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L-Arginine, the Prosexual Nutrient with Numerous Health Benefits

It's the disorder no one wants to talk about, yet according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 43% of women and 31% of men suffer from sexual dysfunction.1 Sexual dysfunction is broadly defined as the inability to fully enjoy sexual intercourse. Women generally experience it as a loss of libido (sexual drive) and/or the inability or difficulty in achieving an orgasm. Men experience it as impotence, known technically as erectile dysfunction.

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Based on hundreds of studies, L-arginine, an essential amino acid and one of the building blocks of proteins in the body, has become known as a safe and effective prosexual nutrient for men and women.

Here's why

L-Arginine is a precursor of nitric oxide (NO) in the human body. In the 1990s, scientists discovered that not only is NO an essential compound that helps blood circulation, but it is important to normal sexual function in both men and women. Without arginine there would be no NO, and without NO, men would not be able to have erections.

How L-Arginine works

Insufficient blood flow is a major cause of incomplete erection in men.
L-Arginine has been shown to improve blood flow to the genital area by dilating blood vessels and helping the penis to enlarge to its full capacity, thus increasing the size, hardness, and frequency of erections.

Nutritional expert, Dr. Jonathan Wright, explains the mechanism in men: "Molecules of NO are generated when an enzyme called NO synthase (NOS)—which is abundant in the nerve and muscle cells in and around the penis—strips away a nitrogen atom (N) from a passing molecule of the amino acid L-Arginine … and combines it with an atom of oxygen (O)." 2 

In other words, in order to produce nitric oxide in the body, a nitrogen atom must combine with an oxygen molecule in the blood. The enzyme called nitric oxide synthase controls this reaction.

L-Arginine has a similar effect in women

Higher blood flow makes clitoral and vaginal tissues more sensitive and responsive to sexual stimulation and helps increase the possibility of reaching orgasm. Although there haven't been nearly as many studies done on arginine supplementation in women as in men, one study found that postmenopausal women who took a supplement including L-Arginine experienced heightened sexual response.3 

Another study involving 77 women of all ages found that after four weeks, 73.5% of the women who took a supplement including L-Arginine experienced greater sexual satisfaction, including heightened desire and clitoral sensation, frequency of intercourse and orgasm, and less vaginal dryness.4

Stronger libido ... greater endurance

Both men and women report that L-Arginine seems to increase their libido or desire for sex, and some also report that L-Arginine gives them greater endurance and stronger, more powerful orgasms. Reports also suggest that L-Arginine supplements can improve fertility in men who have low sperm counts or poor sperm motility (activity).

Scientific studies

The powerful effect of L-Arginine was illustrated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the British Journal of Urology International in which researchers evaluated the nitric oxide levels of 50 men with erectile dysfunction. The men were given either L-Arginine or a placebo for six weeks. Nine of the 29 men (31%) given L-Arginine reported a significant improvement in their sexual performance. These nine men had low nitric oxide levels at the start of the trial, but their levels doubled by the end of the study.5

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It is important to note, however, that erectile dysfunction can be caused by a variety of factors, including aging, diabetes and other endocrine disorders. L-Arginine may be effective only in those men whose erectile dysfunction is due to low levels of nitric oxide. In fact, in one study in which the participants suffered from impotence for a variety of reasons, L-Arginine was found to be effective in only 17% of the patients.6 However, optimal nitric oxide production will ensure optimum erectile function, and for many people with sexual dysfunction not related to an underlying disease, arginine supplements will ensure adequate nitric oxide levels.

Animal studies

Studies done on animals provide some evidence for effectiveness as well. In a laboratory study, two groups of rats were given free access to L-Arginine which was dissolved in their drinking water. Both groups had greater serum and penile concentrations of arginine, and exhibited a significant increase in intra-penile pressure or "hardness."

Serum and penile tissue levels of L-Arginine in the treated rats were increased by 64 - 148% compared to control animals. The penile nitric oxide levels also increased nearly 100% in the L-Arginine treated groups compared to the control groups. The researchers concluded that these data support the use of dietary supplements for treatment of erectile dysfunction.7

The positive benefits of arginine go beyond sexual enhancement

This remarkable amino acid helps build muscle mass, enhance immune function, improve blood pressure, increase memory, and speed wound healing.8910 Arginine-derived nitric oxide has also been found to play a supporting role in the cardiovascular, immune, and nervous systems and has been validated by hundreds of studies.

