What Is Arginine Good For?

Arginine, also known as L-arginine, is a protein that humans can get from eating meat and consuming dairy products. You can also go into a drug or health-food store to find L-arginine in a pill form. The drug is still in the testing phases, but the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have determined that L-arginine may have some benefits to the human body, if ingested regularly.

  1. Prevention

    • L-arginine is thought to prevent the common cold, and, the NIH notes, the drug may help infants with digestive issues. It is also good for heart patients in preventing the loss of nitroglycerin that is crucial to the heart patient's continued health. However, the NIH did not find evidence that the drug helped prevent dementia in elderly patients.

    Improvement

    • L-arginine is an amino acid. Amino acids are vital in building proteins aiding the metabolism. As protein-repair chemicals, the L-arginine can help with tissue damage within the body. The NIH found evidence that the L-arginine could improve the recovery time after surgery, while reducing the instances of infection. The protein may also help with kidney function improvement after transplant. It may improve a few congestive heart failure patients' tolerance for exercise.

    Drug Enhancement

    • Paired with other drugs, the L-arginine seems to enhance the drug's abilities, according to the NIH. This is seen in weight loss patients using the drugs hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB) and glutamine. Kidney transplant patients using cyclosporine may experience improved function in the transplanted kidney.

    Healing and Symptom Relief

    • L-arginine is good for helping wounds heal from various conditions that include surgery. It also improves the symptoms of a bladder infection (but does not cure the infection). The protein does the same for symptoms of blocked arteries in the legs. The cramping and weak feeling may be relieved, but the blockage does not go away without further treatment. L-arginine may also have benefits for erectile dysfunction, relieving the symptoms of the condition.

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