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Healing Injuries: L-Arginine and nitric oxide (NO) have significant effects on muscle metabolism and recovery. NO has beneficial effects on collagen synthesis and wound healing. NO has also been shown to enhance tendon healing (5-7).
Nitric Oxide (NO): In mammals including humans, NO is an important cellular signaling molecule involved in many physiological and pathological processes. It is a powerful vasodilator with a short half-life of a few seconds in the blood. Research over the last three decades has shown that arginine’s main influence on metabolism and health is via Nitric Oxide production (8-10). L-Arginine remains the largest source of nitrogen in the body for NO production, its relevance and metabolism of NO has received much attention over the last decade. Nitric Oxide functions as: a Regulator of healthy blood pressure; a killer of bacteria and tumor cells; a messenger molecule to the brain involved in memory and thought process (11); a regulator of inflammation and the immune system (12); and many other important processes in the body. Supplementation with L-citrulline may increase the body’s production of nitric oxide (NO) more effectively than L-arginine.
Athletic Performance: Studies show that a combination of Arginine, Citrulline, and Ornithine (Tri-Amino) has been shown to increase exercise performance (13). L-Arginine has several important metabolic and biological effects, which include improving vascular function, being a substrate in the synthesis of creatine, and the ability to stimulate insulin, glucagon, catecholamines, and GH secretion, leading to anabolic and anti-catabolic effects on skeletal muscle. Both L-Arginine and L-Ornithine decrease muscle fatigue during exercise by reducing exercise-induced accumulation of lactate and ammonia, which allows the muscle to perform for longer periods. In addition, recovery time is significantly decreased after exercise and training.
Food and Energy Metabolism: Studies have shown that L-Arginine influences macronutrient metabolism (14-15)
Sexual Function and Cardiovascular Health: Increasing systemic levels of L-arginine has been demonstrated to significantly improve endothelial function in individuals with essential hypertension, compromised flow-mediated dilation, arterial stiffness, chronic heart failure, impaired glucose tolerance (MetS) and type 2 diabetes – all of which are common concomitant medical conditions associated with Erectile Dysfunction (ED). Supplementing ED patients with L-citrulline can provide systemic as well as sexual performance benefits.
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7. Lin, J.H., Wang, M.X. Wei, A.Q., et al., The cell specific temporal expression of nitric oxide synthase isoforms during Achilles tendon healing, Inflamm. Res., 50, 515-522, 2001.
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9. Morikawa, E., Huang, Z., and Moskowitz, M.A., L-arginine decreases infarct size caused by middle cerebral arterial occlusion in SHR, Am, J. Physiol., 263(5, Pt2), H1632-H1635, 1992.
10. Huynh, N.N., and Chin-Dusting, J., Amino acids, arginase and nitric oxide in vascular health, Clin. Exp. Pharmacol. Physiol., 33 (1-2), 1-8, 2006.
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14. Beaumier, L., Castillo, L., Yu., Y.M., Ajami, A.M., and Young, V.R., Arginine: New and exciting developments for an “old” amino acid, Biochem. Environ. Sci. 9(2-3), 296-315, 1996.
15. McConell, G.K., Huynh, N.N., Lee-Young, R.S., Canny, B.J., and Wadley, G.D., L-arginine infusion increases glucose clearance during prolonged exercise in humans, Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab., 290(1), E60-E66, 2006.