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L-Arginine Supplements

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About L-Arginine Supplements

L-Arginine is a non-essential amino acid that the body can synthesize from the essential amino acids. However, though it is labelled non-essential, this should not detract from its importance. Some experts believe that the fact that the body has managed to manufacture these non-essential amino acids, even though they are often easily consumed through the diet, is an indication of just how important they really are. Some of the best sources of L-Arginine are pumpkin seeds, soybeans, peanuts, dairy, chickpeas and lentils.


L-Arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) is simply an Arginine molecule attached to an AKG molecule. AKG is an interesting compound, and a natural constituent of the citric acid cycle or Kreb's cycle. And for the scientifically inclined out there, AKG is situated between isocitrate and succinyl CoA in the Kreb's cycle. It may be that supplementation of AKG is helpful during recovery from injuries and wounds, as it may increase protein synthesis. It may therefore assist in muscle recovery and cellular energetics.


L-Arginine has many uses in the body, the most well-known and popularised is it's use for Nitric oxide (NO) production. NO is a gas produced in the body that signals the smooth muscles to relax, thus dilating blood vessels and allowing for improved peripheral circulation. This means more blood, which carries nutrients and oxygen, will arrive at the extremities, including muscle tissue. For this reason, many gym goers use L-Arginine to help improve muscle "pumps" and to assist with performance. However, it may be that the AKG molecule is just as effective, in assisting with recovery and muscle growth. Arginine is also used in the body for the natural synthesis of creatine, proline, agmatine and as a structural component of muscle tissue.



Arginine has been demonstrated in clinical trials to reduce markers of cardiovascular disease. This was reported in the journal F1000 Research in 2014. At 2,000mg (2 grams) per day, this amino acid was shown to reduce triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and even fasting blood sugar. Not bad for a non-essential amino acid. Though, medically speaking, amino acids are only categorised as essential or non-essential, meaning the body can synthesize them or its can't, arginine is labelled by some scientists and healthcare professionals as a semi or conditionally-essential amino acid. This categorisation has been suggested for some metabolically important amino acids, as under specific stressful physiological conditions, the body may not be able to synthesize adequate amounts of these amino acids.



Other research has demonstrated the ability of arginine to increase growth hormone secretion from the pituitary gland in humans, perhaps mediated by decreases in somatostatin secretion. This makes arginine one of the few natural  compounds to do so. Although the growth hormone may have you thinking about muscle bound people, pumping iron—and a lot of it—in the jym, this hormone actually has a more complex role than this. Growth hormone actually supports the regeneration of many soft tissues, such as tendons, ligaments and collagen, as well as supporting muscle mass repair and growth. This makes arginine quite a unique amino acid for supporting the various soft tissues of the body, and also recovery from sports and exercise. This biological effect was reported all the way back in 1982, in Clinical and Translational Endocrinology.