Arginine is one amazing molecule in living organisms. It is an amino, but experts consider it non-essential. It is non-essential, not because your body never needs it, but because your body can, by itself, make as much as you need. As such, you need not stress yourself over getting it from external sources. But then, there are situations where Arginine becomes conditionally essential. This includes when you are ill or have chronic stress. In such conditions, you may need to augment your Arginine intake with the amino acid Arginine supplement. But then, this comes with certain potential risks if you take too much. You know, no matter how good any substance is to your body, too much of it would have toxic effects.
The best place to get your Arginine is from the foods you eat. It combines with other aminos to synthesize proteins for your body’s needs. That function is common to all aminos. But then Arginine has peculiar benefits aside from this. We will talk about that in a bit. But to make it clear, some of the foods that contain good amounts of amino Arginine include red meat, fish, dairy, and poultry. When it comes to Arginine supplements, you can use them for treating and managing many health conditions. This use has strong evidence backing it. And unlike many other supplements, mainstream medicine uses Arginine supplements for both medical and surgical treatments.
Why Use Amino Acid Arginine Supplements?
People use Arginine for different purposes. Some people use it for preventing flu and common colds. That seems like a very simple condition. But talking about more serious conditions, some people use it to improve their kidney function following kidney transplantation.
Other common things for which people use Arginine supplements are as follows:
- Treating pre-eclampsia (Pregnancy-related blood pressure elevation)
- To improve sports and athletic performance
- As an immune booster
- To prevent gut problems and inflammation, especially in pre-term babies
- Supporting proper development of the fetus during pregnancy
You can even combine Arginine with certain medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) to manage or treat various conditions. For instance, you can combine Arginine ibuprofen to treat migraine headaches. You can also use it with chemotherapy drugs to treat breast cancer.
You can also treat weight loss if you have AIDS by taking Arginine with other aminos. When you combine other supplements with Arginine, you can:
- Reduce infections
- Improve wound healing
- Shorten post-surgery recovery time
Some people even apply Arginine to wounded skin to hasten the healing. People with diabetes may also find help from Arginine supplements if they have cold feet or hands. The supplement helps to increase blood flow generally in the body.
Arginine creams are also used for treating sexual problems. Men use it more often, but it can be helpful for women too. People have also used Arginine for dental hypersensitivity and dental caries.
Finally, intravenous Arginine injection has also been used in the past. Even to date, people still use it to treat recurrent pain that occurs as a result of blocked arteries. Health experts call this intermittent claudication. It occurs mostly in the leg.
Arginine injection may also treat:
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Growth-hormone deficiency
- Mitochondrial encephalomyopathies
- Heartburn from gastric problems
- Metabolic acidosis
- Pulmonary hypertension, especially in newborns
Should You Take Amino Acid Arginine Supplement Daily?
You can take Amino Acid arginine supplements daily as long as your doctor says it’s okay. But then, that should only be for the short term. Remember, you should not take any supplements except you have the go-ahead from your doctor.
Dosage is also very important. So it’s not first about how long. How much you are taking must be settled before we start talking about how long. So let your doctor help you with the proper dosage. Your doctor will even tell you whether you should be taking it or not.
But to talk about the safety of Arginine, if you take it by mouth, Arginine is quite safe for the most part. But you have to take it appropriately and not for too long. Short-term use alone is proper. Long-term oral use of arginine is not advised.
If you take too much Arginine by mouth, it can cause the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Reduced blood pressure
- Worsened asthma
Topical application is also possibly safe for the most part. Some manufacturers even add Arginine to their toothpaste. But even these should be used short-term.
Inhaled Arginine is also generally safe. Most people have no symptoms if they inhale Arginine short-term. The same goes for Arginine injection. But that is also only safe for short-term use. However, Arginine shots can cause the following side effects:
- Blood abnormalities
Pregnant women should be careful with Arginine in all its forms. The same goes for breastfeeding mothers. While Arginine supplements may be safe for short-term consumption, we don’t know enough about its long-term effects if used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. To be safe, it’s better to just avoid it altogether.
Children can also use Arginine so long as they take appropriate doses. This includes oral use, as well as injection, toothpaste, and inhalers. But be careful with high doses. A high dose of Arginine via injection is very dangerous for children. It can even cause death.
Natural Arginine Sources
You can never go wrong when you obtain your Arginine from meals. It is quite difficult to consume too much Arginine from food. As such, you can avoid all the woes of excess Arginine by sticking with dietary sources.
But then, we must admit that there are times when food sources alone would not be sufficient for your Arginine needs. However, this occurs very rarely. You should, therefore, discuss your options with your doctor.
Plant-based foods rich in the amino Arginine include:
- Pumpkin seeds
Rich animal sources include:
- Pork rib
In conclusion, while amino acid arginine supplements are very helpful, you should not use them long-term. It’s better to get your Arginine from food. But if you have special needs or your diet is inadequate, you can consult your doctor on the option of taking Arginine supplements.