Reviewed by Dr. Hasan Feroz MD
L-arginine is an amino acid that helps in making protein in the body. It is found in foods that contain protein like red meat, fish, eggs, soy and dairy products. L-arginine is used to treat various medical conditions now a days. It is not a medicine but it is a supplement that used to treat high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, kidney diseases etc.
L-arginine is a vasodilator and it dilates the blood vessels to increase the flow of blood in veins. Many peoples take L-arginine as a supplement in oral, IV form.
Uses of L-Arginine
L-arginine is used in chest pain, narrowing of the blood vessel, erectile dysfunction and peripheral arterial disease like conditions. It also used to treat high blood pressure and irregular heart beats like arrhythmia.
Side Effects of L-Arginine
Generally, L-arginine is considered safe and causes no problems. Someone who consumes it may face the problems like:
Low Blood Pressure
Allergy/ Asthma attacks
L-arginine is recommended the persons who has a history of strokes and heart attack. It is not considered safe in this situation as it increase the risk of death in some patients.
If you have allergies then take the L-arginine with caution as it may increases the chance of an asthma attack.
If you are taking blood coagulants then speak to your doctor about taking the L-arginine supplement as it increases the efficacy of blood thinners which may cause bleeding.
L-Arginine may lower the blood pressure if you have been taking the high blood pressure medicines. Don’t combine L-arginine with high blood pressure medicines. Always consult with your doctor regarding this.
If you are taking L-arginine and suffering from diabetes type-2 you must have to adjust your dose of insulin as it may reduce the blood sugar level in the body.
Don’t use simultaneously sildenafil with L-arginine as it may lower your blood pressure.
Mechanism of Action
L-arginine is converted in our body into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide makes the blood vessels more wider to flow the blood uninterruptedly. It also releases the growth hormones in the body and releases insulin in our body.
There is no standard dose is recommended for L-arginine but it is recommended as per the requirements of the patients, age, gender and their disease. In blood pressure the recommended dose is 2-24 grams while in ED 5 grams for one month. In chest pain or angina generally upto 6 grams is recommended. You may consult to your doctor for your disease and personalize prescription and dosage of the l-arginine.
If you have heart problems or suffering from high blood pressure it is recommended that you must consult with your doctor or cardiologist before taking the l-arginine. in some cases it is found that it creates a lot of problem to the patients who have been suffering from heart disease and they have started taking the supplement without consulting with a cardiologist. It is a supplement but still it should be taken with proper doctor advice.