Category Archives: Arginine

Part 1: Amino Acids for Men – Virility and Libido (Arginine)

The amino acids for men are the same ones that can be taken for women; however, there are specific aminos that help stimulate biological processes and boost sexual performance and virility. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common issue for middle-aged to older men or men with prostate problems. The consequences include a drop in self-confidence, and reduced virility, fear, anxiety, potency, and sometimes close relationships, which can lead to depression. Amino acids for men and these issues, however, may help offset some of these symptoms.

Sexual performance can have a positive effect on men’s sexual health. Specifically, the amino acids for men include arginine and ornithine. I will cover arginine here in part 1, and ornithine in part 2 of this article.

Amino acids for men – arginine

Arginine is a precursor for NO (nitric oxide), which has health benefits for the body. By increasing arginine in the body, nitric oxide will increase as well, which dilates the blood vessels and helps with blood circulation. Blood circulation is what also affects the penis.

Truly this is one of the best amino acids for men available because the nitric oxide already improves arterial elasticity, which can help reduce blood pressure as well as improve erectile processes as well. Nutrients and oxygen can also be transported more efficiently to the organs. All of this together can have a positive effect on sexual performance, endurance, and potency.

Arginine is one of those amazing amino acids for men that have no side effects. Plus it is less expensive than synthetic pills. Of course, it is does not work immediately as virility takes a few days to show up; however, the harmless qualities of arginine makes it a viable alternative or supplement.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) has been studied, says Amino Acid Studies, by pharmacologists like Professor Dirk Stichtenoth at the Institute for Clinical Pharmacology whom said, “Initial evaluations indicate positive effects” for arginine and ED. In their study at Cologne University in 1999, 26 patients with potency issues were prescribed arginine (1500mg/day). In only seven weeks a significant improvement was experienced by 73% of the participants in their erectile function.

A similar study was done in Tel Aviv University around the same time with 46 men who had ED with 31% increase in sexual function. Of all the amino acids for men out there, arginine is one of the most highly prized for the benefits for virility and potency, with absolutely no side effecs.

CONTINUE TO Part 2: Amino Acids for Men – Virility and Libido (Ornithine)

Reference:

http://www.aminoacid-studies.com/areas-of-use/virility-and-libido.html

What Experts Say About Weight Loss and Amino Acids

There are a tremendous amount of resources online and in books that explain the health benefits to those who are trying to lose weight as it pertains to amino acid supplements; but what are some of these expert sites or doctors saying?

Are there really some amino acids that help you with weight loss better than others? Are there scientific studies to validate some of this information?

You can decide for yourself, but below I have compiled a few of these sources for you to examine.

Amino acids – a few sources for weight loss

First of all, you can read our other article called Dr Oz Weight Loss Amino Acids: L-Carnitine, L-Glutamine, and L-Arginine, which covers how these three amino acids can help you lose weight.

According to WebMD authors, Whey Protein, Amino Acids May Boost Fat Loss. This information was reliant on a study that was done and discussed by researcher Robert Coker, PhD, an associate professor of geriatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, in Little Rock.

Dr. Nicholas Perricone (MD, CNS) through the Huffington Post announces that The Top 10 Weight Loss Supplements include Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol), Glutamine, Carnitine, Acetyl L-carnitine, Coenzyme Q-10 (also called ubiquinone), Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), Chromium, Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), and Maitake medicinal mushroom extract. Outside of weight loss benefits, maitake also helps regulate blood sugar levels, especially in diabetic patients.

In a sister site (but completely unrelated to Amino Acid Information) of Amino Acid Studies, three main amino acids are found—based on studies—that can help with weight loss. In their article titled Amino acids and their significance for fat burning, arginine, glutamine, and methionine are three aminos that can boost your efforts to lose weight.

These are but a few of the excellent sources that exist that are based on either scientific studies or that have experts telling us that these amino acid supplements can help you lose weight. Weight loss should always be part of a balanced diet and by eating healthy food and proper exercise, rather than focusing on fad diets or by popping pills.

It is also important to note that all 22 amino acids, whether they are essential amino acids or non-essential amino acids, are available through protein foods like meats (beef, chicken, lamb, pork, etc.), eggs, and fish.

