L-arginine is an amino acid naturally found in red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy. It is necessary for making proteins and is commonly used for circulation.
L-arginine is converted in the body into a chemical called nitric oxide. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to open wider for improved blood flow.
Available as an ingredient in:
L-arginine is an amino acid naturally found in red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy. It is necessary for making proteins and is commonly used for circulation. (1)
In the body, L-arginine is used to make nitric acid which opens blood vessels and improves blood flow. This includes the blood vessels of the penis. (2)
Stress, illness, trauma, premature birth, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and other health conditions may increase the number of enzymes in the body that break down arginine. To compensate for this loss of arginine you may need to get some from your diet. This makes L-Arginine a conditionally essential amino acid. (3)
In addition to L-Arginine's role as an essential amino acid, arginine supplementation is used to treat various blood flow issues such as erectile dysfunction and because L-Arginine stimulates the release of substances such as growth hormones in the body.
Taking L-arginine can reduce blood pressure in healthy people, people with high blood pressure, and people with slightly high blood pressure with or without diabetes. (4)
Even for those without diagnosed erectile dysfunction (ED) increased blood flow and vasodilation is associated with increased ease in obtaining and maintaining an erection. (5) L-Arginine improves erections and male sensation by increasing the levels of nitric oxide in the body. L-Arginine supplements help achieve firmer erections and reduce refractory periods (the period of time between orgasms where you are unable to get an erection).
L-Arginine improves orgasm sensation by improving overall circulation and blood flow. L-Arginine increases the levels of nitric oxide in the body which in turn causes blood vessels to relax. This process is referred to as "vasodilation". Overall blood flow and circulation is important in the body's processes of sexual arousal. Increase blood flow to the penis is responsible for the erections in men and increased blood flow to the clitoris is responsible for increases sensation in the clitoris.
L-Arginine begins to increase nitric oxide levels in the body immediately after consumption. L-Arginine supplements are beneficial for sex and general heath regardless of when they are taken: L-Arginine may be taken immediately before sex for fast-acting increases in blood flow or taken as a daily supplement to improve overall circulation in the body.
Nitric oxide plays a critical role in achieving and maintaining erection due to it's role in promoting blood flow . You cannot directly supplement nitric oxide, however L-Arginine is rapidly converted to nitric oxide in the body and therefore L-Arginine supplementation increases nitric oxide levels in the body.
The amino acid arginine is needed to produce sperm. Research shows that several months of L-arginine supplementation increases sperm count, quality, and fertility.
At very high intakes, the amino acid arginine has increased growth hormone levels, which stimulate muscle growth. Trials combining weight training with arginine and ornithine showed decreases in body fat (6) and increases in total strength and lean body mass.
1. WebMD. (n.d.). L-arginine: Overview, uses, side effects, precautions, interactions, dosing and reviews. WebMD. Retrieved June 10, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-875/l-arginine
2. Sudha Srivastava, Prashant Desai, Evans Coutinho, Girjesh Govil, Mechanism of Action of L-arginine on the Vitality of Spermatozoa is Primarily Through Increased Biosynthesis of Nitric Oxide, Biology of Reproduction, Volume 74, Issue 5, 1 May 2006, Pages 954–958, https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.105.046896
3. Examine.com. (2022, June 3). Arginine supplement - health benefits, dosage, side effects. Examine.com. Retrieved June 10, 2022, from https://examine.com/supplements/arginine/
4. Khalaf D, Krüger M, Wehland M, Infanger M, Grimm D. The Effects of Oral l-Arginine and l-Citrulline Supplementation on Blood Pressure. Nutrients. 2019 Jul 22;11(7):1679. doi: 10.3390/nu11071679. PMID: 31336573; PMCID: PMC6683098.
5. Rhim HC, Kim MS, Park YJ, Choi WS, Park HK, Kim HG, Kim A, Paick SH. The Potential Role of Arginine Supplements on Erectile Dysfunction: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Sex Med. 2019 Feb;16(2):223-234. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2018.12.002. Erratum in: J Sex Med. 2020 Mar;17(3):560. PMID: 30770070.
6. Monti LD, Setola E, Lucotti PC, Marrocco-Trischitta MM, Comola M, Galluccio E, Poggi A, Mammì S, Catapano AL, Comi G, Chiesa R, Bosi E, Piatti PM. Effect of a long-term oral l-arginine supplementation on glucose metabolism: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2012 Oct;14(10):893-900. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2012.01615.x. Epub 2012 May 21. PMID: 22553931.