What is Arginine?
Arginine is an amino acid that is produced naturally in the body, consumed via dietary intake, and commercially available as a supplement. Because arginine can be produced in the body, it is considered a non-essential amino acid. Arginine is used to make nitric oxide, a neurotransmitter that relaxes the blood vessels, and as such has been noted for its potential benefits to the heart. It is believed to promote good circulation, healthy blood pressure and healthy blood cells. Studies have suggested that arginine can also be useful in the treatment of conditions such as migraine headaches, intermittent claudication (marked by leg cramping and weakness), interstitial cystitis, and erectile dysfunction.
What are the health benefits of Arginine?
Other potential health benefits of arginine include wound healing, better immune function, ammonia detoxification, and the stimulation of growth hormone. Arginine has also been found to serve as a sexual enhancer, affecting sexual stamina, pleasure, and libido.
What foods are good sources of Arginine?
Nuts, seeds, eggs, meat, poultry, and seafood are all good sources of arginine. It is also present in soybeans, chickpeas, and oatmeal.
Are there other ways to take Arginine?
Arginine supplements can be found online, in health food stores, and in the offices of alternative medical practitioners.
Are there any precautions for taking Arginine?
It is recommended people who have suffered a heart attack avoid arginine supplementation. There is also some evidence that arginine should not be taken by people with kidney disease, diabetes, genital herpes, or by women who are pregnant or nursing. Side effects of taking arginine include indigestion, nausea, and headaches.
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