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Home / Health Insurance / Articles / Ayurvedic Medicine / L-Arginine Medicines: Overview, Functions, side Effects, Risk factors & Doses

L-Arginine Medicines: Overview, Functions, side Effects, Risk factors & Doses

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

L-Arginine (LAG), an amino acid, is primarily used as a precursor to help the body produce proteins. It is naturally found in fish, poultry, red meat, and dairy products and is required for protein synthesis and for circulation.

LAG is classified as conditionally essential, which means it becomes necessary in particular conditions and circumstances, such as pregnancy, infancy, trauma, and serious disease. It is used to treat chest discomfort and different blow flow disorders, high blood pressure during pregnancy, erectile dysfunction, and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a deadly condition in premature newborns.

Although healthcare professionals believe that LAG is safe at normal levels, taking too much might result in serious side effects, including death. Before taking a supplement, it is also essential to understand how it may interact with the body and other drugs. Continue reading to discover more about the possible therapeutic benefits, side effects, and uses of L-Arginine.




What is L-Arginine?

L-Arginine is an amino acid found naturally in fish, meat, and nuts. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins that are classified as essential or non-essential. While the body can produce non-essential amino acids, essential amino acids are derived through dietary intake.

LAG is converted into a signalling molecule known as nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to dilate, thereby improving blood flow in the body. It is required for mitochondrial function and cellular communication in the body. L-arginine also increases the formation of insulin, growth hormone, and other hormones in your body.

Furthermore, it acts as a precursor to other amino acids, such as proline, creatine, and glutamate, which are necessary for the functioning of your immune system. LAG is essential for developing T-cells, the white blood cells that play important roles in the immune response.

Since LAG plays numerous vital roles in your body, a lack of this amino acid can alter cellular and organ functions, resulting in significant health consequences. It can be acquired through dietary protein consumption or produced from the amino acid citrulline through the breakdown of body proteins.

It is found in high concentrations in protein-rich foods such as fish, meat, poultry, nuts, dairy, and soy products. Research says that the average daily consumption of L-Arginine from dietary intake is 4-6 grams.

Uses of L-Arginine

L-Arginine has several possible benefits when used as a supplement. It can be acquired by taking supplements available in liquid, powder, tablet, and capsule forms. Some of the potential benefits include the following.

  • Growth hormone reserve test: LAG is used in tests to activate the pituitary gland, which can help ascertain whether or not children are producing enough growth hormone levels.

  • Reducing hypertension: A 2016 study reveals that supplementing with L-Arginine, both orally and intravenously, can significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

  • Correcting genetic disorder of urea synthesis: The urea cycle, which creates urea, a component of urine, requires Arginine. This might be used by your body to repair some inherited illnesses.

  • Preventing heart disease: According to a 2019 study, supplementing with L-Arginine is considered a potent treatment for cardiovascular disease and metabolic conditions. LAG may be beneficial in preventing heart disease caused due to narrowed arteries.

  • Treating erectile dysfunction: Low levels of L-Arginine may be related to erectile dysfunction (ED). This might occur due to restricted blood vessels. According to a 2019 study, people often use LAG supplementation to treat ED.

  • Alleviating inflammation of the digestive tract in premature infants: According to a 2017 study, L-Arginine may help avert necrotizing enterocolitis, a deadly intestinal disease in preterm infants.

  • Lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes: Since LAG can help reduce blood sugar, it can help diabetic people regulate their blood sugar. According to a 2018 study, consuming LAG may help lessen the risk or slow down the onset of type 2 diabetes.

  • Treating the complications related to pregnancy: Studies depict that LAG medication is beneficial in preventing and curing preeclampsia, a dangerous illness caused by high blood pressure and protein present in the urine, and gestational hypertension.

  • Improving athletic performance: Studies suggest that LAG supplementation may improve exercise performance by enhancing nitric oxide in the body which increases blood flow to the muscles.

Side effects of L-Arginine

Research results reveal that L-Arginine is safe and well tolerated when taken as a supplement, even when used regularly over a year or more. However, if you take it regularly in larger doses of 9 grams or more per dose, it might induce potential side effects such as the following.

Risk factors of L-Arginine

L-Arginine may have certain serious risks for specific groups of people. Some of them may include the following.

  • Lowered blood pressure

  • Higher risk of death after a cardiac arrest

  • Reaction with specific medications, including sildenafil (Viagra) and hypertension medications

  • Possible risks of kidney failure with long-term usage

  • Can promote tumour growth

  • Can cause adverse effects on people having asthma, liver cirrhosis, guanidinoacetate methyltransferase deficiency (a genetic disorder that affects Arginine metabolism)

Although there are risks associated with L-Arginine usage, most studies show that it is safe for most people in small doses. The dosage varies greatly depending on the ailment being treated.

When L-Arginine is used to treat preeclampsia, the dose may usually range from 3 to 4 grams per day up to 12 weeks, or it may be given until delivery with a doctor’s supervision. Pregnant women with hypertension may be administered LAG intravenously.

To minimise potential gastrointestinal adverse effects such as nausea, diarrhoea, and bloating, it is suggested that the daily dose should be kept under 9 grams per day. It is always recommended to take L-Arginine between meals for maximum absorption.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s a list of common questions about L-Arginine.


Why is L-Arginine used?

L-Arginine can be used to treat a variety of illnesses, which include reducing hypertension, preventing heart disease, treating erectile dysfunction, alleviating inflammation of the digestive tract in premature infants, lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes, treating the complications related to pregnancy, treating chest pain (angina), and improving athletic performance.

Can L-Arginine be taken every day?

Yes, based on doctor’s advice. 

What are the risk factors associated with L-Arginine?

L-Arginine may have certain serious risks for specific groups of people. Some of them may include the following.

  • Lowered blood pressure

  • Higher risk of death after a cardiac arrest

  • Reaction with specific medications, including sildenafil (Viagra) and hypertension medications

  • Possible risks of kidney failure with long-term usage

  • Can promote tumour growth

Does L-Arginine affect the kidney?

Prolonged usage of L-Arginine may accelerate functional degeneration of the kidney and vasculature with age. Thus, long-term dietary L-arginine supplementation should be avoided, especially in older people.


Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions. L-Arginine is written as LAG in this article due to certain constraints, it is not a medical acronym.


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