L-Arginine: Uses, Side Effects, and More (2023)

L-Arginine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in foods. It also plays a role in various bodily functions, such as producingprotein.

L-arginine also affects releasegrowth hormone,insulinand other substances in the body. Your body also converts L-arginine into a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels and improves blood flow.

The man-made version of L-arginine is thought to work similarly to the natural amino acid in the body.

This article discusses what you should know about L-arginine - its potential uses, side effects, and interactions.

L-Arginine: Uses, Side Effects, and More (1)

In the United States, dietary supplements are not regulated as drugs, which means that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve a product for safety and efficacy until it releases it on the market. If possible, choose supplements that have been tested by a trusted third party, such as the US. Pharmacopoeia (USP), ConsumerLab.com, or NSF International.

However, even when supplements are third-party tested, they're not necessarily safe or universally effective for everyone. Therefore, it is important to discuss any supplements you plan to take with your doctor and ask about possible interactions with other supplements or medications.

More information

  • Active ingredients: L-Arginine
  • alternative name: Arginine, Arg, (2small)-2-amino-5-(diaminomethylidenamino)pentanska kiselina
  • Legal Status: Legal in most US states
  • recommended dose: May vary depending on dosage form and health condition
  • security considerations: Likely Safe (short-term use) - even during pregnancy and children; data on breastfeeding are limited; it may be harmful in people with certain medical conditions and interacts with some prescription drugs

Uses of L-Arginine

Supplement use should be individualized and reviewed by a healthcare professional such as a registered dietitian, pharmacist, or healthcare professional. No supplement is intended to treat, cure or prevent disease.

As with many natural products, L-arginine is used for a number of reasons.

Several studies have evaluated the following potential uses of L-arginine.

(Video) L-Arginine Benefits? [Side Effects, Supplements & Best Foods]

metabolic disease and heart disease

L-arginine may be of some value for people with metabolic disorders (eg, high blood sugar and being overweight) and heart disease.

But due to variability (significant differences) between previous clinical trials, the effectiveness of L-arginine is unclear.

For example, different formulations of L-arginine were studied. There are differences in L-arginine dosage (amount or potency) and length of treatment.

For these reasons, researchers performed a systematic review and meta-analysis (an analytical review of a series of studies) to better understand the benefits of L-arginine.

According to research, L-Arginine can improve blood flow in selected people. It can increase nitric oxide levels in patients with metabolic diseases and heart disease.However, the results of peer-reviewed studies are unclear.

More clinical trial studies of higher quality are still needed—particularly because of concerns that L-arginine maymyocardial infarction.

postpartum hypertension

postpartum hypertensionis a conditionhypertensionafter childbirth. The systematic review found insufficient data to draw firm conclusions about the benefits and risks of L-arginine for this condition.

Further high-quality clinical trials and additional data are still needed.

erectile dysfunction

According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), L-arginine may be effective for erectile dysfunction (ED).

The review also suggests that men with erectile dysfunction may benefit from L-arginine alone or in combination with other medications. However, additional research with larger, higher-quality studies is still needed.


In a systematic review, those assigned to women born with fertility problems benefited from antioxidants such as L-arginine.

These antioxidants do not appear to increase the risk of gastrointestinal side effects,spontaneous abortionmultiple births orectopic pregnancy.

Although this looks promising, the results come from studies that are considered to be of poor quality. For this reason, further high-quality clinical trials are needed to better evaluate the effects and safety of L-arginine on fertility problems.

What are the side effects of L-arginine?

Like many medications and natural products, L-arginine may cause side effects.

common side effects

Overall, short-term use of L-arginine in various dosage forms is probably safe for most people, but there are potential side effects.

For example, when taken by mouth, common side effects may include:

(Video) The Power of L-Arginine for Blood Pressure: Dosage and Side Effects Explained

  • Flatulence
  • diarrhea
  • low blood pressure
  • stomach ache

serious side effects

While L-arginine is safe for most people, some people are at risk of serious side effects, such as:

  • severe allergic reaction: Asevere allergic reactionare serious side effects that can occur with any medicine. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing, itching, and rash.
  • Risk of death from recent heart attack: L-arginine may increase risk of death after recent heart attack -- especially in older adults.
  • abnormal heart rhythm: For people with kidney problems, L-arginine can increase potassium levels, resulting inabnormal heart rhythm.
  • blood pressure problems: During and after surgery, L-arginine can make blood pressure more difficult to control. Therefore, it may be necessary to stop taking L-arginine two weeks before surgery.
  • tumor growth: L-arginine can stimulate the growth of certain cellsbumpy.
  • Abnormal white blood cell (WBC) count.: L-arginine can increase someleukocyte.

