Arginine, also known as L-Arginine is an amino acid we both produce and get through food. The body does not store arginine like other amino acids. This is because it is such an unstable signal molecule that converts to nitrite and nitrate within 10 seconds and starts getting to work. It does not get stored anywhere in the body. Therefor we need to intake arginine through food every day or supplement it into our diet every day.
Foods that have higher amounts of arginine include red meat, poultry, fish, grains, nuts and seeds, and dairy products. If arginine is taken as a supplement, higher doses of 1200 mg or higher are often needed. (SPX Nutrition’s Extreme Cardio™ has over 4 times that amount in each daily serving.)
What does L-Arginine do?
In the body, the amino acid arginine changes into nitric oxide (NO). Nitric Oxide is a signal molecule. Signaling molecules are the molecules that are responsible for transmitting information between cells in your body. This signaling molecule is used and produced by nearly every type of cell in the human body and one of the most important molecules for blood vessel health. It is a vasodilator, meaning it relaxes the inner muscles of your blood vessels, causing the vessels to widen. In this way, nitric oxide increases blood flow and lowers blood pressure. Nitric oxide is a powerful neurotransmitter that helps blood vessels relax and improves circulation.
The importance of Nitric Oxide and how it works.
Nitric Oxide is a signal molecule of key importance for the cardiovascular system and it was also found to exert a series of other functions. We know today that Nitric Oxide acts as a signal molecule in the nervous system, as a weapon against infections, as a regulator of blood pressure and as a gatekeeper of blood flow to different organs. Nitric Oxide is present in most living creatures and made by many different types of cells.
– When Nitric Oxide is produced by the innermost cell layer of the arteries, the endothelium, it rapidly spreads through the cell membranes to the underlying muscle cells. Their contraction is turned off by Nitric Oxide, resulting in a dilatation of the arteries. In this way, Nitric Oxide controls the blood pressure and its distribution. It also prevents the formation of thrombi.
– When Nitric Oxide is formed in nerve cells, it spreads rapidly in all directions, activating all cells in the vicinity. This can modulate many functions, from behavior to gastrointestinal motility.
– When Nitric Oxide is produced in white blood cells (such as macrophages), huge quantities are achieved and become toxic to invading bacteria and parasites.
In fact, the discovery of Nitric Oxide and its role in the human body was so substantial that when scientist’s Robert F. Furchgott, Louis J. Ignarro and Ferid Murad made this discovery they were awarded the Nobel Prize of 1998.
L-Arginine is fundamentally important to your body’s health. There are so many things that L-Arginine is beneficial for. (some verified by studies and some still in the process of being studied)
If you only use one supplement L-Arginine is arguably the most beneficial supplement you could take.
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