L-arginine is very helpful in various health conditions such as cardiovascular problems, angina, erectile dysfunction, etc. However its daily dose is not recommended by the FDA as it shows harmful effects on some individuals. Here in this HealthHearty article we will discuss the suggested dosage based on various scientific research, expert opinions and traditional use.
L-arginine is an important amino acid that strengthens your body in various ways. It not only maintains your health but also helps improve your health. It is mainly produced in kidneys and in small amounts in liver too. The body normally has sufficient quantity of this important amino acid but genetic disorders, severe infections, injuries or burns can lead to L-arginine deficiency.
Recommended L-Arginine Dosage
Human body makes L-arginine in sufficient quantity and you don’t really need to supply it through supplements. The FDA has not suggested any fixed quantity as recommended daily dose of L-arginine. Physicians suggest that a standard dose of L-arginine in pill-form can be of 1 to 3 grams, and it can be taken 3 times a day, with a maximum of nine grams in a 24-hour period. But it is also suggested that the healthier way to supplement your diet with this important amino acid is eating arginine rich foods, such as nuts, legumes, sunflower seeds and dairy products.
Though the dosage is given according to the diseases or conditions faced by the person, following are some of the doses which are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. But these dosages may vary from person to person depending upon the severity, age and physical health.
- For Altitude Sickness: 3-4gms 3 times a day.
- For Breast Cancer: 30gms daily for 3 days.
- For Burns: 15gms can be divided 3 times a day.
- For Coronary Artery Disease (CAD): 3gms 3 times a day.
- For Erectile Dysfunction: 5gms daily for 6 weeks.
If you want to supplement your diet with L-arginine, you may start with a small dose after consulting your doctor and may monitor your progress. Make sure that you don’t accidentally hurt yourself. You can check whether you achieve your desired results after three or four weeks. Remember, the dose which might be correct for your friend may not be right for you. L-arginine dosage may vary from person to person; as people may have varying levels of deficiencies. Researchers are still checking the consequences of L-arginine consumption, from 500mgs per day for some conditions to 2000mgs per day for others. A fixed quantity as the ‘best dose’ cannot be recommended; as the requirement may vary according to the overall health of the person. The reason behind the need for the supplement varies from person to person.
Health Benefits of L-Arginine
Amino acid supplements containing L-arginine are quite popular because L-arginine works as an antioxidant.
- L-arginine triggers the release of ‘human growth hormone’ from the pituitary gland. As the name suggests, the hormone is essential for proper development of the body. HGH deficiency can lead to several health complications.
- It strengthens your immune system by boosting the production of T-lymphocytes (type of white blood cells) from the thymus gland.
- It improves the motility of sperms and increases their count. It is used to treat sexual disorders and reproductive problems.
- It enhances blood circulation through various organs especially, the sexual organs. It is used by the body to generate nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels.
- It plays a fundamental role in cell division. It promotes fast healing in case of bone injuries and tissue damage. This property is particularly helpful for women, athletes and for people with arthritis.
- Arginine amino acid works great for erectile dysfunction, atherosclerosis and intermittent claudication. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases but if taken after heart attack, it may prove to be fatal.
- It stimulates the production of creatine and thus, helps increase muscle mass. It plays a significant role in protein formation and helps lose fat. So, these supplements are popular among bodybuilders.
L-Arginine Side Effects
In spite of numerous health benefits of arginine, you have to be cautious about the dosage of L-arginine; as an overdose of the supplement can lead to severe side effects.
- It may lower blood pressure, it may increase blood sugar levels.
- It may affect potassium levels, especially in people with liver disease.
- People with kidney disease and certain other diseases should not consume these supplements.
- It may affect the levels of other chemicals and electrolytes in the body, such as chloride, sodium, and phosphate.
- It may destroy benefits of some medicines. So, it is wrong to combine it with certain medicines.
- Nausea, indigestion, headache, flushing, abdominal pain, joint pain.
- Breathing difficulty, skin rashes/hives due to allergic reactions, damaged veins (in case arginine is administered through the bloodstream).
- Intake of L-arginine may worsen heartburn, ulcers, or stomach upset caused by medications since it enhances the production of stomach acid by triggering the production of gastrin.
While taking L-arginine supplements, you are expected to follow the instructions on the label. You should discuss your health problems with your doctor before taking the supplement. Pregnant, nursing women and children should avoid consumption of L-arginine supplements, as the safety has not been yet established.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.