L-Arginine: A Beneficial Supplement to Boost Energy and the Immune System

January 27, 2014

To be clear at the outset, I am not one to suggest taking a supplement without doing your due diligence. There is good information on the Internet to help you. But ultimately, I strongly encourage anyone who wants to try a supplement to consult their doctor first.

A couple of years ago when I was training for a marathon I found myself short on energy. I tried a change in diet. It helped but it wasn’t enough. Then I came across L-Arginine and read about its benefits. I talked with my doctor who told me the supplement would be okay. He said that people with heart conditions should not take L-Arginine and since heart disease is not prevalent in my family history I was given a green light.

It worked for me. I got the energy I needed to train for my marathon. Because L-Arginine is not good to take on a daily basis for long periods of time, I take it when I’m training or help to boost my immune system. But I also lay off of it for a month or two as well. I have a very middle ground attitude about supplements. I believe the evidence shows that vitamin and mineral supplements work, but I also think they aren’t magical. Additionally, a good diet should supply the core of a person’s nutritional needs.

L-Arginine Benefits

L-Arginine was first isolated in 1886 by Ernst Schultze, a Swiss chemist, from lupin seedlings. We now know it to be one of a number of common amino acids which are basic building blocks in the body. Early on it was discovered that it detoxified ammonia and aided in the making of creatine. 

The body needs L-Arginine to stimulate protein production. A healthy diet usually supplies plenty of it for basic nutrition from foods like dairy, fish, poultry and red meat. But in some circumstances that isn't enough and a supplement is needed.

As I wrote earlier, it helps to increase energy and bolster the immune system. Here’s a checklist of other benefits:

  • Stimulates release of insulin
  • Improves insulin sensitivity to aid in normalizing blood sugar
  • Helps improve blood flow to muscles
  • Stimulates growth hormones for anti aging
  • Addresses erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease