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What is Arginine?

Arginine is an amino acid that is important for various physiological functions in the body. It is a semi-essential amino acid, which means that although the body can produce it on its own, certain conditions can increase the demand for arginine beyond what the body can make.

Why we need Arginine?

Arginine is important for the synthesis of proteins, as well as for the production of nitric oxide, which is a molecule that helps to dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow. Arginine is also involved in the regulation of the immune system, the production of hormones, and the healing of wounds.

Where is Arginine found?

Arginine is found in a variety of protein-rich foods, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, and legumes. It can also be found in some supplements marketed for athletic performance or immune support.

Daily requirements

The daily requirements for arginine depend on various factors, such as age, gender, and overall health. The recommended daily intake for adults ranges from 4-6 grams per day. However, this can vary based on individual needs and health conditions.

Arginine deficiency

Arginine deficiency is rare, as the body can produce it on its own. However, certain health conditions, such as burns, infections, and kidney disease, can increase the demand for arginine beyond what the body can make. In these cases, arginine supplementation may be necessary.

Can you get too much Arginine?

While arginine is generally considered safe, high doses of arginine supplements can cause gastrointestinal distress, such as nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Additionally, arginine supplements can interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and blood pressure medications. It is important to consult a healthcare professional before taking arginine supplements, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medication.

Should I get Arginine supplements?

Most people can obtain sufficient arginine from a balanced diet that includes protein-rich foods. However, some people may benefit from arginine supplements, such as athletes or people with certain medical conditions. It is important to consult a healthcare professional before taking arginine supplements, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a medical condition.

Fun facts

Arginine was first isolated from lupine seeds in 1886 by Swiss chemist Ernst Schulze.

Arginine is often used in the food industry as a flavor enhancer and preservative.

Arginine supplements are sometimes used to treat erectile dysfunction, as arginine is involved in the production of nitric oxide, which can improve blood flow to the penis. However, the evidence for this use is limited.

Arginine is involved in the production of growth hormone, which is important for muscle growth and repair. This is why arginine supplements are often marketed to athletes and bodybuilders. However, the evidence for this use is also limited.

Food high in Arginine

This list shows food that are top sources of Arginine and the quantity of Arginine in 100g of food

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Fruit Vegetables Meat Dairy Eggs Bread Superfood Legumes Cereals Nuts and Seeds Seafood Other Spices and Herbs
Macronutrients Carbohydrate Fat Protein Water Fiber
Vitamins Thiamin (B1) Riboflavin (B2) Niacin (B3) Pantothenic Acid (B5) Pyridoxine (B6) Folate (B9) Cobalamine (B12) Ascorbic Acid (C) Vitamin A Vitamin K Vitamin E Vitamin D
Minerals Calcium (Ca) Iron (Fe) Magnesium (Mg) Phosphorus (P) Potassium (K) Sodium (Na) Zinc (Zn) Copper (Cu) Manganese (Mn) Iodine (I) Selenium (Se) Fluoride (F)
Amino acids Arginine Histidine Lysine Aspartic Acid Glutamic Acid Serine Threonine Asparagine Glutamine Cysteine Selenocysteine Glycine Proline Alanine Isoleucine Leucine Methionine Phenylalanine Tryptophan Tyrosine Valine