References:

http://aminoacidinformation.com/dr-oz-weight-loss-amino-acids-l-carnitine-l-glutamine-l-arginine/

http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20121212/whey-amino-acids-fat-loss

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-nicholas-perricone/the-top-10-weight-loss-su_b_227618.html

http://www.aminoacid-studies.com/areas-of-use/fat-burning.html

Part 2: Amino Acids for Men – Virility and Libido (Ornithine)

Continued from Part 1: Amino Acids for Men – Virility and Libido (Arginine), we discussed how the amino acid arginine has no side effects but may help with erectile dysfunction (ED) and potency in men. Now I will discuss the amino acid ornithine and why it is a perfect match as a supplement to go with arginine.

Ornithine and arginine are both considered excellent amino acids for men.

Amino acids for men – ornithine

First of all, let me say that, like arginine, ornithine is side effect-free. Plus ornithine is “reduced to arginine in the body,” says Amino Acid Studies, “but this occurs very slowly, so that its effects last a long time.” There is something about combining these two aminos that sets up the body for overall regeneration, which helps vitality in a big way (no pun intended).

Erectile dysfunction (ED) and erectile capabilities have shown positive support in men who take ornithine, especially when it is taken in conjunction with arginine. These improvements can lead to a boost in the self-confidence in men’s sexuality and drive.

Normally the body can produce amino acids for men—like arginine and ornithine—by itself or can be gotten through food (particularly meats like fish, chicken, beef, turkey, pork, or even eggs), but sometimes the body, left to its own devices or for one reason or another (age, genetics, diet, etc.), does not make sufficient quantities of ornithine or arginine.

If the body cannot produce these amino acids for men by itself, then one has to look into the reasons why this is happening. Typically one can take amino acid supplements, but reasons for this could include stress, or even illness. Illness is more obvious as a reason for people to realize that the body may not respond, but also stress can produce sometimes very strange results in a man’s (or woman’s for that matter) body that can manifest a variety of problems that one might think are not connected, but yet are. Virility, libido, and potency are sometimes affected by stress as well.

To cap this, both ornithine and arginine are the two amino acids for men that can easily be supplemented for men’s health support, specifically with sexual dysfunction such as erectile capabilities. Both of these amino acids are found in meats, eggs, and fish, and in lesser amounts in dairy, nuts, wheat, rice, and soybeans.

Both arginine and ornithine can generally be purchased at any supplement section of the supermarket or natural health food store, generally as powders, tablets, and capsules. Please check with your doctor to be sure you do not have something more serious going on with your health if you are experiencing erectile dysfunction.

Reference:

http://www.aminoacid-studies.com/areas-of-use/virility-and-libido.html

All About Protein for Kids

What are proteins? If you are a kid or just want to learn all about protein in a simple way, then below is a simple explanation of what proteins are and why you need to eat them. Proteins help your body stay strong and builds muscle and other tissues (like organs and immune system) in your body. Some foods contain protein, such as beef, pork, fish, eggs, dairy products (like milk or cheese), nuts (like peanuts or peanut butter, almonds, walnuts) and seeds, as well as legumes (beans, lentils).

Your body knows all about protein because it uses specialized protein molecules to do certain tasks. For example, your body uses protein to make a part of your blood (red blood cells) that carries oxygen through your veins to all the other parts of your body; this part of the red blood cells is called hemoglobin. Another special part that protein is used for is to help keep the cardiac (heart) muscle strong. Proteins make your body parts–like legs and arms and organs–moving and keeps your immune system strong so you don’t catch diseases or get sick.

About protein and amino acids

If you eat protein, like a hamburger patty, then your digestive juices from your stomach and intestines start working to break the protein down into smaller parts called amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Then these amino acids can be used to make more proteins that help maintain your muscles, blood, bones, and organs.

At Kids Health they describe proteins as being like “long necklaces with differently shaped beads. Each bead is a small amino acid. These amino acids can join together to make thousands of different proteins.” There are over 200 different kinds of amino acids (“beads”) but only about 22 amino acids are common. About 13 of these amino acids are called non-essential amino acids because your body makes them automatically, but the other nine amino acids your body must get from food, so these are called essential amino acids (like arginine or leucine).

About protein types – complete and incomplete proteins

Complete proteins that have all nine essential amino acids come from animal sources, like meats and dairy. Vegetable sources of protein tend to be incomplete, however. If you want to know about protein sources that are both from vegetables and that are complete proteins you simply need to mix certain types of foods. Combining certain foods helps vegetarians (people who do not eat meat) get all their essential amino acids without eating animals or their products.

For example, some protein-rich vegetable-source foods that can be combined includes eating beans a rice, which are a staple food around the world for many developing countries. Another example is eating whole-grain bread and peanut butter together.