If you have a severe allergic reaction or any symptoms are life-threatening, call 911 and get medical help right away.


L-arginine may pose a risk if:

  • severe allergic reaction: Avoid use if you have a severe allergic reaction to L-Arginine or its ingredients (parts or ingredients).
  • Pregnant: When taken by mouth, L-arginine is POSSIBLY SAFE for short-term use during pregnancy. However, the long-term effects and safety of L-arginine are unknownhardhumans and fetuses.If you are considering taking L-arginine, discuss the benefits and risks of L-arginine with your doctor while taking it.Pregnant.
  • breast-feeding: There is insufficient information to rate the effects and safety of L-arginine in breastfed children.If you want to take L-arginine, discuss the benefits and harms of taking L-arginine with your doctorbreast-feeding.
  • children: L-arginine is POSSIBLY SAFE for children when taken by mouth (by mouth), toothpaste, or inhalation.If you are considering giving your child L-arginine, talk to your child's doctor (pediatrician) first. They will help you weigh the benefits and risks of L-arginine for your child.
  • Seniors over 65 years old: Some older adults may be more sensitive to drug side effects, especially those who have had a recent heart attack.Therefore, talk to your doctor before trying L-arginine.
  • recent heart attack: L-arginine may increase risk of death in people who have had a recent heart attack -- especially older adults.Therefore, your doctor may not prescribe L-arginine if you have recently had a heart attack.
  • abnormal heart rhythm: L-arginine can increase potassium levels, especially in people with kidney problems. And these abnormal potassium levels can lead to abnormal heart rhythms.Your doctor may recommend avoiding L-arginine if you have a heart rhythm disorder.
  • kidney problems: For people with kidney problems, L-arginine can increase potassium levels, which can lead to cardiac arrhythmias.If you already have kidney problems, your doctor may advise you to avoid L-arginine.
  • blood pressure problems: L-arginine can make blood pressure difficult to control, especially during and after surgery.That's why your doctor can monitor you carefully -- if you already have blood pressure problems. Your doctor may also want you to stop taking L-arginine for a few weeks before surgery.
  • Crab: L-arginine can promote the growth of certain types of cancer.For this reason, your doctor may want to monitor you or recommend strict use of L-arginine if this is the case.lark.
  • abnormal white blood cell count: L-arginine can increase the number of white blood cells.Therefore, if you are taking L-arginine, your doctor may want to monitor you and your white blood cell levels closely.

Dosage: How Much L-Arginine Should I Take?

Always consult with your doctor before taking supplements to make sure the supplement and dosage are right for your individual needs.

Although there are some human studies of L-arginine, high-quality clinical trials are still needed.

For this reason, there are no guidelines for the appropriate dose of L-arginine for every situation. If you are taking L-arginine, follow your doctor's advice and the directions on the product label.

What happens if I take too much L-arginine?

Little is known about the toxicity and overdose of L-arginine. In general, however, L-arginine appears to be safe for short-term use up to 20 grams (g) per day.

However, taking too much L-arginine may resemble the possibility of frequent or serious side effects that may be excessive or exaggerated.

High doses of L-arginine can promote tumor growth, and large amounts of L-arginine can also increase the levels of certain white blood cells.However, longer and higher quality clinical trials are still needed to better assess the safety of L-arginine in humans.


Use caution when taking L-arginine:

  • high blood pressure drugs: L-arginine can lower blood pressure. This may cause additional effects of blood pressure medications. If your blood pressure is too low, you may feel dizzy and faint. Examples of blood pressure medicines include Zestril (lisinopril) and Diovan (valsartan).
  • blood thinners:L-Arginine can slow down the blood clotting time. Therefore, combining L-arginine with blood thinners might cause increased bruising and bleeding.Jantoven (as war)is an example of a blood thinner.
  • certain diuretics (water pills): L-arginine can boost potassium levels, and some water pills -- such as spironolactone (spironolactone) -- can do the same. Therefore, combining these drugs can cause potassium levels to become too high, which can lead to heart arrhythmias.
  • diabetes medication: L-Arginine can lower blood sugar level. This could have an additive effect on diabetes medications such as insulin. if yourhypoglycemiaSymptoms may include shaking and sweating.
  • Medicines to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).: L-arginine can be used for erectile dysfunction. L-arginine can lower blood pressure, as can several ED medications, such as Viagra (sildenafil). Therefore, taking these drugs together can cause blood pressure to drop too low.

You must read a supplement's ingredient list and Nutrition Facts statement carefully to know what ingredients it contains and how much of each ingredient it contains. Review this label with your doctor to discuss potential interactions with food, other supplements, and medications.

