Canadian Health&Care Mall: The Role of L-arginine in Erectile Function
What do we know about L-arginine? It’s the amino acid that assists in the process of making proteins. However, as long as it turns into NO (nitric oxide) in the human body, it appears to be essential for proper erectile function. Why so? The gas itself allows the blood vessels to relax, thus much more oxygen-rich blood circulates through the arteries. Eventually, when the blood flow is healthy, no impotence or other related issues ever occur.
No wonder, over the past years L-arginine has managed to become the so-called natural treatment option when it comes to male sexual problems. And as long as it is a pretty common acid, a sufferer can manage to find it any place where supplements and vitamins are sold.
Scientific Studies on L-arginine for ED
By now, there have been only two major scientific studies that aimed at confirming the effectiveness of the amino acid in the process of impotence treatment. And they both showed that men could benefit from this treatment type more. However, it is also important to take into account that impotence is provoked by the number of factors other than physiological only. This is why in some cases L-arginine might be not as helpful as you wish it to.
At first, potent effects of L-arginine were proven during a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. The research was published by the British Journal of Urology International. Its results illustrated the levels of nitric oxide in 50 men with impotence issues at different stages. The participants were divided into two groups: the first one took the placebo, while the second – L-arginine. The study lasted for 6 weeks. By the end of the treatment course, 31% of L-arginine patients reported positive changes in their sexual ability and performance. They all had pretty low levels of NO at the very beginning, yet the levels doubled by the end of the course.
Nevertheless, we’d like to point out that as erectile dysfunction is provoked by a complex of factors (diseases, aging, endocrine disorders, hormonal changes and genetics), the amino acid might be effective only in those males, whose impotence occurred due to low levels of nitric oxide. However, some researchers insist that when NO levels are optimal, other provokers can become less active and chances for recovery get higher.
How Does Amino Acid Actually Work?
Let’s have a clearer picture of what L-arginine really is. We all know it’s an amino acid. But what amino acids are? These are powerful chemical building blocks of protein in the human body. L-arginine is just one of them but it proves its efficacy when it comes to sperm production and motility. It’s a known fact that poor circulation is one of the reasons why impotence takes its place. The amino acid helps to improve it, prevent heart attacks, strokes, and ED.
As the flow of blood to the genital area is improved due to the dilation of blood vessels, the penis enlarges to the full capacity, gets bigger in hardness, size and the frequency of erections, of course. Here’s how experts explain the mechanism: NO molecules are usually generated when NO synthase strips away a nitrogen atom from the amino acid molecule passing by and manages to combine it with the O atom. NOS is abundant in the muscle and nerve cells around and in the penis.
This is how L-arginine eliminates erectile dysfunction and creates stronger erections. By the way, popular impotence drugs (e.g. Viagra) have a similar action method.
L-arginine is regarded as a semi-essential amino acid that makes the body work properly. The human body is able to produce the acid itself, and it needs more of it when something goes really wrong. This is exactly why it should be included into our diet to satisfy all needs.
Relatively high L-arginine doses are 3 grams and above. They help to achieve the expected result by increasing its levels in the blood plasma. It is said that the stomach never has any problems even when the doses get as high as 15 grams. Keep in mind that 3 grams is the minimum daily dose and practically has no effect on the production of NO.
L-arginine for Females
Does the amino acid have a similar effect in females? Let’s make things clear: a high flow of blood makes the vaginal and clitoral tissues more sensitive and definitely more responsive to sexual stimulation. It allows increasing the orgasm possibilities. When it comes to females, very little studies were conducted when compared to males. There was a study that illustrated the changes in postmenopausal women, who took L-arginine supplements: they all experienced increased sexual response.
Another research included 77 women of different ages. It illustrated that after a month around 74% of them experienced greater sexual satisfaction thanks to this amino acid. Other improvements included heightened clitoral sensation and desire, less vaginal dryness and frequency of intercourse and orgasm.
Adverse Reactions: Are There Any?
Along with most other supplements, L-arginine has several side effects. Not all patients experience them, yet at least two or three appear once in a while:
- Increased bleeding risks;
- Decreased blood pressure;
- Stomach upsets and other digestive complaints;
- Low blood sugar levels;
- Minor breathing problems;
- Unhealthy potassium imbalance;
- Increased stomach acid.
We insist on being very careful when taking L-arginine and other prescribed ED meds (Viagra, Cialis or Levitra). As long as the amino acid can provoke the drop of blood pressure, males on blood pressure control medications are to be very careful, too. Have you recently had a heart attack? Refuse from the supplement. Always take only recommended doses to avoid the occurrence of toxic NO levels.
L-arginine vs. Viagra
Why do millions of males keep taking Viagra (Sildenafil Citrate) if L-arginine promises such great results for ED sufferers? To tell the truth, most males are aiming at having immediate results and aren’t patient enough to give L-arginine some time. The amino acid never works the way ED drugs do. It firstly manufacturers NO while ED meds make their best even when NO levels are pretty low.
It’s up to you to decide which way to go. Yet, we suggest having a professional consultation first and seeing what works better in your case.