Tag Archives: l-arginine

Arginine for Inflammation and Erectile Dysfunction

For men, arginine may pose as almost a miracle amino acid for inflammation and erectile dysfunction, but one should be wary that arginine combined with other amino acids, protein, and lifestyle changes are more likely the answer.

Arginine, has been getting a lot of attention for it can be an amazing anti-aging amino acid. It also may be useful for graying hair, loss of hair, heart disease, preventing heart failure, and possibly inflammation.

This is where pieces of the arginine amino acid puzzle starts to thicken.  Inflammation and erectile dysfunction are two problems often linked together as exemplified by the article “Reduction of Inflammation Improves Endothelial Function and ED” whereby “minimizing infection and inflammation throughout the body, including avoiding fat accumulation, should improve both vascular and erectile health.”

The link may be attributed to arginine being needed by the body to make nitric oxide.

Because nitric oxide is crucial for maintaining healthy blood pressure, it also helps prevent atherosclerosis, and plays a role in modulating immune system function. In addition, nitric oxide regulates several processes in the body, including fat and glucose metabolism.

Researchers found that inhibiting nitric oxide production was associated with fat gain while stimulating nitric oxide secretion was correlated with enhanced lipolysis, or fat breakdown, according to research published in the September 2006 issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

The best part about nitric oxide is that it is readily available on a sunny day.

Is Nitric Oxide the Cure for Inflammation and ED?

There is some strong evidence that indicates nitric oxide may help both inflammation and ED. In the study, “Role of Nitric Oxide in Inflammatory Diseases” they concluded NO (nitric oxide) inhibitors “represent important therapeutic advance in the management of inflammatory diseases”.

Additionally, the amino acid L-arginine stimulates nitric oxide, which releases “growth hormone, insulin, and other substances in the body.” Prescription drugs also may contribute to maintain the nitric oxide in the body, which can also help prevent erectile dysfunction.

In conclusion, when it comes to adults, and particularly men of industrialized countries, the issue may not be so much about consuming enough protein and amino acids, the concern might be to see the bigger picture and rooting out the problem of inflammation and erectile dysfunction, instead of just ‘curing’ this challenge with a quick fix. Certainly stress is one factor, lack of sleep another, but also being mindful of our diets and exercise.

References:

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/761122_18

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/07/15/sun-exposure.aspx

http://www.livestrong.com/article/233939-l-arginine-weight-loss/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18236016

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-875-L-ARGININE.aspx?activeIngredientId=875&activeIngredientName=L-ARGININE

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/

Does Natural Viagra Exist? Amino Acids May Help With Erectile Dysfunction

Many of us have heard countless advertisements where dietary supplement companies are promoting natural solutions for impotence, poor libido or erectile dysfunction (ED).  But, do these supplements actually work?  Is there such a thing as a natural cure for erectile dysfunction, or a so called natural Viagra?

In 2012, researchers Gianfrilli D, Lauretta R, Di Dato C, et al concluded their study in the Sapienza University of Rome in Italy.  They wanted to find out if nutraceutical products – natural alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs – could help men with erectile dysfunction (ED).

According to the researchers, “the application of nutraceuticals in the field of male sexual function – in particular for erectile dysfunction (ED) – remains relatively underexplored.” This seems to be so despite the fact that there are dozens of natural products on the market making sometimes outlandish claims.

Researchers provided 54 men (35-75 years) with a three-month supplementation with amino acids Propionyl-L-Carnitine and L-Arginine, as well as Niacin and monitored their progress. All test subjects had to fill out a IIEF – international index of erectile function – questionnaire, go through global assessment questions and participate in laboratory tests before the test and after three months.

Did Amino Acids Help with Erectile Dysfunction?

The results were promising.  After three months of treatment, a small, but statistically significant improvement in total and single items of IIEF was found.

The nutraceutical, primarily amino acid based erectile dysfunction treatment, improved erections in 40% cases, but occasionally occurred in up to 77% of test subjects.  The study confirms that the positive cardiovascular effects of these nutraceutical products can also reflect on male sexual function.  Furthermore, these supplements can potentially be used in the treatment and prevention of erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction affects millions of Americans every year.  Pfizer’s Viagra is the leading product in the sexual dysfunction industry with a 45% market share in 2012, just ahead of Cialis.  More than 8 million Viagra prescriptions were written in 2012 with total sales of about $2 billion. The total market is close to $5 billion annually.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21966881

http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/27/health/viagra-anniversary-timeline/index.html

Dr. Oz: L-Glutamine, L-Arginine and Weight Loss

According to Dr. Oz, there are three amino acids that can help with weight loss: L-Carnitine, L-Glutamine, and L-Arginine. But first we must know what weight loss problems we are dealing with… the weight loss amino acids are simply not enough if we did not mention what specific issues they will help.

There are a number of issues that go along with weight gain and obesity. Dr Oz has discussed all of them at one time or another, surely, from lacking energy, weight management, storing food as fat or sugar (glycogen in particular), and sluggish metabolism rates.

All of these can be helped by these three weight loss amino acids, but which goes with which?

Here’s a simple guide…

Amino Acids for Weight Loss

L-Carnitine for Weight Loss

One of the issues with losing weight is maintaining the weight once you’ve lost it. It is common for people to gain the weight back, and slip back into old habits. The amino acid L-carnitine can help you to get a hold on your weight management.

L-carinitine is also known for supplying your body with energy since it releases stored energy. Sometimes when caloric intake is reduced people get weak feeling, or lack the energy to stay awake, or get out and do things (even taking a walk can seem like too great an exertion). L-carnitine can help release the energy you need to move forward in your diet plan.

L-Glutamine for Weight Loss

Many times the food we eat gets stored as fat in the body. L-glutamine can help your body store the energy as a sugar called glycogen instead of fat, which makes it more usable by the body and easier to get rid of later.

Glycogen is stored in the muscles and liver and plays an important role in the body’s glucose cycle. This can be used for quick energy, whereas fat takes longer to utilize and eliminate.

L-Arginine for Weight Loss

Metabolism is a huge indicator in many people on whether they are prone to obesity or not. Having a slow metabolism can be a single inhibitor to weight loss, when everything else seems to be going well for others on a similar diet. L-arginine is considered the natural metabolism booster.

Remember that you can get all three of these amino acids (all 22 aminos, actually) from food, and protein foods in particular. It doesn’t take much protein since all meats like beef, chicken, and pork have all the amino acids, as do fish and eggs.

However, discuss with your doctor about taking the weight loss amino acids L-carnitine (weight management and energy), L-glutamine (storing sugar as glycogen instead of fat), and L-arginine (metabolism booster).

Reference:

http://www.ediblenature.com/store/pg/195-Dr-Oz-Anti-Aging-Metabolism-Weight-Loss-Energy-Tips.html