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All you need to know about Arginine
What does arginine do in the body?
Arginine is an amino acid that is responsible for creating nitric oxide – a substance that widens blood vessels and relaxes arteries, improving blood flow around the body. It also helps us to heal after injury, helps the kidneys to excrete waste, and generally aids the immune system. Those with heart disease and angina may take arginine supplements to ease their conditions. Arginine is also believed to improve problems with erectile dysfunction.
Which foods are high in arginine?
Your body gets arginine from high-protein foods including turkey, pork and chicken. It can also be found in pumpkin seeds, soybeans, peanuts, spirulina; dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt, and chickpeas and lentils.
How much arginine should I take daily?
It is important to consult your doctor before taking any supplements or changing your diet. There isn't an exact recommended daily amount for arginine, as your body should naturally make up the amount that it requires from your diet. If however you are on a low-protein diet, this could be difficult and a supplement of up to 1200mg every day may be required.
What are the side effects of arginine supplements?
Arginine supplements have been proven safe in clinical trials, but some side effects may occur. These include abdominal cramps, bloating and gas, loose stools and worsening of asthma symptoms (if you have this condition). If you are on medication to lower blood pressure, arginine may interact with this. It can also interact with Viagra, so consult your doctor if you are on medications for erectile dysfunction.