About proteins – how much do you need?

If you know how much you weigh then you can figure out just how much protein your body actually needs. Kids need about a half of a gram of protein for each pound (.5 kilograms) they weigh. That means they need a gram for every two pounds. If you weight 70 lbs then you need about 35 grams of protein each day. Adults usually need about 60 grams each day of protein.

Make sure you eat a balanced diet and if you want to see a chart about protein grams in food you can check this one out from the Moms Who Think website: http://www.momswhothink.com/diet-and-nutrition/high-protein-foods.html

References:

http://kidshealth.org/kid/nutrition/food/protein.html

http://www.momswhothink.com/diet-and-nutrition/high-protein-foods.html

EGGS: The Raw Food Anti-Aging Superfood with Amino Acids

Eggs for anti-aging? Wasn’t the last thing we heard that they had too much cholesterol and were bad for cardiovascular health? According to Dr. Mercola who wrote “Top 7 Food That Slow Your Aging” eggs are one of the superfoods, and he insists that there is no link between consuming eggs and heart disease, to boot. Why? There is a whole list of reasons… some of which include essential amino acids (like arginine, leucine, phenylalanine) and  that raw whole eggs contain.

First of all, says Dr. Mercola, they need to be raw, and organic. This means they also need to be as fresh as possible to reduce the risk of contamination or infection. Furthermore, a single egg contains 9 essential amino acids. This is a fantastic raw item for raw foodists.

Aside from the “highest quality protein you can put in your body,” and that proteins are necessary for building and maintaining your body tissues (skin, muscles, and internal organs), eggs are also important for your hormones and immune system.

Besides the 9 essential amino acids in raw, organic eggs, they include these health benefits:

Zeaxanthin, and Lutein (for your eyes)
Choline (for your brain, cardiovascular- and nervous systems)
Vitamin D

How to choose the best eggs – amino acids, nutrition, omega-3’s, and allergies

Dr. Mercola says that not do we need the 9 essential amino acids in eggs for their anti-aging effects, but we should eat them raw for maximum benefits.

Allergic reactions, he insists, are usually caused by changes in the eggs due to the cooking process. Raw eggs, such as how muscle-builders take in their morning protein shakes, help preserve the highly perishable nutrients that eggs contain.

Raw egg whites contain avidin, a glycoprotein that binds biotin (a B vitamin), which some believe may lead to biotin deficiency; however, although cooking the whites deactivates the avidin, although it also impairs the proteins in the egg. Realize that the yolks also have plenty of biotin, some of the highest found in nature, so if you eat the whole egg raw, you should not be deficient. Eating only the whites may ensure a biotin deficiency.

Avoid omega-3 eggs, says Dr. Mercola, because “they typically come from hens fed poor quality omega-3 fat sources that are already oxidized.”

Be sure to buy organic and TRUE free-range chicken eggs, and preferably locally produced eggs from a pasture farmer. Dr. Mercola suggests requesting them at your local health food store or do a search in your area by visiting www.eatwild.com or www.localharvest.org.

Overall, the amino acids and other health supporting properties of local organic eggs, show many benefits to human health, especially when eaten whole and raw.

Reference:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/02/27/top-7-foods-that-slow-your-aging.aspx

Arginine Slows Proliferation And Growth Of Lung Cancer Cells

Some promising news about the treatment of lung cancer was published in the American Journal of Cancer Research. The essential amino acid arginine is being developed into an effective anti-cancer agent. Synthesized arginine/albumin microspheres have been designed to combat lung cancer.

Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death. As with all cancers, early detection is the best hope for successful treatment. However, the early stages of lung cancer usually do not produce symptoms. As the cancer advances, symptoms develop, including coughing, wheezing, and coughing up bloody mucus.

Treatment can include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Recent clinical trials have focused on endobronchial intratumoral chemotherapy, which is the direct injection of the drug into the tumor.

Arginine, an essential amino acid, also known as L-arginine, is already proved to inhibit cancer cell proliferation in various cancers, including lung, breast, and gastric cancer cell lines when an appropriate dose is delivered. High concentrations of arginine incudes cancer cell death. Arginine also assembles into clusters to kill cancer cells.

Researchers (HY Lee, KA Mohammed, et al) from the University of Florida, USA, developed a study to investigate the delivery method of L-arginine in endobronchial intratumoral chemotherapy. They designed arginine/albumin microspheres to deliver high concentrations of arginine to the tumors.

