L-Arginine – Nitric Oxide (NO) Connection

L-Arginine – Nitric Oxide (NO) Connection
February 1, 2019 Sybil Skinner

What is L-arginine?

L-Arginine is one of 20 amino acids that you can get from protein in your diet. It’s typically considered a semi-essential amino acid. That means you can usually get enough of it from food alone.

If you eat a well-balanced diet, you probably don’t need to take arginine supplements. But if you have certain health conditions, your doctor may recommend adding them to your dietary routine. In other cases, your doctor may encourage you to avoid them. For some people, taking arginine supplements may increase their risk of health problems.


What does L-arginine do when converted to Nitric Oxide (NO)?

  • Supports Artery Health*
  • Good Blood Flow*
  • Healthy Blood Pressure*
  • Heart Function*
  • Energy*
  • Sexual Performance*

Your doctor may recommend eating arginine-rich foods or taking arginine supplements if you have certain conditions that affect your blood vessels such as coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, or erectile dysfunction.


Cardiovascular Health

According to the Mayo Clinic, arginine supplements which produce Nitric Oxide (NO) may have benefits for people with certain cardiovascular conditions. For example, they may help treat:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Clogged arteries
  • Angina

Arginine supplements may also have perks for people with the peripheral vascular disease (PVD).

Research has shown some contraindications for people who have suffered a recent heart attach. Please consult with your doctor before taking Arginine.



Research has shown that NO reduce arthritic pain and has demonstrated improvement in pain relief without the adverse side effects. This is done through improvement of circulation, reduction of inflammation and decreasing irritation of the nerves.



Oral administration of L-arginine in pharmacological doses induces growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 responses and stimulates nitric oxide synthesis. Growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 are an essential mediator of bone turnover and osteoblastic bone formation. While nitric oxide is a potent inhibitor of osteoclastic bone resorption because of this dual effect on the physiological regulator of bone remodeling, L-Arginine could potentially increase bone formation over bone resorption and consequently increase bone mass. Oral supplementation of L-arginine may be a novel strategy in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis (Goel, Jha, & Agarwal 2018).



Nitric oxide is an important marker of airway inflammation in asthma. Nitric oxide may have a protective role in patients with moderate to severe asthma. The investigators believe that a natural amino acid, L-arginine, that augments nitric oxide levels can decrease asthma exacerbation and improve the asthma care of moderate to severe asthma patients.



Cancer tumors are challenging to treat due to hypoxia (the lack of oxygen to the tumor) and the levels of blood flow to the tumor. NO aids with vasodilation improving the blood flow and effectiveness of cancer therapy. NO sensitizes cancer cells to radiation while limiting the DNA damage from radiation and boosts the immune system.


Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle Cell Anemia is an inherited and incurable disease. It takes a normal “round shaped oxygen-carrying red blood cell” and in cases in a “sickle” shape cell. This sickle cell travels along in the bloodstream getting caught and blocking the flow of blood and oxygen, resulting in the disease’s main symptoms of pain and damage to organs. Research from the National Institute of Health (NIH) has shown that “bio-inactivation of NO” is what is causing the constriction of blood flow, blood clotting, and end-organ damage. This being said it stands to reason that to increase NO bio-availability is vital to treatment.



Diabetes has become an epidemic in America. The effects of diabetes can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, and is a leading cause of kidney disease; it can cause blindness, reducing circulation to the limbs and increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Insulin signaling and secretion are improved with NO. NO synthesis is essential for glucose uptake, without NO, insulin resistance can result. Research in Endocrinology found that arginine supplements can help improve glucose tolerance in mice. This suggests they might have the potential for treating diabetes.


Immune Support

For example, a research review published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that arginine supplements may have positive effects on your immune system. Some doctors prescribe them alongside other treatments to help:

  • fight infections
  • promote wound healing
  • support post-surgery recovery
  • complement chemotherapy


Memory Loss

L-arginine, a precursor of nitric oxide, plays a prominent role in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of severe memory loss and intellectual deterioration in the elderly. The disease is thought to involve disruption of neurotransmitters in the brain. In a 2008 study published in “International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology,” Dr. Jing Yi found that L-arginine could affect the origination and development of Alzheimer’s (Agarwal, 2019).


Sexual Functions and Erectile Dysfunction

A study of 50 men with erectile dysfunction, measured the impact on sexual function after orally taking 5 g/day of l-arginine. After 6 weeks, 31% of the persons taking l-arginine reported a significant improvement in sexual function. All of the persons who said improvements had a lower than average production of nitric oxide before the study started. The results indicate that persons with inadequate production of nitric oxide may benefit from supplementation of l-arginine (True Libido, 2019).


Sports Performance

Another study, reported in Biology of Sport, found that taking arginine supplements before exercise increased the time it took for male wrestlers to become exhausted.


The list of Nitric Oxide (NO) benefits has also included glaucoma, chronic kidney disease, stomach ulcers, bladder problems, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), skin diseases, improving circulation, lowering blood pressure, delaying the onset of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and stress.


Where can you get L-arginine?

Arginine is found in several different food products, including:

  • Garlic
  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Leafy vegetables
  • Some fruits
  • Cocoa

For example, turkey, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, peanuts, and soybeans are rich sources of arginine.


Many people can get enough arginine from a well-balanced diet. But for those who need more arginine, supplements are available in the form of oral tablets and powders.


The benefits of nitric oxide can restore and protect a person’s health in many different ways. Nitric oxide is genuinely “The molecule of the year,” a real miracle.



Agarwal, A. (2019, January 10). L-Arginine effects on the brain. Retrieved from https://healthfully.com/379137-l-arginine-effects-on-the-brain.html

Goel, S., Jha, G., & Agarwal, N. (2018, February 21). Role of l-arginine in treatment of osteoporosis. Retrieved from https://online.boneandjoint.org.uk/doi/abs/10.1302/1358-992X.96BSUPP_11.CORS2013-008

Effects of l-arginine supplementation in adults with moderate to severe asthma (2017, May 30). Retrieved from https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00280683

L-Arginine helped me cure erectile dysfunction and get firmer erections. (2019, January 03). Retrieved from https://truelibido.com/l-arginine