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It's a semi-essential nutrient in the group of 20 most natural amino acids. It greatly decides the health status and developmental stage in an individual. Although it was first isolated in 1886, it has got a lot of attention lately because of its potential health benefits. Normally, it is self-generated inside the body, but can also be derived from protein-rich sources. People suffering from malnutrition or physical challenging conditions need it the most.

Benefits of taking Arginine:

  • It is effective in healing the wounds as it decreases the time taken for repair of damaged tissues
  • Maintains immunity and regulates the hormone production inside the body
  • Body builders have an advantage of increasing muscle mass as it triggers the body to make proteins that repair the muscle fibres thereby making it more dense and strong
  • It enhances the sperm production. It’s highly beneficial to males with infertility issues. Intake of arginine dramatically increases the concentration of nitric oxide. It decreases the blood pressure and helps in the treatment of erectile dysfunctions by relaxing the walls of blood vessels
  • Improves blood circulation as an effect of reduced pressure on the arteries
  • Stimulates hair growth as Nitric Oxide formed from Arginine opens the potassium channels to cells, improving the circulation to hair roots

Natural Sources of Arginine:
In a biosynthetic way, the body does not produce enough arginine itself and hence must be taken from the diet. It is abundantly found in many different types of foods, especially protein-rich sources like grains, nuts, wheat germs, chick peas, lupine and seeds which are derived from plants. Animal sources like red meat, cheese, milk, yoghurt, seafood, fish and poultry also have abundant amount of Arginine.

When should you take Arginine?
Despite of the numerous benefits of this amino acid, a caution is always warranted before opting for its consumption. It should only be used under the supervision of a highly qualified healthcare professional. One should decide to go for the supplement only when there is no other alternative available or if other kinds of treatment don’t work effectively. In the research field, this alpha amino acid hasn’t yielded positive cases in all fields and requires further studies.

When should you avoid Arginine?
In some rare cases, the use of Arginine was also associated with death cases, though the reports are not relevant enough.  Steroidal use of Arginine is not advised for people who seek to develop muscle faster. Caution is needed during treatment of Eclampsia which is a condition of high blood pressure during pregnancy.

Quantity to be taken:
There is no standard dose for Arginine. The amount of concentration differs in various conditions. The common dosage is 2-3 grams thrice a day. Safety is not ensured for using Arginine for a longer period. People with BMI problems might consult a doctor to know the right amount of dose to be taken.

Expert Tips/Precautions:

  • Heart patients should avoid the use of Arginine or at least consult a medical officer before doing so
  • It should only be treated as a medication and should not be misused by people from athletics and body building backgrounds
  • Not to be taken at any cost at infancy and child stage. It doesn’t promote baby’s growth at birth
  • People prone to allergies or asthma should use it with caution
  • Arginine lowers the blood pressure, so it should be avoided by persons already having a low blood pressure
  • Should not be consumed at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery