I knew I’d get your attention! Anything that helps our sexual health usually grabs our interest. I’m talking about the supplement L-arginine. This is an amino acid that boosts nitric oxide levels. This is one of the body’s most important regulatory molecules. L-arginine controls blood vessel tone and flexibility, so it has a profound effect on the cardiovascular system. It also improves immunity, neurotransmitter activity, erectile function in men and possibly gastric reflux. The conversion of arginine to nitric oxide requires the enzyme nitric oxide synthase, which requires Vitamin C.
This amino acid also helps sexual health for women. A double blind study found that L-arginine helped improve sexual dysfunction in women, when combined with Panax ginseng, ginko and other ingredients. This study used a product called ArginMax. The way in which it helps sexual dysfunction is in how it improves the blood vessels in the genitalia to dilate. The benefits may be enhanced by combining arginine with Pycnogenol; a natural antioxidant.
The down side of L-arginine is that it may amplify the effects of nitrate drugs, such as nitroglycerine, which can result in a sudden drop in blood pressure. It may also stimulate the activity of the herpes virus.
As a preventative program, take about 2 grams daily between meals. Arginine is broken down fairly quickly, so a sustained release supplement may provide the most benefits. Men and/or women can take another gram before sexual activity. Vitamin C and Pycnogenol may enhance the effects.