How to Store L-Arginine

Since storage instructions may vary from product to product, read directions and the label on the package carefully.

Keep your medicines tightly closed and out of the sight and reach of children and pets, preferably locked in a closet or cupboard. Store the medicine in a cool, dry place.

Throw away after one year or according to the directions on the package. Avoid pouring unused and expired medicines down the drain or toilet.

Visit the FDA website to learn where and how to dispose of any unused and expired medications. You can also find litter boxes in your area.

If you have any questions about the best way to dispose of medications or dietary supplements, please consult your pharmacist or healthcare professional.

(Video) Can L arginine Boost Your Sexual Performance? | Urologist explains

similar plugin

L-arginine is a naturally occurring amino acid that can be converted into a chemical called nitric oxide.Like L-arginine, nitric oxide is also available in man-made versions.

For these reasons, nitric oxide is probably the natural remedy most similar to L-arginine.

frequently asked questions

  • What is the most common dosage form of L-arginine?

    L-arginine comes in a variety of dosage forms -- the most common is a powder.

  • Does the US manufacturer offer L-Arginine?

    Yes. There are L-arginine products that are made in the USA.

  • How Can I Take L-Arginine Safely?

    (Video) How To Take Arginine: Benefits, Dose & Side Effects

    In general, to safely take natural remedies (such as L-arginine), tell your healthcare provider and pharmacist of any changes to your medications.These include over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, herbal remedies, natural remedies, and dietary supplements.

    They can help prevent possible interactions and side effects. They can also provide good samples of the correct dosage of L-arginine.

Sources of L-arginine and what to look for

There are several different sources of L-arginine.

Food Sources of L-Arginine

L-Arginine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in foods.

Some foods that contain L-arginine include:

  • dairy products
  • speech
  • seafood
  • pork
  • red meat
  • watermelon

L-Arginine Supplements

L-arginine is available in many forms, including capsules and tablets. If you have trouble swallowing pills, L-arginine is also available in other dosage forms, such as liquid and powder.

L-arginine is also available as an inhalant, intravenous (into a vein), toothpaste, and topical formulations such as creams and gels.There are also vegetarian and vegan options.

What works for you depends on your preferences and your expectations for the effect. Each product may vary slightly depending on the shape. Therefore, it is necessary to follow the doctor's instructions or the instructions on the label.


L-Arginine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in foods. L-Arginine may have potential applications in metabolic diseases (such as high blood sugar and being overweight), heart disease, postpartum hypertension (hypertension after childbirth), erectile dysfunction (ED), and fertility problems. Overall, short-term use of L-arginine appears to be safe.

But as with many medicines and natural products, side effects and drug interactions still exist. Long-term, high-quality clinical trials are still needed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of L-arginine.

Before taking L-arginine, consult your registered dietitian, nutritionist, pharmacist or health professional to help you safely reach your nutrition and health goals.


L-Arginine: Uses, Side Effects, and More? ›

Taking L-arginine supplements can support heart health, reduce blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and support athletic performance, among other benefits. However, side effects of these supplements can include gastrointestinal issues and interactions with medications.

What are the negative effects of L-arginine? ›

Oral use of L-arginine might cause:
  • Nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
  • Bloating.
  • Gout.
  • Headache.
  • Allergic response.
  • Airway inflammation or worsening of asthma symptoms.

Is it safe to take L-arginine every day? ›

Although higher doses are often used in research and clinical settings, it's recommended that daily dosing of L-arginine be kept under 9 grams per day to avoid potential gastrointestinal side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, and bloating.

Is arginine safe for kidneys? ›

It rather accelerates functional decline of kidney and vasculature in aging. Thus, the long-term dietary L-arginine supplementation should be avoided particularly in elderly population.

Does L-arginine increase testosterone? ›

If you want to support healthy testosterone levels, L-arginine supplementation might help you "stay in the game." Animal studies reveal that arginine can help promote healthy testosterone levels. More specifically, it can promote secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH), which the testes use to produce testosterone.

Does L-arginine affect your heart? ›

Some research on L-arginine and blood pressure has shown that it can help lower high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. It can also be beneficial for people who have pulmonary hypertension, which specifically affects the right side of the heart and also the lungs.

Can arginine cause heart problems? ›

It has been proposed that dietary L-arginine intake may be involved in the development of coronary heart disease (CHD) via modification of NO homeostasis.

When should I avoid taking arginine? ›

If more arginine is present, the body may not be able to absorb enough lysine. People with liver cirrhosis or low blood pressure should avoid taking arginine supplements.