L-Arginine is essential to several systems in the body. Among its many roles, L-Arginine:

  • Is a precursor of nitric oxide (NO)
  • Promotes circulation resulting in improved blood flow
  • Stimulates the release of growth hormone
  • Improves immune function
  • Reduces healing time of injuries
  • Plays a role in the formation of bone and tendons
  • Increases muscle mass, while reducing body fat
  • Supports male fertility, improving sperm production and motility
  • Reduces risk of blood clots and stroke1112
  • Supports normal blood pressure13
  • Improves vascular function for patients with angina14
  • Helps recovery after heart attack15
  • Helps prevent and treat cardiovascular disease16
  • Helps reduce growth of cancerous tumors17

Timing and contraindications

L-Arginine users say they can achieve a prosexual effect by taking it 45 minutes before sex. There are few reported side effects. The most notable is:

  • People with herpes - L-Arginine may increase the severity of outbreaks, but some reports indicate that it may also enhance your immune function enough so you are less likely to get herpes outbreaks.

L-Arginine is an excellent supplement for anyone wanting to increase his or her sexual arousal, improve performance, and overall health. The huge advantage this natural and safe supplement has over Viagra is that both men and women can take it, it's considerably less expensive (Viagra costs as much as $10 a pill!), and it's been proven to work in numerous double-blind studies.

Editor's Note:

The natural health solutions described in this article are available through many on-line retailers including those listed below. By clicking these links you help support the important alternative health research we provide.

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This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult with a physician before embarking on a dietary supplement program.

References

  1. Laumann et al. Sexual Dysfunction in the United States: Prevalence and Predictors. JAMA.October 6, 1999; 281: 537-544.

  2. Wright, J, M.D. and Lenard L PhD, Maximize Your Vitality & Potency For Men Over 40, Smart Publications, Petaluma, CA, 1999, p. 225. 

  3. Meston CM, Worcel M. The effects of yohimbine plus L-arginine glutamate on sexual arousal in postmenopausal women with sexual arousal disorder. Arch Sex Behav. 2002 Aug; 31(4): 323-32. 

  4. Ito TY, Trant AS, Polan ML. A double-blind placebo-controlled study of ArginMax, a nutritional supplement for enhancement of female sexual function. J Sex Marital Ther. 2001 Oct-Dec; 27(5): 541-9. 

  5. Chen, J. et al. (1999). "Effect of oral administration of high-dose nitric oxide donor L-arginine in men with organic erectile dysfunction: Results of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study." British Journal of Urology International; 83(3): 269-73. 

  6. Klotz T, Mathers MJ, Braun M, Bloch W, Engelmann U. Effectiveness of oral L-arginine in first-line treatment of erectile dysfunction in a controlled crossover study. Urol Int. 1999; 63(4): 220-3. 

  7. Moody JA, Vernet D, Laidlaw S, Rajfer J, Gonzalez-Cadavid NF. Effects of long-term oral administration of L-arginine on the rat erectile response. J Urol. 1997 Sep; 158(3 Pt 1): 942-7. 

  8. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H., Kenneth H., Advanced Nutritional Therapies (Nashville: 1996, Thomas Nelson, Inc. Publishers), pp 87-88, 93, 94. ISBN 0-7852-7302-6. 

  9. Hendler, M.D., Ph.D., Sheldon Saul, The Doctor's Vitamin and Mineral Encyclopedia (New York: 1990, Fireside), pp 209-215. ISBN 0-671-66784-X. 

  10. Mindell, Ph.D., Earl, Earl Mindell's Anti-Aging Bible (New York: 1996, Fireside), pp 23-24. ISBN 0-684-81106-5. 

  11. Broeders MA, Tangelder GJ, Slaaf DW, Reneman RS, oude Egbrink MG. Hypercholesterolemia enhances thromboembolism in arterioles but not venules: complete reversal by L-arginine.Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2002 Apr 1; 22(4): 680-5. 

  12. Lin PH, Johnson CK, Pullium JK, Bush RL, Conklin BS, Chen C, Lumsden AB.L-arginine improves endothelial vasoreactivity and reduces thrombogenicity after thrombolysis in experimental deep venous thrombosis. J Vasc Surg. 2003 Dec; 38(6): 1396-403. 

