The Science Behind L-Arginine

L-arginine Molecule

In 1998 the Nobel Prize was awarded for discoveries associated with the role Nitric Oxide plays on countless tissues in the body. Since then, many more amazing applications have been discovered, and the world has never been the same.

 

It's not just science that supports the benefits of L-Arginine supplementation.

 

What is L-Arginine?

  • L-Arginine is a vitally important amino acid that has been studied for more than half a century.

     

  • Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and protein is the building block of all living cells. The greatest portion of human body weight, after water, is protein.

     

  • The study of amino acids is making a major contribution to the understanding of many diseases. Amino acid therapies have been used successfully to prevent aging, prevent heart disease, enhance memory, eliminate depression, control stress, improve sleep, relieve arthritis, reduce herpes, arrest alcoholism, manage allergies, and much more.

     

  • The amino acid L-Arginine has been linked to enhanced immunity, the release of the Human Growth Hormone (HGH), greater muscle mass, rapid healing from injury, increased sexual potency, increased cardiac output, the reversal of atherosclerosis and many other health benefits.

     

  • L-Arginine has the ability to cross the blood brain barrier. The brain contains specialized transportation systems for amino acids. A “rider” is not necessary for L-Arginine to cross the blood-brain barrier.

     

  • Sometimes one amino acid can cancel the effect of another. This is true with L-Arginine - L-Arginine has an antagonistic relationship with Lysine. On the other hand, L-Arginine has a complementary relationship with Citrulline. Interestingly, animals instinctively eat one food at a time, and thus can get the full benefit of L-Arginine rich foods. Humans on the other hand often mix foods that are rich in both L-Arginine and Lysine, thus their respective benefits can be canceled by one another.

     

  • The body's ability to utilize amino acids can be adversely affected by an individual's advancing age, general health, organ health, the presence of infection, physical trauma such as injury, effects of stress, compromised nutrient absorption capacity, and imbalances of other nutrients.

     

  • One of the main causes of the body's decreasing ability to utilize amino acids is damage to endothelial cells (the longer a person has lived, the more likely it is that their endothelial cells will be damaged). A telltale sign of endothelial damage is a buildup of arterial plaque. That’s why it is so imperative to promote the repair of endothelial cells and enhance endothelial cellular function with botanicals such as those in the Embla Arginine formulation.

     

How a Simple Amino Acid Has Changed the Paradigms of Cardiovascular Health

The Production of Nitric Oxide

L-Arginine is able to provide the multitude of benefits stated above largely due to its direct involvement in the production of nitric oxide (NO). Together with an enzyme called NO synthase, L-Arginine is converted directly into NO once inside blood vessels.

 

Nobel Prize award winning research has brought the signaling molecule, NO, to the forefront of modern medicine, with the acknowledgement of its role in virtually every aspect of biological life. One particular role of importance is the way Arginine softens and relaxes arterial walls. As a result of the aforementioned effect, NO assists in the prevention of damaging plaque deposits, increases blood flow and oxygenation to various tissues, as well as assist the body in its efforts to reduce blood pressure.

L-Arginine Experiment

Figure 3 is taken from the L-Arginine research performed by the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology. It succinctly  illustrates the results from an experiment wherein rabbits were fed a high cholesterol diet for 12 weeks. Of these, half were given L- arginine, and half were maintained as controls. Fig. 3 represents the Pictures of the two respective groups following the 12 weeks of testing. The study concludes that "…arginine completely blocked the progression of carotid intimal plaques, reduced aortic intimal thickening, and preserved endothelium-dependent vasodilator function." From the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology (R.H.B., S.M.B.-B., L.P., M.B., J.C.F.) and Departments of Cardiology (R.P.B., A.M.) and Pathology (R.N.), Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

 

 
 

Veins Dilated by Nitric Oxide

Columbia University refers to L-Arginine as the "Magic Bullet" for the cardiovascular system. Over 10,000 L-Arginine citations were compiled by Columbia University researchers in their quest to document the clinical benefits of this simple amino acid. As a result, L-Arginine and its supporting role for cardiovascular health is now mandatory reading for medical students at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

 

The fact that L-Arginine is the virtual sole-source of nitric oxide synthesis has given L-Arginine a high visibility role in the nutritional support of a variety of human ailments. The L-Arginine phenomena is changing standard support methodologies in heart disease, immune function, adiposity-generated diseases, genetic growth deficiencies, high blood pressure, sexual dysfunction, and human aging.

 

As one of the most efficient dietary source of nitric oxide, L-Arginine is a must-have supplement for everyone who values personal health, performance and longevity.

 

Scientific  research and study as it relates to the many benefits of L-Arginine derived NO supplementation rival that of any other supplement on the market today.