What does L-arginine do for your body? ›

It is necessary for making proteins and is commonly used for circulation. L-arginine is converted in the body into a chemical called nitric oxide. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to open wider for improved blood flow. L-arginine also stimulates the release of growth hormone, insulin, and other substances in the body.

Does L-arginine affect sleep? ›

In a word, yes. L-arginine affects sleep because it's a nitric oxide precursor. When nitric oxide is released in the blood, it relaxes blood vessels. This helps to relax the endothelium cells and neural firing.

Does arginine affect liver? ›

Arginine has been reported to have immuno-supportive effects, especially under catabolic conditions [8]. Also, it helps in liver detoxification by neutralizing ammonia, and may benefit in the treatment of liver disorders such as liver cirrhosis and fatty liver [9].

Does arginine increase urination? ›

L-arginine caused a significant increase in urine flow, urinary excretion of albumin and sodium, and lithium clearance in all groups.

Does L-arginine increase inflammation? ›

l-Arginine Decreases Inflammation and Modulates the Nuclear Factor-κB/Matrix Metalloproteinase Cascade in Mdx Muscle Fibers.

Does arginine increase load size? ›

Researchers discovered that the average ejaculate volume was significantly increased with L-arginine. For low sperm count, L-arginine is frequently effective for raising a count that starts with at least 20 million per ml.

How fast does L-arginine work? ›

How long does it take for l-arginine to work? Depending on your reason for taking l-arginine and which type of amino acid you need, it takes a minimum of 24-hours for the l-arginine to absorb into your body. In some cases, to see the full effects of regular l-arginine treatment, it could take up to three months.

Is L-arginine good for prostate? ›

Conclusions: We suggest that L-arginine alone might mitigate BPH symptoms.

Does arginine clean arteries? ›

According to the Mayo Clinic, arginine supplements may have benefits for people with certain cardiovascular conditions. For example, they may help treat: coronary artery disease. clogged arteries.

Does L-arginine affect your blood pressure? ›

It is found that L-arginine is better at decreasing blood pressure by reversing the causes of hypertension such as ADMA and Ang II than at improving the blood pressure at regular conditions. L-arginine supplementation has also shown great effects regarding renal hypertension.

Is 500 mg of L-arginine a lot? ›

Yes. You can go up to 1500 mg per day.

Does L-arginine affect lungs? ›

Dysregulation of Larginine/NO metabolism in the lung and airways can contribute to the development of chronic lung diseases, including asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and pulmonary hypertension.

Do you have to cycle off L-arginine? ›

L-arginine should also be cycled by discontinuing use after 2 months and resuming it after another 2 months.

Does arginine interact with anything? ›

It's important to know that L-arginine supplements can interact with some medications, including: Blood thinners, including aspirin and warfarin. Certain diuretics. Nitroglycerin.

Should you take L-arginine in the morning or night? ›

Many people may not be aware of this but taking an l-arginine supplement before breakfast is a good time. L-Arginine is best absorbed by the body when consumed half an hour before breakfast.

Is L-arginine good for anxiety? ›

A combination of L-lysine and L-arginine has been documented to normalize hormonal stress responses in humans with high trait anxiety.

Does L-arginine reduce belly fat? ›

Targets Belly Fat

Amino acids are fundamental to bodybuilding. L-arginine, although a non-essential amino acid, reduces the action of adipose tissue, which is basically belly fat.

Can you take arginine before bed? ›

Ingest 5g of L-arginine (or Arginine a-ketoglutarate, AAKG) 30-45 minutes before bed and you'll potentiate your sleep-induced endogenous release of GH. An ultra-high-quality form of AKG, like ProSource's Super AKG Powder, is ideal for mixing into a pre-bedtime protein shake.

Who should avoid L-arginine? ›

Arginine may interact with certain medications that lower blood pressure. It may also interact with certain heart medications and drugs such as Viagra that treat erectile dysfunction. Pregnant women and women who are nursing should not take supplements without first talking to their doctor.

Does L-arginine affect the immune system? ›

After arginine enters mammalian cells through the membrane-bound transporters CAT1 and CAT2B, it is metabolized by one of the NO synthase (NOS) enzymes to produce nitric oxide (NO), which is associated with immune suppression and results in the expression of specific markers and functional changes.

Can arginine cause pancreatitis? ›

Arginine is reported to damage pancreatic acinar cells. Arginine induced a dose- related necrotizing pancreatitis in rats, as shown by histological eva- luation, and an increase in serum amylase. Severe pancreatitis induced by 4.5 g/kg arginine was ac- companied by dramatic changes in the actin cytos- keleton.

