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L-Arginine/ NOS
(Jarrow Formulas)

Supplements Descriptions

by Gary F. Zeolla

Arginine is considered a semi-essential amino acid. What that means is, the human body can manufacture arginine from other amino acids. However, there might be times when the the body cannot keep up with sufficient production, so an outside source would be needed. But since arginine is found in almost any high protein food, then a diet adequate in protein should provide sufficient arginine.

However, supplemental arginine is generally taken for two reasons. The first is its role in producing nitric oxide (NO). NO is a vasodilolator. This means it leads to an increase in the internal diameter of blood vessels. As a result, blood flow is increased throughout the body. The purported benefits of this are to increase the flow of nutrients to the muscles. This then is said to improve recovery rates from intense workouts. Moreover, it is said to increase the duration of a weightlifting induced muscle "pump." As a result, rather than feeling pumped for just a few minutes after a heavy set or workout, one feels pumped for several hours thereafter.

In addition to increasing blood flow to the muscles, blood flow is also purported to be increased to the penis. It is for this reason that arginine is often included in "sexual enhancement" products.

In should also be noted, that along with supplementing with arginine itself, there are various NOS (Nitric Oxide Stimulator) products on the market. NOS products are actually composed of various derivatives of arginine, e.g. L-Arginine-Alpha-Ketoglutarate (A-AKG), Arginine-Ketoisocaproate (A-KIC), and/ or Arginine Pyroglutamate (APG). The effects of NOS products would be the same in regards to vasodilation as to that of arginine.

The second reason given for supplementing with arginine is it's purported ability to increase human growth hormone (HGH) levels. As such, it is often included in HGH enhancement products, along with glutamine and other nutrients.

I supplemented with arginine at one time. It was back when I was undergoing NAET treatments for my stiff person syndrome (SPS). Glutamine was a major factor in SPS, so my doctor had me supplementing with it. But she also had me supplement with arginine at the same time. I took Jarrow Formulas' brand of both, the glutamine being in powder form and the arginine being in caplet form. I took both for several months. During that time, I do not remember noticing any vasodilation effects from the arginine.

Once I began lifting weights again, I considered supplementing with arginine or some kind of NOS product. But I never bothered to do so as arginine itself is rather expensive, and again, my diet is more than sufficient in protein and thus arginine. And I would say it best to spend your money on high protein foods, like meat, rather than an arginine supplement. Nuts are also a good source of arginine. But if you still want to try arginine, then I would recommend using Jarrow's Arginine. I have found Jarrow's products to be of high quality but to still be relatively inexpensive. 

Jarrow's Arginine is available from iHerb and Amazon. Additional arginine products are available from iHerb and Amazon. For iHerb, when checking out, use referral code HOP815 to receive $5.00 off your first order.

L-Arginine - Supplement Descriptions. Copyright 2004, 2008, 2014 by Gary F. Zeolla.

The above article was posted on this site on June 2, 2004.
It was last updated June 14, 2017.

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