During the past five decades studies have revealed Arginine to be useful in a variety of contexts. Arginine has become popular as a supplement among body builders, athletes and those with weakened immune systems. I’ve summarized some of the established benefits of Arginine below with links to data supporting each claim.
My goal with this blog entry is to cast aside anecdotal evidence or “drug superstition” in favor of thorough, conclusive research that shows tangible benefits of Arginine in it’s various forms.
- Benefits of Arginine HCL in Wound Healing
- Benefits of Arginine Glutamate in Detoxifying the Liver
- Benefits of L-Arginine in Strengthening the Immune System
- Benefits of L-Arginine combined with L-Lysine in Stimulating Growth Hormones
- Benefits of Arginine combined with Yohimbine in treating Erectile Dysfunction
- Benefits of Arginine combined with Pycnogenol in treating Erectile Dysfunction
- Benefits of L-Arginine combined with Antioxidant Vitamins in treating Pre-Eclampsia in pregnant women
- Which form of Arginine to Buy and Where to Buy it
Benefits of Arginine HCL in improving Wound Healing
In a study done in 1990 at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore on a group of 36 volunteers, researchers showed that Arginine improved wound healing and immune function. The volunteers were separated into three random groups. Researchers inserted a 5cm segment of rubber tubing under the volunteer’s skin into the right deltoid region (shoulder muscle).
Two forms of Arginine and a placebo were used for the experiment. The supplements were given to the volunteers orally for two weeks. At two weeks the researchers measured the rate of healing by analyzing the formation of new collagen and how much was deposited in the wound area.
The volunteers who had taken an Arginine supplement had significantly more collagen deposited into the wound as part of the healing process than the control group.
The two forms of Arginine used in the study were Arginine Hydrochloride (Arginine HCL) and Arginine Aspartate. Both forms improved wound healing, but the form that gave the best results was Arginine Hydrochloride or Arginine HCL.
Benefits of Arginine Glutamate in Detoxifying the Liver of Ammonia
Our bodies normally produce ammonia as a waste product of protein metabolism. It is removed from the blood and converted to urea. The urea is then transferred into the urine and removed from the body. At the lab for Nuclear Medicine and Biology at the VA Hospital in Omaha in 1966, two researchers showed that arginine-glutamate helped both healthy and sick rat livers to remove ammonia from the body.
Benefits of L-Arginine improving the immune system of Surgical Patients
In 1988, doctors from the Division of Surgical Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medecine presented findings at the American Surgical Association’s annual meeting that showed Arginine improves the immune system of patients recovering from surgery.
A group of 30 patients was used in the study and two groups received either L-Arginine or L-Glycine (another amino acid) for 7 days after surgery as a dietary supplement.
Benefits of L-Arginine combined with L-Lysine in stimulating production of growth hormones
At a study on 15 male volunteers conducted at the University of Rome in Italy in 1981, three researchers showed that L-Arginine combined with L-Lysine (another amino acid) increased the production of Somatotropin and Insulin.
Somatotropin is a hormone that stimulates growth, cell reproduction and cell regeneration. Insulin is a hormone that has a profound effect on muscle growth. Insulin is used by bodybuilders to boost muscle growth and recovery.
Interesting side-story about Insulin, while we’re on the subject:
Athletes figured out that Insulin improves muscle growth and recovery before doctors did. At the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano in 1998 a Russian medical officer enquired as to whether the use of insulin was restricted to insulin dependent diabetes. The IOC immediately took a look at insulin as a performance enhancing drug and banned it’s use.
To learn more about how to use insulin to enhance muscle growth and recovery, check out “Nutrient Timing” by Ivy and Portman.