L-Arginine, also just called arginine, is one of the 20 amino acids that make up protein. L-arginine is synthesized within our body and is more compatible than D-arginine which is another amino acid that makes up the protein in our body. It is technically a non-essential amino acid because our body does make it, with the exception of newborn infants who are unable to produce it and need to find it in food or baby formula. L-arginine can be found in high protein rich foods such as peanuts, walnuts, coconuts, milk and milk products as well as in pork, beef, turkey and chicken. It can also be found in certain seafood’s, oat and wheat cereals and chocolate. It is then synthesized within our body to produce many of the benefits that we see from L-arginine.
Even though we can find this in many foods there are many adults that simply do not have enough L-arginine in their body. This can lead to a delay in sexual maturity, glucose tolerance, liver lipid metabolism, as well as the reduced production of insulin. Most people will find that they have enough in their own body but may want more to reap the health benefits that come along with increased amounts of L-arginine. These include antioxidant properties to keep you looking and feeling younger, as well as better blood circulation in the extremities, maintaining erections in males, and healthy ejaculate and more sperm in males. For everyone it helps maintain the nitrogen balance in the body and it helps to remove the excess ammonia in the body which in turn helps with liver detoxification, reduction of alcohol toxicity, and better wound healing.
A person who is infected with a virus such as herpes should not take supplemental L-arginine because it can undermine the effect of lysine which suppresses a viral infection. Also pregnant women should steer clear, as should women who are nursing.