Microspheres of synthesized arginine prevent lung cancer cells proliferating

The researchers tested arginine/albumin microspheres on A549, a human lung carcinoma cell line. And arginine/albumin mesospheres (AAMS) were synthesized which promotes arginine clusters. These AAMS consisted of 50% arginine and 50% bovine serum albumin. The minute microspheres were solidified in a centrifuge tube.

This in vitro study produced very positive results. The arginine significantly inhibited cell proliferation, cell migration, and tumor growth of the lung cancer cells. The synthesized AAMS were more effective than freely released arginine, indicating that AAMS could become an ideal delivery vehicle for lung cancer treatments.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23841026

Arginine Supplements Improve Gastric Cancer Care

Gastric cancer causes significant malnutrition in patients, negatively impacting their survival rates, and affecting their quality of life. But can supplementing with the amino acid arginine improve care?

Gastric cancer, or stomach cancer, usually develops in the innermost layer of the stomach—the mucosa. Unfortunately, the early stages of stomach cancer often don’t produce symptoms, so the cancer often grows before its detected. Prognosis is often poor.

Gastric cancer can often be treated by surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or targeted therapies. Some of these treatments have severe side effects, including nausea and lack of appetite.

These side effects, plus the progression of the cancer, often result in malnutrition. If the patient suffers from malnutrition, their survival rate goes down. Malnutrition also prevents some cancer treatment from working effectively.

H Zhao, Y Wang, et al, researchers at the Department of Intensive Care Unit, Daqing Oilfield General Hospital, Daqing, China, hoped to improve nutrition for patients with gastric cancer by supplementing with arginine.

The amino acid arginine is usually produced in the body. Arginine plays an important role in immune function, and wound healing. However, the malnourished gastric cancer patients were not producing enough.

The researchers developed a randomized, double-blinded clinical trial. Malnourished patients with gastric cancer were given either the standard postoperative nutrition, or arginine-enriched nutrition. Both these groups had similar baseline characteristics.

Promising results for arginine supplement and gastric cancer trial

The arginine group had significantly better overall survival rates, of 41 months compared to 30 months. The arginine group also had better progression-free survival, of 18 months compared to 11.5 months.

Immunity was improved, too. The arginine group had significantly higher levels of T cells and natural killer cells, which are critical to the functioning of the immune system.

The researchers concluded that arginine-supplemented nutrition could become a valuable treatment for malnourished gastric cancer patients.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23812551

Anti-Aging Amino Acids – Arginine and Methionine

Two of the anti-aging amino acids arginine (also called L-arginine) and methionine. Aging causes the breakdown of your body’s cells, and the reduction of regeneration of those cells as we did in our younger days. Cells die and do not renew the way they used to, which we need to produce overall healing and health. 

DNA can affect the body’s triggers regarding aging, but many times the environment also is a factor. Environmental alterations can occur based on diet, and anti-aging amino acids may include essential and non-essential amino acids.

Non-essential amino acids are produced by the body (genetics or errors in our DNA code—like congenital disorders—can make us deficient), but essential amino acids are only gotten through diet. Different amino acids can do different things for the body; however, anti-aging amino acids are specific to factors of aging.

Arginine is considered semi-essential, or conditionally essential, while methionine is an essential amino acid.

Anti-aging amino acids arginine and methionine and carnitine

People tend to associate getting old with physical beauty, such as wrinkled skin, shiny hair or hair growth (especially out of the ears and nose, or on other parts of the body), or even healthy nails. Allergic reactions can also play a role for skin health as infections and circulation (oxygen supply) affect the complexion, sagginess, or ruddy-skin look with pore size.

The answer – anti-aging amino acids support collagen production and how the skin functions. Creatine is produced by arginine (L-arginine) and methionine, which come from the amino acid carnitine. The skin is the largest organ in the human body, so its importance in health and wellness are usually visually evident.

Remember to stay away from too much sun as UV (ultraviolet) rays can damage and dry out the skin, and free radicals in the environment can reduce skin elasticity, which causes wrinkles. Anti-aging amino acids like arginine and carnitine, which form creatine, support healthy skin. There are anti-aging amino acids in some “amino acid creams” as well, but eating raw foods is one of the most essential keys to keeping the skin hydrated and healthy and elastic and youthful.

Consider adding arginine, methionine, and carnitine to your diet through protein foods like meat, fish, and eggs, but do ask your doctor about taking amino acid supplements before you do so. Either way, these anti-aging amino acids should help your skin look more youthful and reduce the aging effect.

