L-arginine, which is often referred to as a miracle molecule, is an amino acid that is synthesized within the human body. Though it is predominantly produced by the human kidneys, the liver also plays a role in the production of this amino acid. Amino acids are known to be the building blocks of proteins which in turn promote the growth of the muscles and help in strengthening the natural defenses of the body. Though the body's requirements for amino acids can be met by including foods rich in amino acids in one's diet, not many food items have a complete amino acid profile.
At times, certain medical conditions can also affect the body's ability to synthesize the nutrients. Under such circumstances, amino acid supplements can be used for fulfilling the body's need for amino acids. L-arginine is one such amino acid supplement that is fast gaining popularity, especially amongst fitness enthusiasts. So, how does L-arginine work? Well, once ingested, this amino acid gets converted into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps in dilating the blood vessels, and thus, facilitates an improved flow of blood. Given below is some more information on the health benefits as well as side effects of this amino acid supplement.
Benefits of L-Arginine
Nutritional supplements are needed only when the body fails to produce the same in sufficient quantities. Animal proteins, dairy products, sea food, nuts, cereals and legumes are some of the sources of this amino acid, that can be included in one's diet. Usually the body's needs can be met by following a healthy diet, but one can also use L-arginine supplements in order to reap the benefits of this miracle molecule.
This amino acid aids in the production of immune cells that fight off infections and diseases. It therefore, helps in strengthening the immune system. This is the reason why this amino acid supplement is sometimes prescribed for those recovering from surgeries. Those suffering from genetic ailments, severe infections or injuries can also use these supplements.
The reason behind the popularity of these supplements is mainly due to its ability to promote muscle growth and develop muscle mass. It promotes quicker healing in the event of tissue damage or bone-related damage. No wonder these supplements are becoming extremely popular among bodybuilders, athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Since it aids in the synthesis of proteins, it helps in building muscle mass. It stimulates the production of creatine, which in turn, acts as a catalyst for chemical processes that aid in production of energy.
Thus, it provides one with energy to perform intensive workouts. It also repairs the damaged or fatigued muscles. It may also help those who have been diagnosed with degenerative bone disorders. It aids in improving sperm count as well as sperm motility and is therefore, used for the treatment of sexual and reproductive disorders such as erectile dysfunction. It also stimulates the release of human growth hormone. As mentioned earlier, it helps in improving blood flow by dilating blood vessels and is therefore, used in the treatment of blocked arteries or intermittent claudication.
Dangers of L-Arginine Overdose
Though the health benefits of this amino acid are numerous, the effect it would have on one's body would depend on whether one takes it as per the prescribed dosage. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not laid down guidelines regarding a standard its dosage which is why one must have it as per the dosage recommended by an expert. The side effects associated with an overdose, can be quite serious. Heartburn, ulcers or inflammation of the digestive tract may be caused due to an overdose.
One could also experience bloating or abdominal pain due to prolonged use of these supplements. It could also lead to elevated blood sugar levels. Those who are allergic to these supplements may suffer from vomiting or other distressing symptoms after consuming this supplement. Pregnant women, nursing mothers or those suffering from herpes, low blood pressure, liver cirrhosis or asthma should avoid taking these supplements. Since there could be adverse drug interactions if this supplement is consumed in combination with certain other prescription drugs, one must inform the doctor about any other drugs one may be using.
This was some information on how L-Arginine supplements can affect one's overall health. Most prospective users often wonder as to how long would these amino acid supplements take to show its effect. Well, it depends on how well one's body responds to this supplement. Though the health benefits are many, and it does appeal to many fitness enthusiasts, exercise caution and take these supplements under medical supervision.