DISEASE
Arginine is a key component of the nitric oxide pathway - and important cascade of reactions involved in vasodilation and related to cardiovascular function. Arginine supplements have been associated with reductions in symptoms associated with coronary artery disease and may be capable of slowing the progression of atherosclerosis.
In the body, Arginine serves as the substrates for the nitric oxide synthase enzyme, which catalyzes the oxidation of Arginine to produce citrulline and nitric oxide (NO). In the cells that line the blood vessels (endothelium cells), nitric oxide production causes vasodilation (opening of the vessels). Nitric oxide (NO) is involved in the overall regulation of systemic vascular resistance, where it inhibits the adherence of cells and foreign substances to the blood vessel walls and helps suppress the overgrowth of smooth muscle cells in the lining of the vessels.
Because humans can synthesize Arginine, it has been classified as a non-essential amino acid. Recent evidence suggests that the rate of synthesis of Arginine in the body is insufficient for optimal health - a situation which would re-classify arginine as a semi-essential or conditionally essential amino acid.
In people with elevated cholesterol levels, it is common to see a reduced ability of the endothelium to produce NO and, therefore, to dilate effectively. In addition, because NO production may be limited, blood cells such as monocytes and platelets are more likely to attach themselves to the inner vessel wall and lead to blockages. Arginine supplements (8 to 21 grams per day) have been shown to restore endothelial vasodilation in the coronary arteries of people with high cholesterol and reduce the ability of blood cells to adhere to the vessel walls. Improvements in coronary artery blood flow and reductions in myocardial ischemia and walking pain due to claudication have been noted with arginine supplements (9 to 14 grams per day).
Arginine supplements have been used safely in patients with heart disease in doses up to more than 20 grams per day.
For those individuals at risk for coronary artery disease, including those who experience ischemia due to reduced blood flow and oxygen delivery, arginine supplements may be an effective strategy for improving circulation to the heart and other affected areas (such as vessels in the calves).
Dosage: A daily arginine requirement has been calculated to be approximately 8 grams per day (based on calculations for a 70-kg person). Since the average American diet contains only about 5 grams of arginine per day, there would appear to be a deficit in intake versus requirements. Importantly, the primary dietary sources of arginine, like all amino acids, are meats and other high protein foods (nuts, eggs).
1. Alexander JW, Levy A, Custer D, Valente JF, Babcock G, Ogle CK, Schroeder TJ. Arginine, fish oil, and donor-specific transfusions independently improve cardiac allograft survival in rats given subtherapeutic doses of cyclosporin. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1998 May-Jun;22(3):152-5.
2. Brown SA, Langford K, Tarver S. Effects of certain vasoactive agents on the long-term pattern of blood pressure, heart rate, and motor activity in cats. Am J Vet Res. 1997 Jun;58(6):647-52.
3. Chaloupecky V, Hucin B, Tlaskal T, Kostelka M, Kucera V, Janousek J, Skovranek J, Sprongl L. Nitrogen balance, 3-methylhistidine excretion, and plasma amino acid profile in infants after cardiac operations for congenital heart defects: the effect of early nutritional support. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1997 Dec;114(6):1053-60.
4. Chin-Dusting JP, Kaye DM, Lefkovits J, Wong J, Bergin P, Jennings GL. Dietary supplementation with L-arginine fails to restore endothelial function in forearm resistance arteries of patients with severe heart failure. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1996 Apr;27(5):1207-13.
5. Dadmarz M, v d Burg C, Milakofsky L, Hofford JM, Vogel WH. Effects of stress on amino acids and related compounds in various tissues of fasted rats. Life Sci. 1998;63(16):1485-91.
6. de Lorgeril M, Salen P, Monjaud I, Delaye J. The 'diet heart' hypothesis in secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. Eur Heart J. 1997 Jan;18(1):13-8.
7. Fraser GE. Diet and coronary heart disease: beyond dietary fats and low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol. Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 May;59(5 Suppl):1117S-1123S.
