L-Arginine is an Important Functional Amino Acid
Lower Your Blood Pressure With L-Arginine
Benefits of the Amino Acid L-Arginine
L-Arginine for Cardiovascular Health
Vigor and youthful vitality are healthy attributes that support exciting and fruitful living, but they are often taken for granted during our youthful years. These attributes do not have to disappear with youth. They can be maintained or recaptured as we grow older. Proper nutrition is pivotal for recapturing them, and there is a cornucopia of foods and nutrients that improves your health and facilitates the recapturing of youthful vigor. L-Arginine is a prime example of such a nutrient.
Youthful vigor can be maintained when various organs and systems are working properly. In this regard, l-arginine is important because it plays a necessary role in maintaining the structural integrity of various tissues, particularly, the blood vessels and the skin. L-Arginine also supports the synthesis of some hormones that support growth, an important attribute of youth. Growth can also promote tissue repair and healthy organs.
L-Arginine is a functional amino acid. A functional amino acid may be loosely defined as an amino acid with notable and significant physiological effects. As a functional amino acid, l-arginine is generally more highly regarded compared to other functional amino acids such as tryptophan and tyrosine. tryptophan is an amino acid that helps you to fall asleep, whereas, tyrosine is an amino acid that boosts your energy and curbs your appetite. L-arginine is a very important functional amino acid because of the profound effects it has on the cardiovascular system and on growth.
A healthy cardiovascular system is pivotal for good health and vitality. L-arginine supports cardiovascular health. It helps to protect you against ischemic heart disease, peripheral artery disease and other vascular diseases. Your physical stamina and your ability to handle daily tasks depend on the health of your cardiovascular system.
Most of the cardiovascular effects of l-arginine are mediated through the vascular endothelium. The endothelium is a layer of cells that line the inner walls of the blood vessels. L-arginine helps to maintain the integrity of the endothelium. More importantly, it stimulates the synthesis and release of nitric oxide by the vascular endothelium. Nitric oxide is an agent that relaxes the blood vessels and prevents circulating blood from clothing. Consequently, it helps to keep the blood pressure low (albeit at normal levels) while organs are adequately supplied with blood. Adequate blood supply to an organ improves the chances of providing adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients to the organ so that it can perform properly.
L-arginine has a significant effect on the structure of the blood vessels. This functional amino acid is an important component of collagen, an important structural protein in the vascular walls. Collagen fibers strengthen the vascular walls and prevent them from rupturing. They also make the vessels more compliant (more elastic and dispensable). Therefore l-arginine would help to improve vascular compliance.
A compliant vessel can withstand significant changes in blood volume with little or no change in pressure. In a stiff and non-compliant vessel, a small increase in blood volume would produce a marked increase in pressure. The non-compliant vessel is more prone to rupture when vascular volume is increased rapidly compared to the compliant vessel. Additionally, compliant vessels can maintain adequate perfusion pressures to provide proper blood supply to organs so that they can function and perform properly. (Perfusion pressure is the pressure that pushes blood into an organ.)
Erectile dysfunction, impotency, is often a reflection of poor blood flow to the erectile tissues due to ischemic vascular disease. Typically, cholesterol deposits in the vascular walls of the arteries in the penies would block blood flow to the erectile tissue and impair erection. L-Arginine can open up these cholesterol-clogged arteries and improve blood flow. L-arginine can also prevent or slow down the deposition of cholesterol in the vascular walls so that impairment of blood flow would not occur in the first place. Consequently, good erections can sometimes be used as an indicator of good vascular health.
Human Growth Hormone
L-arginine boosts the production of growth hormone by the pituitary gland. Growth hormone has significant effect on aging as reflected by the points that growth hormone production usually declines as we age, and a rapid decline of growth hormone production accelerates aging. The growth hormone that is naturally produced in your body is often abbreviated as GH, whereas the synthetic form (produced by recombinant DNA technology) is often abbreviated as HGH. Growth hormone stimulates protein synthesis and fat degradation. It promotes cell growth; organ growth and increases in height in the young. It is also associated with numerous activities that support growth.
L-arginine can slow down the wrinkling of the skin and delay the aging of the skin. Skin wrinkling occurs when the amounts of the elastic elements of the skin, such as the collagen fibers, go down. The amino acid l-arginine is an important component of the collagen fiber as it is the case for the blood vessels. If the amount of collagen fibers in the skin go up, wrinkles would diminish and the skin would become more elastic. Consequently, l-arginine would prolong the youthfulness of the skin, a change that compliments the improvement in vascular health.
It is good to know that l-arginine contributes to the restoration of youthful vitality. It is also important to realize that yyouthful vigor can not be restored by only one nutrient. Other important nutrients such as alpha omega-3 fatty acids; powerful antioxidants such as lycopene, and energy-boosting nutrients such as vitamin B-12 must be included in the dietary protocol for better results.
More Health Benefits of L-Arginine
L-Arginine has more beneficial health effects than the ones discussed above. Some of these effects, however, may be extensions of the ones already discussed. Some of these additional effects of l-arginine are summarized below.
l Strengthens the immune system
l Promotes wound healing
l Prevents or reverses type 2 diabetes
l Prevents or reverses atherosclerosis
l Prevents or reverses macular degeneration
l Improves cognitive functions by preventing or reversing dementia
l Boosts muscle mass development with strength training
l Boosts metabolism
l Supports body fat reduction
l Preserves bone density by preventing or reversing osteoporosis
l Lowers blood pressure
Nutritional Sources of L-Arginine
L-Arginine is found largely in meats, nuts and seeds. Peanuts have the biggest content of this functional amino acid. The other foods with high levels include sun flower seeds, almonds, walnuts, hazel nuts, flax seeds and Brazil nuts.