Non-essential amino acid. A regenerative, it promotes growth hormone production; slows down the growth of tumors and cancer by supporting and enhancing the immune system; promotes improved immune system responses to bacteria, viruses and tumor cells; supports healing; used in the treatment of AIDS and immune system diseases. Has been found to be useful in treating sterility in men.


Arginine can help with the following



Oral administration of L-arginine (700mg qid during continuous transdermal nitroglycerin therapy) increased treadmill walking

time until the onset of moderate angina in a small well-controlled trial. [J Am Coll Cardiol 2002;39(7): pp.1199-1203]


Low Testosterone Level, Female

Pilot research suggests that libido enhancement can be achieved by the use of L-arginine containing nutraceutical products also containing DHEA. [The Female Sexual Function Forum, Boston, Mass. 2000]


STD Herpes II

Arginine promotes viral replication of herpes. In some people, changing the dietary ratio of lysine to arginine reduces the frequency and intensity of outbreaks. Foods that are lower in lysine and higher in arginine such as chocolate, peanuts and other nuts, grains, peas, seeds, oatmeal and whole-wheat products should be reduced or eliminated from the diet. Lists of foods and their lysine:arginine content are available on the Internet.

A comprehensive list of foods and their lysine/arginine content can be found here.



Interstitial Cystitis

Arginine, three grams per day in divided doses on an ongoing basis, can reduce symptoms. In some people with herpes, the arginine may need to be offset with lysine. The body also uses arginine to make nitric oxide, which helps to relax smooth muscles like those found in blood vessels and the bladder. Based on this known mechanism, arginine has been proposed as a treatment for various conditions that may be caused by limited blood flow. Some researchers theorize that arginine’s effects on nitric oxide synthesis might help relax the bladder, making it a useful treatment for IC.

People with interstitial cystitis have low tissue levels of nitric oxide. L-arginine, a protein building block, raises tissue levels of nitric oxide and relaxes bladder muscle spasms to help control the pain of interstitial cystitis. [Journal of Urology 158: 3 Part 1 (SEP 1997):703-708. 1.5 gm. L-arginine orally daily for 6 months. ]


Erectile Dysfunction (ED, Impotence)

L-Arginine is the primary source of nitrous oxide (NO) – an odorless gas made of nitrogen and oxygen that relaxes muscles and increases blood flow to organs including the heart and penis. By facilitating blood flow through the erectile tissue of the penis, NO produced from L-arginine can give men erections that are bigger, harder and more frequent.

In a group of 15 men with erectile dysfunction given 2,800mg of arginine per day for two weeks, six were helped, though none improved while taking placebo. Although little is known about how effective arginine will be for men with erectile dysfunction or which subset of these men would be helped, available research looks promising and suggests that at least some men are likely to benefit. [Int J Impot Res 6: pp.33-6, 1994]

The dose can range from 1 to 3gm with meals, or up to 15gm about 45 minutes before sexual activity. Arginine is not recommended if you have diabetes, arthritis, cancer, shingles, herpes I (fever blisters, cold sores) or herpes II.


May do some good
Likely to help
May have adverse consequences
Reasonably likely to cause problems


Amino Acid

An organic acid containing nitrogen chemical building blocks that aid in the production of protein in the body. Eight of the twenty-two known amino acids are considered "essential," and must be obtained from dietary sources because the body can not synthesize them.


Chemical substances secreted by a variety of body organs that are carried by the bloodstream and usually influence cells some distance from the source of production. Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth. These can be prescription, over-the-counter, synthetic or natural agents. Examples include adrenal hormones such as corticosteroids and aldosterone; glucagon, growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, estrogens, progestins, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin.


Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.

Immune System

A complex that protects the body from disease organisms and other foreign bodies. The system includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response. The immune system also protects the body from invasion by making local barriers and inflammation.


Microscopic germs. Some bacteria are "harmful" and can cause disease, while other "friendly" bacteria protect the body from harmful invading organisms.


Any of a vast group of minute structures composed of a protein coat and a core of DNA and/or RNA that reproduces in the cells of the infected host. Capable of infecting all animals and plants, causing devastating disease in immunocompromised individuals. Viruses are not affected by antibiotics, and are completely dependent upon the cells of the infected host for the ability to reproduce.

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