L-Arginine Helps Circulation, Blood Pressure, Men's Health

June 12, 2016

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L-Arginine Helps Circulation, Blood Pressure, Men's Health
L-arginine is a type of amino acid, the structures which make up proteins. Like all amino acids, L-arginine is considered a ‘building block’ and plays very important roles in many different bodily functions. One of the biggest benefits of L-arginine is its ability to improve circulation and blood flow throughout the body. In doing so, L-arginine helps improve cardiovascular health by lowering high blood pressure and lowering the risk for arteriosclerosis. Additionally, L-arginine helps improve exercise performance and can even help erectile dysfunction.

L-ariginine works by improving levels of friendly nitric oxide, endothelial nitric oxide (eNOS), in the circulation. Nitric oxide is essential for the healthy function of the circulatory system. It is also known as endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF), as it is continuously released by endothelial cells that line the inner walls of healthy blood vessels. This enables blood vessels to relax, supporting healthy blood pressure levels, and promoting the circulatory delivery of nutrients throughout the body.

Another health concern in which L-arginine is beneficial for is erectile dysfunction. Whenever a man struggles with this, it is often a symptom of a larger cardiovascular problem. Achieving an erection requires relaxation of the smooth muscle and dilation of the arteries entering the penis triggered by the release of nitric oxide from the walls of the blood vessels. However, when plaque builds up in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, you reduce your capacity to produce nitric oxide. Impotence medications work by influencing the pathways which stimulate nitric oxide production, but of course they are not without side effects. Supplementing with L-arginine is a natural way to enhance nitric oxide capabilities and support impaired endothelial lining function.

L-arginine can also be used to help boost athletic performance. Since it encourages blood flow, supplementing with L-arginine helps to bring more oxygen and nutrients to the muscle tissue. More specifically, research shows that it has the net effect of helping branch chain amino acids get into muscles, allowing protein to work properly in muscles. L-arginine can also facilitate the removal of exercise-induced lactic acid build-up which reduces fatigue and recovery time.

Our bodies produce some L-arginine on their own, but the amount depends on different factors. Production naturally decreases as we age, with higher amounts of inflammation in the body and with excess plaquing along the walls of the arteries. Low levels of protein in the diet, poor digestive health in which protein is not broken down well and properly assimilated in the body, high levels of stress and inflammation along with being overweight are all factors which can also impair L-arginine production. If any of these health factors apply to you, then supplementation is a great way to boost dietary intake of L-arginine and support overall circulation and associated health concerns.

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