Is L-arginine good for bladder? ›

We have found very high levels of luminal NO in the urinary bladder of patients with interstitial cystitis. Oral treatment with low doses of L-arginine, the substrate for NO production, has been reported to alleviate symptoms in patients with interstitial cystitis.

Does L-arginine help with bladder control? ›

Arginine. The amino acid arginine helps the body make nitric oxide, a substance that relaxes smooth muscles like those found in the bladder. Based on this mechanism, arginine has been proposed as a treatment for IC.

Is L-arginine good for arthritis? ›

L-arginine might therefore benefit RA therapy by reducing joint inflammation and also ameliorating bone destruction.

Is L-arginine anti aging? ›

Arginine is known for its anti-aging effects and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Arginine keeps your skin firm, plump and smooth. Arginine hydrates dry skin and restores moisture. Arginine is known for its anti-aging effects and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Does L-arginine increase estrogen? ›

In conclusion, L-arginine in low doses can increase estrogen levels and stimulate ovarian DAβH. Therefore, high levels of NO due to short-term treatment with low-dose L-arginine can reduce some postmenopausal problems.

How many times should a man release sperm in a week? ›

Some studies suggest that moderate ejaculation (2–4 times per week) is associated with a lower prostate cancer risk. However, ejaculating more often doesn't mean your cancer risk drops even more.

What happens if you abstain from ejaculating? ›

Based on a few smaller studies, abstaining from ejaculation may increase testosterone levels. In theory, increasing your T levels by not ejaculating might have benefits if your levels are low. Low testosterone can have a negative impact on your mood, energy levels, and sex drive.

Does arginine increase energy? ›

Arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid that is involved in protein synthesis, the detoxification of ammonia, and its conversion to glucose as well as being catabolized to produce energy.

Does arginine help get hard? ›

A study in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy found that L-arginine and Pycnogenol supplements helped a significant number of men ages 25 to 45 with ED achieve normal erections. The treatment also didn't cause side effects that occur with ED medication.

What vitamin shrinks enlarged prostate? ›

The best-studied, most commonly used supplements to treat BPH are:
  • Beta-sitosterol.
  • Pygeum.
  • Rye grass.
  • Saw palmetto.
Nov 29, 2022

What can I do daily to shrink my enlarged prostate? ›

  1. Avoid liquids a few hours before bedtime or before going out.
  2. Limit caffeine and alcohol as these may stimulate the urge to urinate.
  3. Eat a low-fat diet.
  4. Eat a large variety of vegetables each day.
  5. Eat a few servings of fruit daily, and be sure to include citrus fruits.

Why avoid arginine? ›

In fact, one study found that taking arginine could potentially be harmful to heart attack survivors. Excess amounts of arginine can also block the production of lysine, which is an amino acid used to treat cold sores. People with cold sores should reduce their intake of arginine by avoiding foods high in arginine.

Does arginine increase inflammation? ›

l-Arginine Decreases Inflammation and Modulates the Nuclear Factor-κB/Matrix Metalloproteinase Cascade in Mdx Muscle Fibers.

What effects does L-arginine have on the brain? ›

L-Arginine metabolism in the brain is very important for normal brain function. In addition to brain protein synthesis, arginine is a substrate for the production of urea, creatine, nitric oxide, agmatine, glutamic acid, ornithine, proline and polyamines.

What happens when you take L-arginine before bed? ›

L-arginine affects sleep because it's a nitric oxide precursor. When nitric oxide is released in the blood, it relaxes blood vessels. This helps to relax the endothelium cells and neural firing. Induced sleep is a positive side effect.

How long should you take L-arginine supplement? ›

Dosing. L-arginine has most often been used by adults in doses that vary from 1.5 to 24 grams by mouth daily, for up to 18 months. It's also sometimes used in gels and creams. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product or dose might be best for a specific condition.

What cancels out arginine? ›

The role of lysine

Lysine is another amino acid that is thought to help counteract arginine.

Is L-arginine good for blood pressure? ›

It is found that L-arginine is better at decreasing blood pressure by reversing the causes of hypertension such as ADMA and Ang II than at improving the blood pressure at regular conditions. L-arginine supplementation has also shown great effects regarding renal hypertension.

Does arginine increase anxiety? ›

L-Arginine Exerts Excellent Anti-Stress Effects on Stress-Induced Shortened Lifespan, Cognitive Decline and Depression - PMC. The .

Does L-arginine help with memory? ›

An important role in memory formation has been proposed to the l-arginine-NO pathway because NO is synthesized and released from post-synaptic neuron, and acts as a retrograde messenger directly in pre-synaptic neurons.


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