L-arginine is an amino acid that helps the body build protein.
Your body usually makes all the L-arginine it needs. L-arginine is also found in most protein-rich foods, including fish, red meat, poultry, soy, whole grains, beans and dairy products.
As a supplement, L-arginine can be used orally and topically.
Because L-arginine acts as a vasodilator, opening (dilating) blood vessels, many people take oral L-arginine to try to treat cardiovascular conditions and erectile dysfunction.
Research on the use of L-arginine for specific conditions shows:
- Angina. Studies suggest that L-arginine might decrease symptoms and improve quality of life in people with a mild to severe form of this type of chest pain.
- High blood pressure (hypertension). Some research has shown that oral L-arginine can lower blood pressure in healthy people and people with a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs and the right side of the heart (pulmonary hypertension). Infusions of L-arginine also appear to reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension.
- Erectile dysfunction. Taking oral L-arginine might improve sexual function in men with erectile dysfunction due to a physical cause.
L-arginine is considered to be generally safe and might be effective at lowering blood pressure, reducing the symptoms of angina and treating erectile dysfunction due to a physical cause.
However, if you take a blood pressure drug, talk to your doctor before using L-arginine.
Oct. 24, 2017
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