8. Fraser GE. Nut consumption, lipids, and risk of a coronary event. Clin Cardiol. 1999 Jul;22(7 Suppl):III11-5.
9. Gnadinger MP, Weidmann P, Rascher W, Lang RE, Hellmuller B, Uehlinger DE. Plasma arginine-vasopressin levels during infusion of synthetic atrial natriuretic peptide on different sodium intakes in man. J Hypertens. 1986 Oct;4(5):623-9.
10. Hayakawa H, Raij L. Nitric oxide synthase activity and renal injury in genetic hypertension. Hypertension. 1998 Jan;31(1 Pt 2):266-70.
11. Hayashi T, Fukuto JM, Ignarro LJ, Chaudhuri G. Gender differences in atherosclerosis: possible role of nitric oxide. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1995 Nov;26(5):792-802.
12. He H, Kimura S, Fujisawa Y, Tomohiro A, Kiyomoto K, Aki Y, Abe Y. Dietary L-arginine supplementation normalizes regional blood flow in Dahl-Iwai salt-sensitive rats. Am J Hypertens. 1997 May;10(5 Pt 2):89S-93S.
13. Ikeda K, Nara Y, Tagami M, Yamori Y. Nitric oxide deficiency induces myocardial infarction in hypercholesterolaemic stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 1997 May;24(5):344-8.
14. Laurant P, Demolombe B, Berthelot. Dietary L-arginine attenuates blood pressure in mineralocorticoid-salt hypertensive rats. Clin Exp Hypertens. 1995 Oct;17(7):1009-24.
15. Lou H, Kodama T, Wang YN, Katz N, Ramwell P, Foegh ML. L-arginine prevents heart transplant arteriosclerosis by modulating the vascular cell proliferative response to insulin-like growth factor-I and interleukin-6. J Heart Lung Transplant. 1996 Dec;15(12):1248-57.
16. Manning RD Jr, Hu L, Reckelhoff JF. Role of nitric oxide in the arterial pressure and renal adaptations to long-term changes in sodium intake. Am J Physiol. 1997 Apr;272(4 Pt 2):R1162-9.
17. Rajamohan T, Kurup PA. Lysine: arginine ratio of a protein influences cholesterol metabolism. Part 1--Studies on sesame protein having low lysine: arginine ratio. Indian J Exp Biol. 1997 Nov;35(11):1218-23.
18. Siani A, Pagano E, Iacone R, Iacoviello L, Scopacasa F, Strazzullo P. Blood pressure and metabolic changes during dietary L-arginine supplementation in humans. Am J Hypertens. 2000 May;13(5 Pt 1):547-51.
19. Stechenko LO, Sahach VF, Tkachenko MM, Skybins'ka TR, Andriienko TV. The effect of L-arginine on the ultrastructure of atrial cardiomyocytes in experimental hypercholesterolemia. Fiziol Zh. 1999;45(1-2):72-9.
20. Wu G, Flynn NE, Flynn SP, Jolly CA, Davis PK. Dietary protein or arginine deficiency impairs constitutive and inducible nitric oxide synthesis by young rats. J Nutr. 1999 Jul;129(7):1347-54.
ARGININE DOSAGE INFORMATION
ARGININE FOOD SOURCES
Foods high in Arginineinclude carob, chocolate, coconut, dairy products, gelatin, meat, poultry, fish, nuts, oats, peanuts, soybeans, walnuts, white flour, wheat, and wheat germ, brown rice, popcorn, raisins, whole wheat products, and eggs.
The body actually manufactures Arginine by digesting the proteins in these foods.
Most adults do not need to take this non-essential amino acid in supplement form because it is so readily obtained through a wide range of foods. Argininedeficiency is rare.
A variety of functions, including insulin production, glucose tolerance, and liver lipid metabolism, are impaired when the body is deficient in Arginine. Possible hair loss may be another sign of arginine deficiency.
This amino acid can be produced in the body; however, in newborn infants, production may not occur quickly enough to keep up with requirements.
Standard dosage recommended: 1,500 to 2,000 mg a day 2 hrs after eating.