  13. Michelakis ED, McMurtry MS, Sonnenberg B, Archer SL. The NO - K+ channel axis in pulmonary arterial hypertension. Activation by experimental oral therapies. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2003; 543: 293-322. 

  14. Maxwell AJ, Zapien MP, Pearce GL, MacCallum G, Stone PH Randomized trial of a medical food for the dietary management of chronic, stable angina. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2002 Jan 2; 39(1): 37-45. 

  15. Amrani M, Gray CC, Smolenski RT, Goodwin AT, London A, Yacoub MH.The effect of L-arginine on myocardial recovery after cardioplegic arrest and ischemia under moderate and deep hypothermia. Circulation. 1997 Nov 4; 96(9 Suppl): II-274-9. 

  16. Chagan L, Ioselovich A, Asherova L, Cheng JW. Use of alternative pharmacotherapy in management of cardiovascular diseases. Am J Manag Care. 2002 Mar; 8(3): 270-85; quiz 286-8. 

  17. Novaes MR, Lima LA. [Effects of dietetic supplementation with L-arginine in cancer patients. A review of the literature] [Article in Portuguese] Arch Latinoam Nutr. 1999 Dec; 49(4): 301-8. 

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51 Comments

I have a questiom. Could I take L-Arginine after have prostate cancer? I had prostate cancer three years ago and now I’m cancer free. I had the brachytherapy surgery done. Today I’m having difficulty acheiving erections. I tried Cialis with little responce. Will this drug improve my erections?

i have diabetis mellitus, hiperholesteremija ,high blood presur, and impotency. if i take l arginin did i have succcesful sexual life. thanx u

I would like to know, how many mg arginine should I take everyday and how many before sex. Im 67 years old and nothing is the same.
      thank you

how many mg of arginine should I take before sex and how long before.
        thank you
          pina

For that purpose, take 3 grams about 1 hour before sex. If using citrulline, about half that much.

Just curious, what will be better to keep my erection solid for a couple hours, the “l-arginine” pills or straight N.O.? 


Thank!

You can’t take NO (nitric oxide) directly.

L-Arginine is excellent treatment for diabetes and erectile dysfunction because it dilates blood vessels and promotes protein synthesis and growth hormone. I had all the diabetic symptoms and I reversed them using L-Arginine. But beware , you should only powder and at least 10 grams but more like 20 grams daily. Also it’s important to use L-Arginine HCL(Arginine HydroChloride) because basic Arginine has a bad taste. Use it only in lemon juice with no sugar.

Thank you for the comment from Howard Beckman above but, repectfully, I think 3 grams is plenty for erectile dysfunction. For GH release the dose is about double that and needs to be taken on an empty stomach. For this dosage the capsules work fine.

powder form is much easier to take and much cheaper and it’s only a matter of taste. Basic arginine tastes very bitter but with the addition of hydro chloride in arginine HCL , it’s no issue at all. As far as dosing goes, everyone should experiment for themselves and modify it with their results, there were times when I took too little and too much and I only had an upset stomach once I took 30 grams or so.

I m 25, i am having the low erection & i am also having premature ejaculation problem. can you please advice, what i can do to recover from this.moreover i don’t have any disease yet.

This stuff will not magically cure your erection problems. However I would rathr take it than viagra and it’s bizarre un natural feeling erections. Arginine will aid in preventing weak erections and does it very well, but if you have saying impotence rom smoking, drug use, bad diet, etc it won’t do you much good. It’s not viagra and needs to be taken every day in cycles. Also it needs some time to build up in your system. But it DOES work, I will attest to that. However if you have a droopy member and want something natural then look into substance icariin. You can purchase a herb called horny goat weed that is standardized to 60% icariin on the web. Once again t’s a herb and needs about eight weeks to build in your system but Horny goat weed is amazing. They are looking for a way to isolate the icariin, form pills, and potentially use those to replace viagra, levitra, cialis and the like.
I hope I helped someone. You can do it naturally without criminally expensive, poisonous, pharmaceuticals. I did.

To Alex: For premature ejaculation, my suggestion is that you sign up for a class on Tantra. You will learn some surprisingly simple breathing techniques for delaying ejaculation. You’ll be able to “last” arbitrarily long.

L-Arginine will also help with “whiskey dick.” i am in college and believe me it has come in handy when i have had too much to drink. just take the l-arginine 15 to 20 minutes before and you will be able to get solid erections because blood will be rushing through the penis more easily.

