L-arginine is an essential amino acid. Arginine, a semi-essential amino acid, is involved in numerous areas of human biochemistry, including ammonia detoxification, hormone secretion, and immune modulation. Arginine is also well known as a precursor to nitric oxide (NO), a key component of endothelial-derived relaxing factor, an endogenous messenger molecule involved in a variety of endothelium-dependent physiological effects in the cardiovascular system.
L-ornithine is sometimes used as an alternative since arginine is metabolized into this amino acid, among other compounds. L-arginine is required for the body to synthesize nitric oxide, which enables the arterial system to retain its youthful elasticity. Nitric oxide also helps to produce endothelial relaxation factor, which is needed by the arterial system to expand and contract with each heartbeat.
L-arginine may also help stimulate the immune system. Surgical or traumatic injury greatly increases the body’s need for L-arginine, a key building block to maintaining healthy tissue and bone. L-ornithine may also be used for this purpose.
As a dietary supplement, take 2 capsules 1-3 times daily as needed, preferably with juice or water on an empty stomach, before exercise or at bedtime.
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