Angina: 500 mg L-arginine 3 times a day on an empty stomach. High Blood Pressure: 1,000 mg L-arginine twice a day. Infertility, Male: 1,000 mg L-arginine 3 times a day.
Amino acid supplements prefaced by the letter L, such as L-Arginine, are more similar to the amino acids in the body than those that start with the letter D, with the exception of D-L phenylalanine, which treats chronic pain. For Dosage information, read product label directions before use.
If you use Arginine supplements for longer than one month, take them with an amino acid complex that contains a variety of amino acids. This will ensure that you get a proper balance of all amino acids.
Tablet Powder Capsule
SAFETY, CAUTIONS, & INTERACTIONS
While Arginine is considered quite safe, it could potentially worsen certain conditions because of the way it affects the body. Consult your healthcare provider before taking Arginine supplements if you suffer from migraines or have kidney problems, a liver disorder, breast cancer, Crohn's disease, or rheumatoid arthritis.
Long term use of Arginine, especially of high doses, is not recommended. One study found that several weeks of large doses may result in thickening and coarsening of the skin. Rarely, symptoms of massive dosages may also include weakness, diarrhea, nausea, as well as increasing the activity of some viruses. People with viral infections such as herpes should NOT take supplemental Arginine and should avoid foods rich in Arginine. People who should not take arginine are those predisposed to herpes outbreaks; cancer patients, due to possible increase in cell replication of cancerous cells; those with low blood pressure; and individuals with certain liver or kidney problems. Arginine appears to promote the growth of certain viruses and has been suspect in the formation of cold sores (a herpes simplex virus). Some practitioners suggest that consuming foods high in Arginine, such as nuts, grains, and chocolates, can promote cold sores. Reducing intake of foods high in Arginine and increasing the intake of Lysine (another amino acid) can reduce or even eliminate the cold sore problem.
Arginine does not show any positive results in treatment of men with damaged valves or enlarged heart tissue. Anyone taking blood thinners are advised to seek medical advice before taking the supplement.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are also cautioned against taking L-Arginine supplements due to the unknown affect it could have on both mother and child.
People with schizophrenia should avoid high dosages - amounts over 30 mg per day.
Do not combine NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) with L-arginine.
Deficiency of Arginine is rare, but signs may include impaired insulin production as well as possible hair loss.
If you need more information please discuss it with your health care provider or nutritionist.
Do nott take Arginine if you are taking other drugs that dilate the blood vessels, such as nitroglycerin or sildenafil (Viagra).
ARGININE AMINO ACID SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
Products and supplements containing Arginine and other related products.
QUALITY SUPPLIES & PRODUCTS
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ARGININE (L-ARGININE) AMINO ACID SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
Enhances the immune system and retards the growth of tumors. L-Arginine is one of 20 amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Arginine supports the effect of exercise and is one of the most important amino acids involved in immune function. L-arginine is considered a semi-essential amino acid and is thought of as one of the bodybuilding amino acids because the body uses it to release growth hormone. Human growth hormone is used by the body to build muscle strength and tone and to enhance the burning of fats. L-arginine is important in the urea cycle for the metabolism of ammonia produced in the breakdown of protein. L-arginine also stimulates the production of nitric oxide (NO) which supports vasodilation. Free form amino acid, high purity, well tolerated.
