L-arginine is a semi-essential amino acid, found in all foods containing proteins. Animal sources are dairy products, meats, poultry and seafood. Vegetable sources are mainly wheat, flour, buckwheat oatmeal and nuts. In the body, L-arginine has multi benefits and functions, of which the most important is being the precursor of nitric oxide (NO) and the increased production of growth hormone.
In 1998, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was given for specific research concerning nitric oxide and its conversion from arginine. The amino acid L-arginine improves the circulation and oxygen supply of the coronary and peripheral vessels through the release of nitric oxide. When people take L-arginine, the nitric oxide level in the blood increases. Nitric oxide relaxes the walls of the blood vessels and thereby improves the circulation in the whole body. Furthermore, L-arginine increases the nitric oxide level, which makes the arteries more elastic. This effect can lower blood pressure and oxygen can reach the organs quicker through the blood which on the whole has a positive effect.
Nitric oxide (NO)
L-arginine in combination with oxygen and multiple enzymes creates NO, which is also known as ‘endothelium-derived relaxing factor. Arginine contains four nitrogen atoms per molecule, making it the most abundant nitrogen carrier in humans and animals.
The endothelium (inner lining) of blood vessels use nitric oxide to signal the surrounding smooth muscle to relax, thus resulting in vasodilation and increased blood flow (see figure 1 This results in multiple benefits, including better performance during exercise, faster recovery, more lean body mass, warmer hands and feet, better sleep, increased libido and sexual performance, improved alertness, concentration and memory and positive effects on the cardiovascular system.
L-arginine plays an important role in the stimulation of growth hormone. By doing this, the body goes into a more anabolic (build-up) state, which results in more lean body mass and more fat burning. To get a significant amount of L-arginine in the brain, Recover-Me uses a special form of L-arginine, namely L-arginine L-pidolate. This specific form passes through the blood-brain barrier more easily in order to perform its function in the brain instead of only in the rest of the body.
L-arginine L-pidolate and memory
The amino acid (L-Pidolate) L-pidolic acid (L-pyroglutamic acid), coupled to L-arginine in Recover-me is a naturally occurring substance in the brain. Here it plays an important role as messenger and can therefore have a positive influence on cognitive ability, memory and learning.
Arginine in Recover-Me
The focus of Recover-Me is to increase the L-arginine levels in the body and the brain, in order to increase nitric oxide production and to increase growth hormone levels, in order to slow down the aging process. The available L-arginine found in the body arises from the transformation of the L-arginine (L-pidolate) and by L-glutamine (which is converted to L-citrulline and later on into L-arginine). The L-arginine L-pidolate can cross the blood-brain barrier more easily, which accounts for the higher L-arginine levels in the brain.
Mechanisms of Action
Larginine has significant effects on endocrine function – particularly adrenal and pituitary secretion – in humans and animals. L-arginine administration has long been known to stimulate the release of catecholamines, insulin and glucagon, prolactin, and growth hormone (GH). Little is known, however, about the exact mechanism by which arginine exerts these effects. L-arginine is the biologic precursor of nitric oxide (NO), an endogenous messenger molecule involved in a variety of endothelium-dependent physiological effects in the cardiovascular system. As the precursor to nitric oxide, many of arginine’s clinical effects are thought to be mediated by its effects on endothelial-derived relaxing factor. An immense quantity of research has explored the biological roles and properties of nitric oxide, which appears to be of critical importance in maintenance of normal blood pressure, myocardial function, inflammatory response, apoptosis, and protection against oxidative damage. L-arginine is also a critical component of vasopressin (anti-diuretic hormone). Arginine is a potent immunomodulator.
Benefits of arginine
- L-arginine is one thousand times more powerful than any naturally occurring antioxidant in the body.
- L-arginine’s antioxidant properties support various body systems and may protect against heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, as well as slowing premature aging.
- Nitric oxide offers wide-ranging cardiovascular support,
- Including the control of blood pressure and plaque formation.
- Nitric oxide keeps arteries relaxed and pliable for normal blood pressure, preventing hypertension and angina. Nitric oxide enhances memory, particularly long-term memory, and may help to reverse the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Nitric oxide may help in the treatment and prevention of diabetes since many disease complications, including poor circulation and blindness, are vascular in nature. L-arginine is also found to regulate insulin secretion in the pancreas.
- Nitric oxide enhances communication of messenger cells between nerves and the brain.
- Nitric oxide may help improve immune function and fight bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections.
- L-arginine, through nitric oxide production, boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which has anti-aging properties.
- Nitric oxide helps with cholesterol control by lowering serum and LDL cholesterol levels. It also helps to repair damage to the endothelium caused by LDL (Bad) cholesterol.
- Nitric oxide enhances male sexual performance by treating vascular erectile dysfunction or ED.
- Nitric oxide keeps blood platelet cells from sticking together to reduce the chance for blood clotting that could lead to a heart attack or stroke.
- L-arginine, through nitric oxide production, reduces pregnancy-related hypertension, a risk factor for both the expecting mother and the unborn child.
- Nitric oxide can be useful in the treatment of asthma by opening pulmonary pathways for easier breathing and the treatment of lung disorders.
- Nitric oxide helps to regulate the digestive process
- Nitric oxide relaxes hypertonic sphincter muscles, preventing and healing hemorrhoids.
- L-arginine, through nitric oxide production, boosts lean muscle mass and preserves bone density by encouraging HGH production, which also leads to a reduction in fatty tissue. Because of this, it may be useful in weight management and strength training.
- Nitric oxide can help offset cardiovascular and lung damage caused by tobacco use, since nitric oxide levels in smokers are less than half of those found in non-smokers.
- Nitric oxide helps to accelerate wound healing and post-surgery recovery. Research has shown it is useful in treating burn wounds and stimulates wound healing in the elderly.
- L-arginine is useful in enhancing athletic performance due to improved circulation and the ability to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles and organs. This boosts exercise tolerance, improves lung function, and can stimulate HGH levels. This all helps to build lean muscle tissue while improving training, performance, and recovery in all types of exercise programs.
- Nitric oxide prevents and reverses the effects of osteoporosis by positively affecting bone mass.
- L-arginine, and its ability to create nitric oxide, has been used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and to reduce the occurrence of ulcers, especially stress related, without affecting gastric acid production.