 

Scientific Studies Regarding L-Arginine

It is important to note that the aformentioned and following studies are disavowed as product labeling or product claims and are ancillary, thus considered educational material ONLY. The studies cited may or may not be consistent with the loftier status of representing a consensus of scientific opinion, nor do they predict what L-Arginine or Embla Arginine will do for any particular person.

 

What benefits 9 out of 10 people may be very dangerous for another individual. These studies must not be relied upon for therapeutic or other health decisions because the study summaries may omit key information or the study conclusions may be obviated by other, better designed studies, or by matters relevant to individuals with a particular type of health problem. Anyone contemplating a change in health practices should consult their physician before doing so. These studies are included ONLY for educational purposes for their value in providing starting points for one’s own research about possible directions for one’s health.

 

L-Arginine and Increased Cardiac Output

In research conducted by Tokyo’s Keio University School of Medicine in 1992, patients were given intravenous doses of L-Arginine that produced rapid lowering in blood pressure as well as marked increases in the volume of blood the heart pumps per beat, called the cardiac output. The investigators concluded “our results provide evidence for the first time that systemically administered L-Arginine releases Nitric-Oxide in man.

 

Restoration of Sexual Function in Impotent Men

In a 1994 study by Drs. A.W. Zogmotti and EGA. Lizza of the department of urology / surgery at New York University School of Medicine, six of fifteen men who took 2,800 milligrams of Arginine a day for two weeks had renewed sexual performance, specifically improved erection, yet none of the men on the placebo did. The researchers believe that Arginine worked because it is a precursor of Nitric-Oxide, which plays a key role in initiating and maintaining an erection.

 

Reversal of Endothelial Dysfunction

At the Mayo Clinic in 1999, a six-month-long study was designed to examine whether supplements of L-Arginine could reverse endothelial dysfunction in people with coronary artery disease. Twenty-six patients participated in the study, and received either oral L-Arginine supplements (3 grams a day) or placebo. After six months, the endothelial function and blood flow throughout the coronary vessels improved in the supplement group, as did the symptoms of coronary artery disease in these patients.

 

Lowered Blood Pressure

In a study at Hannover Medical School in Germany, ten healthy men were given intravenous L-Arginine (a 30-gram dose) administered over thirty minutes). Patients experienced not only a decrease in their blood pressure readings, with the declines more pronounced in diastolic than systolic pressures, but there was also a 33 percent reduction in the clumping or aggregation of their blood platelets.

 

In research at Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo, five patients with high blood pressure (average readings of 155/95 mm Hg) were given IV doses of L-Arginine. During administration of the amino acid, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings declined to an average of 125/73, respectively.

 

Circulation Improvement

In another study at Hannover Medical School, scientists examined the effects of L-Arginine on peripheral artery disease, which involves the narrowing of blood vessels to the leg arteries, leading to symptoms like severe pain in the calf muscles during walking (a condition called “intermittent claudication”). The investigators evaluated thirty-nine patients with intermittent claudication, giving them either two daily infusions of L-Arginine (8 grams each), prostaglandin E1 (a vasodilator), or no treatment for three weeks. Those individuals receiving L-Arginine experienced greater improvement in their pain-free walking distance and their absolute walking distance than those on prostaglandins, while there was no significant change in the control patients. L-Arginine also improved the vessel dilation in the thighs associated with endothelial function, while prostaglandin produced no such improvement. The researched concluded, “Restoring Nitric-Oxide formation and endothelim-dependent vasodilation by L-Arginine improves the clinical symptoms of intermittent claudication in patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease.

 

Reduction in Blood Platelet Stickiness

At Stanford University’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, researchers set out to determine whether L-Arginine supplementation could reduce blood platelet stickiness in individuals with high blood cholesterol levels. They placed patients on oral L-Arginine supplements (8.4 grams a day) or placebo. After two weeks, platelet aggregation was modestly reduced in the people taking L-Arginine; an effect that continued for another two weeks after the L-Arginine supplementation had been stopped. The platelet activity returned to baseline levels eighteen weeks after the last supplements were taken. No side effects associated with L-Arginine were reported. The researchers noted that these findings were similar to those in previous animal studies, which found that L-Arginine restored Nitric-Oxide activity while interfering with platelet aggregation.

 

Research Articles

Dietary L-Arginine Reduces the Progression of Atherosclerosis in Cholesterol-Fed Rabbits - http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/96/4/1282.short

Arginine Increases Methylation, Leptin Sensitivity and Leanness in Laboratory Animals - http://circres.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/107/8/992

Arginine Supplementation Improves Endothelial and Insulin Receptivity - http://ajpendo.physiology.org/content/291/5/E906.full

Nitric-Oxide Encourages Fat Metabolism in the Mitochondria - http://endo.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/148/10/4545

Arginine Initiated Release of Human Growth Hormone - http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM196906262802603


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