HerbsPro: L-Arginine Pure Powder, Now Foods, 2.2 lbs. (77493)
HerbsPro: L-Arginine, BlueBonnet Nutrition, 500 mg, 50 VCaps (100391)
HerbsPro: L-Arginine, Anabol Naturals, 500 mg, 100 Caps (104550)
HerbsPro: L-Arginine, BlueBonnet Nutrition, 500 mg, 100 VCaps (100393)
HerbsPro: L-Arginine With Vitamin B-6, Country Life, 500 mg, 100 Caps (37241)
HerbsPro: L-Arginine, Sustained Plus Immediate Release, Doctors Best, 500 mg, 120 Tabs (90748)
HerbsPro: L-Arginine With Vitamin B-6, Country Life, 500 mg, 200 VCaps (78987)
HerbsPro: L-Arginine, Now Foods, 500 mg, 250 Caps (67725)
HerbsPro: L-Arginine, Anabol Naturals, 500 mg, 500 Caps (104551)
HerbsPro: L-Arginine, BlueBonnet Nutrition, 1000 mg, 100 Caplets (100394)
HerbsPro: L-Arginine, Source Naturals, 1000 mg, 100 Tabs (70053)
HerbsPro: L-Arginine/L-Ornithine Amino Acid Complex, Solgar, 500 mg / 250 mg, 100 VCaps (36536)
Kalyx: Arginine Amino Acids, Thompson Nutritional, 1000 mg, 30 Tabs: K
Kalyx: L-Arginine, Natrol, 3,000 mg, 90 Tabs: K
Amazon: Arginine Amino Acid Supplement Products
Nutrition Basics: Arginine Amino Acid Supplement Information
AMINO ACID COMPLEX PRODUCTS
HerbsPro: Amino-9 Essentials Powder, Now Foods, 330 Grams
Complete Free Form blend of all 9 essential amino acids. Dietary supplements helpful in sports. GMP quality assured.
HerbsPro: Amino Balance Powder, Free Form Amino Acid Complex, Anabol Naturals
HerbsPro: Amino Balance Powder, Free Form Amino Acid Complex, Anabol Naturals, 500 grams
HerbsPro: Amino Balance, Free Form Amino Acid Complex, Anabol Naturals, 500 mg, 120 Caps
HerbsPro: Amino Balance, Free Form Amino Acid Complex, Anabol Naturals, 500 mg, 240 Caps
HerbsPro: Amino Balance, Free Form Amino Acid Complex, Anabol Naturals, 500 mg, 500 Caps
For tissue repair, reduced soreness and accelerated recovery, as well as a wealth of non-training benefits, this blend of 23 pure crystalline 100% pharmaceutical grade free-form amino acids is unmatched.
HerbsPro: Amino Max 21, FoodScience of Vermont, 90 Caps
A high quality, hypoallergenic amino acid formulation. Amino Max 21 is a scientifically formulated combination of 21 crystalline, free-form amino acids in the natural L-configuration. Because free-form amino acids are readily bioavailable and require no digestion by the body, they can be absorbed efficiently into the bloodstream and accompanying tissues where they are used for cellular regeneration.
HerbsPro: Essential Amino Acid Complex, Solgar, Free Form, 600 mg, 90 VCaps (36384)
HerbsPro: Amino Complete, Balanced Blend Complex, Now Foods, 120 Caps
HerbsPro: Max-Amino With Vitamin B-6, Blend of 18 Amino Acids, Country Life, 180 Caps
An easily absorbed blend of 18 amino acids yielding high biological activity. An ideal formula for athletes, and when protein demands may not be fully satisfied. B-6 aids in the utilization of amino acids. An easily absorbed Amino Acid Supplement.
HerbsPro: Amino Acid Complete, Balanced Blend Complex, Now Foods, 360 Caps
HerbsPro: Cher-Amino Liquid Protein, TwinLab, 16 fl. oz. (19499)
Cher Amino Protein is a concentrated and peptide bonded free amino acid supplement contains all essential amino acid derived from natural enzyme hydrolysis of collagen protein and whey protein that help relieve muscle breakdown.
HerbsPro: Cher-Amino Liquid Protein, TwinLab, 32 fl. oz. (19498)
Cher Amino Protein is a concentrated and peptide bonded free amino acid supplement contains all essential amino acid derived from natural enzyme hydrolysis of collagen protein and whey protein that helps to relieve muscle breakdown. The protein in this product is a predigested collagen and whey (lactalbumin) protein and is therefore utilized 100%. Contains all the essential amino acids derived by enzymatically hydrolyzing the animal protein collagen and whey protein (lactalbumin). The amino acids in this product are naturally present in the protein. They are not added or manufactured. 15 grams per ounce. New improved formula. Predigested collagen. Enriched with predigested whey protein, a superior source of high quality amino acids.
Amazon: Amino Acid Complex Complete Supplement Products
Nutrition Basics: Amino Acid Complex Supplement Information
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