Its honestly a life saver :)

L-arginine is sold in several mg pills. If used in lieu of 100mg Viagra, what would be recommended for daily dosage?

I am present prescribed with 100mg Viagra. Since l-arginine is sold in several mg dosages, ranging from 50mg to 200mg, what would be an appropriate daily dosage?

Who has the best quality Arginine? I was looking at this one. http://www.nowfoods.com/Products/ProductsbyCategory/Category/M002932.htm?cat=Amino Acids

What would be the equivalent of 100mg of viagra-when it comes to L-arginine? It is impossible to compare when the two equivalents are not known

send me more information about l arginine and its dose for enhance libido

I have taken viagra and tongkat ali but still no effect, I have peyronie’s disease, is L-arginine good for me?

U should take 3000 mg a day for over all health benefiets. I take one morning, lunch, and evening all on an empty stomach for best results.

I’m 74.  Will L-Arginine work for an old guy and if so, how much to take.

Should L-Arginine be taken with food or on a empty stomoch?

cant bejaculate from head during sex no feelings

Mr. Morganthaler, please use layman’s terms.  GH release?  Are you referring to penis enlargement?  And when you say to use 6 grams, you mean 6000 mg right?  And should someone do this permanantly to maintain enlargement?

I found out about arginine through a body building magazine that I was reading at my friends house. Anyways I’ve been on the Dr Max Powers Anabolic Stack (which contains arginine)  it for 3 days but I seen awesome results the first time i took it! I took 1 of the packs about an hour before my workout and i had one of the best workouts I’ve had in a long time. Recovery times are incredible and my pump is off the hook. I didn’t need almost any rest and i could push harder with more weight over and over again without getting tired. when I was done with my workout my pump was off the charts i could not believe my eyes, I thought this stuff was a steroid lol but all it is its an amino acid and yes I’m so glad i got it. Hope this helps.

I started taking 600mg 3 times a day of this a product with l-arginine in it. I grew about a 1/4-1/2 inch , thats how hard it makes your erections. Great stuff, get it as male supplement though and get the bonus meds to help stamina and endurance. L-arginine can increase incidence of herpes though. So make sure if your sexually active to take additional doses of l-lysine. If they’re in balance it will improve your whole anatomy functioning and prevent herpes replication.

L-arginine is a vital amino acid that plays a role in a number of physiological functions in the body, but is best known for its cardiovascular benefits. L-arginine relaxes the blood vessels which help with conditions such as erectile dysfunction, claudication, and atherosclerosis.

I would like to hear additional comments on this all-important subject!

what specific food substances contain l-arginine or how can it be found naturally?
what are the side effects of l- arginine to the human body.
does this substance increase the size of the penis temporarily or parmanently ?

Can we consume Arginine and Glutamine together, one after another within 1 minute in the morning on an empty stomach? Tq

i did have heard attacek like 11 year a go it ok to take 1 for me

At age 56 years old. L-arginine turned my penis back into a coatvrack. Helped the length and grith come back like in my 20s 30s. I tried everything. 4 kinds of testosterones did nothing but gain weight. 4 top enlargement pills by these guru’s of penis nothing happen. Then bought l-arginine 500 mg caps I took 8000 mg per day half and half. Wow! In one week! My man hood came back. I went small to a bat. I added horny goat weed. It seems to let me have sex for hours with my wife. She also takes l-arginine vand horny goat weed. Her sex and orgasums are fantastic.

Want to know more about L-arginine

Please comment about dosage per day

what would happen if you were to liquefy l-arginine and insert it into your uretra?

Is prelox safe for man of 82 years old?

Ed. Ludi

I have experienced dramatic improvement in my health since I have been consuming Healthy Chocolate on a daily basis. My company is coming out with a new product with L-arginine and maca combined with the healthy, cold-processed, diabetic-friendly dark chocolate. They call them “XoLove Bites” (sounds like “show love”) and they will be available on my website at http://www.lovinghealthychocolate.com in May or June. http://www.mxicorp.com/products/xolovebites/

Better blood flow can make clitoral and genital cells additional sensitive and attentive trusted essay writing service lovemaking pleasure and aids increase the potential for attaining sexual climax.

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Anyone else gettin’ a boner reading this article?

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