Reference:

http://www.aminoacid-studies.com/areas-of-use/anti-aging.html

L-arginine Prevents Gastric Cancer Cell Growth

More interesting news about the anti-cancer effects of the essential amino acid L-arginine (or simply, arginine). A European study investigated the effects of L-arginine on tumor cell growth on human gastric cancer cell lines. Would L-arginine promote cancer cell death?

Gastric, or stomach, cancers have a poor prognosis because they develop slowly over many years without producing symptoms. By the time symptoms occur, the cancer may have spread, or metastasized, which is much more difficult to treat. The 5-year survival rate is only 5-15%.

Most stomach cancers are adenocarcinomas, which develop from the cells lining the stomach.  Smoking irritates these cells, and smoking greatly increases the risk of developing gastric cancer. Eating a diet high in antioxidant-rich foods, such as fresh berries, could reduce the risk.

S Nanthakumaran, I Brown, et al, researchers at the University of Aberdeen’s College of Life Sciences and Medicine, in Scotland, UK, developed a study on immunonutrition. Immunonutrition is the development of nutritional components that favorably affect the immune function.

The researchers wanted to examine the effects of the amino acid L-arginine on tumor cell growth, cancer cell invasion, and the cancer’s effect on gene expression.

Can L-arginine help treat stomach cancer?

L-arginine is already proven to enhance the immune system, and reduce infectious complications in patients undergoing gastrointestinal surgery.  Healthy people are usually able to synthesize enough L-arginine in their bodies. However, L-arginine supplements are useful for people with surgical or other traumas.

In order study L-arginine’s effect on tumor cells, the researchers grew human gastric cancer cell lines in vitro. Different concentrations of L-arginine were tested.

L-arginine caused the cancer cells to die, by inducing cancer cell apoptosis  (programmed cell death).The researchers discovered cell growth inhibition was caused by the L-arginine increasing the expression of a significant protein: caspase 8. Caspases play an essential role in promoting apoptosis.

L-arginine, therefore, has the potential of being developed into an anti-cancer agent.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19036482/

Table of Amino Acid Abbreviations

Students and teachers come together with terms like “Amino acid abbreviations” – but scientists use these abbreviated forms to refer to the 20+ names of amino acids as well.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and they can be gotten from food. Before we get into the amino acid abbreviations you may want to know that there are two main types of amino acids (with a few exceptions)…

Essential and Non-essential amino acids

Essential amino acids does not mean they are “essential” as in necessary… it simply means that they can only be gotten from the food you eat so must be included through diet or dietary supplementation. Protein foods like meats (beef, chicken, pork, etc.) and eggs, as well as fish, are excellent sources of amino acids. Many meat-eating Americans actually eat an overabundance of protein compared with what the human body requires, which can lead to acidity (which leads to disease), cardiovascular and other diseases.

Non-essential amino acids are those that your body can produce naturally. Occasionally, someone is born with a deficiency in their body’s ability to produce the amino acids necessary for proper functioning, leading to diseases or disorders where people have trouble breaking down certain amino acids. An example of the latter is Maple Syrup Urine Disorder (MSUD) which is what newborn babies are screened for soon after birth.

There are 22 different amino acids in all (some of them semi-essential), but about 20 of them are more common. Their names, 3-letter, and 1-letter amino acid abbreviations follow.

Table of amino acid abbreviations

Amino Acid

3-Letter

1-Letter

Alanine

Ala

A

Arginine

Arg

R

Asparagine

Asn

N

Aspartic acid

Asp

D

Cysteine

Cys

C

Glutamic acid

Glu

E

Glutamine

Gln

Q

Glycine

Gly

G

Histidine

His

H

Isoleucine

Ile

I

Leucine

Leu

L

Lysine

Lys

K

Methionine

Met

M

Phenylalanine

Phe

F

Proline

Pro

P

Serine

Ser

S

Threonine

Thr

T

Tryptophan

Trp

W

Tyrosine

Tyr

Y

Valine

Val

V

Aspartic acid or Asparagine

Asx

B

Any amino acid

Xaa

X

Termination codon

TERM

For more information on amino acid abbreviations or more detailed information on amino acids in general, please see other articles at the Amino Acid Information Center. There are also many excellent resources on the Internet or in encyclopedias.

Reference:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Class/MLACourse/Modules/MolBioReview/iupac_aa_abbreviations.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amino_acid#In_human_nutrition

http://www.newbornscreening.info/Parents/aminoaciddisorders/MSUD.html