What are the benefits of taking arginine?
Arginine is an amino acid, which means it is a building-block of protein. Even though we do obtain some arginine from the protein in our diets, and some is actually made in the body as a by-product of metabolism, there is not enough made to release the power of this amino acid to improve our health.
You see, what a chemist calls “L-arginine”, and the rest of us just call “arginine”, is used by the body to make nitric oxide. Most people abbreviate it “NO”, for short. NO disappears in a few seconds, yet it is responsible for relaxing blood vessels, improving blood flow, melting away cholesterol plaque, and even killing germs. This molecule is so important to health that it was named “Molecule of the Year” in 1992, and in 1998 the Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to the researchers who identified this “magic bullet.”
Despite its life-enhancing properties, few people know about NO or where it comes from. Most doctors don’t even know what this incredible molecule can do for health. Yet the AP press release for the Nobel Prize winners stated that “the body uses nitric oxide gas to make blood vessels relax and widen—a finding that could pay off in treatments for heart disease.”
The problem with “heart disease” isn’t the heart—it is the blood flow to the heart. Stroke is not caused by problems with the brain, it is caused by poor blood flow to the brain, and loss of brain tissue due to that poor flow. People with diabetes know the risks of poor blood flow to the legs, can result in amputations and a lifetime of disability. Even 90% of erectile dysfunction is due to poor blood flow! Imagine a “magic bullet” which could support the blood flow throughout the entire body!
How can you put this remarkable science to work in your body? Increasing your arginine intake will increase your production of nitric oxide, since the only thing the body requires to make this substance is arginine. Experts agree we need at least 5,000 mg of supplemental arginine for our bodies to benefit from this wonderful science.
What kind of arginine should I take?
Before you rush to your health food store for some arginine pills, consider this: even the Physician’s Desk Reference, long hailed by physicians as the final reference on medicines and supplements, states that only about 20% of pills are typically absorbed. So if you want to get 5,000 mg of arginine, and choose to use 500 mg pills, realize it may take up to 50 pills to get enough arginine into your system. Powders are better absorbed than pills, but only if you wait the 20 minutes necessary for the powder to fully dissolve. Most people just will not wait. That is why I recommend liquid arginine supplements, because the ingredients are already fully dissolved and will be absorbed best.
Why shouldn’t I take arginine by itself?
The latest science suggests that we should not take arginine by itself. When we add citrulline and antioxidants to our arginine, we get a blend of ingredients working together to make the nitric oxide last longer, work better, and deliver more cell-supporting antioxidants to each tissue in the body. This can result in feeling younger and enjoying life more fully than ever!