There has been a little debate going on north of the border with Health Canada over the safety of the amino acid L-arginine. Health Canada
What is L-Arginine?
L-Arginine is a protein amino acid that is present in all life forms on the earth. It is an essential amino acid that is needed for normal body function and healing. It is especially essential for young children and possibly older people, as it stimulates the production of growth hormone.
Normally our bodies produce enough L-Arginine for normal body function, but certain injuries or conditions can cause you to not produce enough L-Arginine for your body to work or heal properly.
Some foods that naturally have this amino acid in them are poultry, pork, dairy products, seafood, nuts, chickpeas, soy beans, and chocolate.
The benefits of L-Arginine can also be gained from supplements made from plant and animal proteins.
The History of L-Arginine
L-Arginine was isolated in 1886 by researchers. In 1932 it was found to be necessary for the production of urea, which helps to remove the toxic ammonia from our bodies. In 1939 it was found to be necessary for the production of creatine, which is used by bodybuilders or athletes to increase strength and body mass.
More Benefits of L-Arginine
Some studies indicate that L-Arginine shows some promise in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, by reducing blood pressure and lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Another of the benefits of L-Arginine is how it also helps in impotence and fertility problems in men. The studies are still ongoing on L-Arginine, but it shows great promise in these areas. It can also boost your immunity therefore keeping you healthy and well. It also accelerates wound healing, which is greatly needed in the case of major burns or injuries.
What are the Side Effects?
L-Arginine should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women as it stimulates growth hormone in young children. If you have herpes, then is not recommended that you take L-Arginine as it can stimulate the herpes infection. If you are taking medication for high blood pressure, impotence, migraines, or any other problem, or if you have a history of kidney or liver disease, you need to check with a doctor before taking L-Arginine.
My Final Thoughts:
L-Arginine on its own or combined with other ingredients is great to be added into your supplement program. As a guideline for bodybuilding, I will suggest to stay within the recommended dosage that is on the bottle. Since L-Arginine is a vaso-dilator I will suggest that you cycle off at 8 weeks and take at least 4 weeks off.
As for Health Canada, I do respect their authority but it is also up to the consumer to not be so ignorant. To the users of supplements who are trying to excel, make sure that you know what you are taking, this will reduce any unwanted side effects. If the bottle says do not use if….., then do not use. Very simple.
Chris Belanger – VP Sales