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Health Benefits Of Arginine

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Health Benefits Of Arginine
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Arginine is a semiessential amino acid whose indispensability sets in when critical illness and severe trauma occur; adults can produce this amino acid through the biosynthetic pathway, although its consumption from diet is still imperative to sustain satisfactory physiological levels our bodily functions require, especially in preterm infants who are incapable of natural arginine synthesis and in critically ill individuals with poor nutritional status and certain physical conditions. Similar to any amino acid, arginine is involved with protein synthesis and also increases growth hormone secretion, hence regulating immune function. Furthermore, arginine serves as the precursor of creatine, which in turn is used by the body for the growth and energy metabolism of muscles, nerve, and testes. [1] Arginine is a precursor as well for the synthesis of glutamate, polyamines, creatine, agmatine, proline and urea.

In general, a healthy person can easily replenish one’s own arginine supply, but once metabolic needs increase due to sickness and exceed more than what our arginine-producing mechanism can meet, extra amounts from diet and supplements can remedy the demand. Very good sources of arginine include turkey, pork, chicken, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, nuts (including peanuts) and egg white. [2]

Arginine and the Production of Nitric Oxide

There are many reasons why arginine is unanimously considered physiologically important in our bodies since this amino acid participates in numerous metabolic processes, but the foremost perhaps would be its role as the precursor (“building block”) for the body’s creation of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide serves as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, particularly in the brain, as a mediator of host defense in the immune system, and as a vasodilator and endogenous antiatherogenic molecule in the cardiovascular system. Nitric oxide is the chief form of the endothelium-derived relaxing factor as well. Böger (2007) notes that an intake of reasonably large doses of L-arginine either through our diets or intravenously leads to enhanced nitric oxide production in individuals exhibiting impaired endothelial function at baseline and to improved cardiovascular disease symptoms, as demonstrated in a number of controlled clinical trials. [3] Studies have demonstrated that systemic or oral intake of arginine enhances cardiovascular function, reduces blood pressure and decreases myocardial ischemia among patients with coronary artery disease. It also reduces renal vascular resistance in patients with high blood pressure and normal or insufficient kidney function. [1]

Arginine, Hormones, and Exercise

A number of recent studies have demonstrated that L-arginine, orally administered, at a tolerated dose range of 5-9 g, potently stimulates a dose-dependent increase in resting growth hormone responses. Notably, at least 100% of resting growth hormone levels is achieved upon oral arginine intake. [4] Furthermore, McConell (2007) reported that administration of L-arginine improves endothelial function in a range of disease states and elevates the levels of hormones such as plasma insulin, catecholamines, growth hormone, glucagon and prolactin. These in turn influence metabolism. Research evidence also points to L-arginine boosting the positive effects of exercise on capillary growth in muscles and insulin sensitivity. [5]

To date, a considerably good amount of data supports the claim that arginine can be regarded as an effective ergogenic aid or performance enhancer. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study of Camic et al. (2010), for instance, randomized fifty college-aged men into three groups, namely, those on placebo, on 1.5 g arginine, and on 3.0 g arginine treatment, to determine the effect of daily 4-week oral administration of arginine-based supplements on the physical working capacity at the fatigue threshold (PWCFT), which measures the ability of an individual to resist fatigue and hence his or her functional capacity. Results revealed significant mean increases in PWCFT among subjects on L-arginine supplementation but no change for the placebo group. [6]

Arginine and Wound Healing

Because arginine plays a role in protein synthesis, in cell signaling via nitric oxide production and in cell proliferation, its participation in wound healing comes as a no surprise. In fact, several studies have concluded that arginine supplementation can lead to normalization or improvement of wound healing, making supplementation with arginine either on its own or in combination with other amino acids a very reasonably attractive treatment option in the management and care of critically ill or traumatized patients. [7] In artificial incisional wounds in rodents and humans, arginine boosts wound strength and collagen deposition, but as of today, concrete data from robust clinical trials / human studies are still limited as regards the recommended safe dose of arginine to fulfill the metabolic necessities during wound healing and the efficacy of arginine supplementation in improving recovery from acute and chronic wounds. [8]

Arginine and Aging

The potential anti-aging benefits of arginine come from the various health-promoting effects this amino acid renders in the body, including its ability to reduct risk of heart and vascular disease, supporting healthy erectile function, immune response improvement and suppression of gastric hyperacidity. According to a number of human and experimental animal studies, exogenous L-arginine intake induces several pharmacological effects when administered in doses larger than what can be obtained through normal dietary consumption. [9]


[1] Tapiero H., MathÈ G., Couvreur P., Tew K. D. (2002). I. Arginine. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy. 56(9): 439-445.

[2] Arginine(g). USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27.…/

[3] Böger R. H. (2007). The pharmacodynamics of L-arginine. Journal of Nutrition. 137(6 Suppl 2): 1650S-1655S.

[4] Kanaley J. A. (2008). Growth hormone, arginine and exercise. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. 11(1): 50-54.

[5] McConell G. K. (2007). Effects of L-arginine supplementation on exercise metabolism. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. 10(1): 46-51.

[6] Camic C. L. et al. (2010). Effects of arginine-based supplements on the physical working capacity at the fatigue threshold. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 24(5): 1306-1312. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181d68816.

[7] Witte M. B., Barbul A. (2003). Arginine physiology and its implication for wound healing. Wound Repair and Regeneration. 11(6): 419-423.

[8] Stechmiller J. K., Childress B., Cowan L. (2005). Arginine supplementation and wound healing. Nutrition in Clinical Practice. 20(1): 52-61.

[9] Gad M. (2010). Anti-aging effects of l-arginine. Journal of Advanced Research. 1(3): 169-177.

Health Benefits Of Lysine

Health Benefits Of Lysine
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Lysine is an essential amino acid responsible for a variety of biological processes related to receptor affinity, protease-cleavage points, and nuclear structure and function. It is also involved in the retention of endoplasmic reticulum, chelation of heavy metals, muscle elasticity, sufficient absorption of calcium in the body, formation of collagen, and production of antibodies, hormones, and enzymes. [1] Being an essential amino acid vital to human health, lysine must be obtained from different food sources or supplements since our body cannot manufacture it. Notable lysine-rich food items include turkey, pork loin, chicken, egg whites, soybeans, beef, and fish, which are basically foods packed with protein content. [2]

Lysine, Stress, and Anxiety

In several studies, L-lysine supplementation has been demonstrated to reduce chronic anxiety and to stabilize stress-induced hormonal responses in highly anxious but otherwise healthy individuals. Moreover, L-lysine has been proved to block a range of stress-induced pathologies in experimental animal models. A 2007 double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study had come up with research results indicating a significant reduction in trait anxiety and stress-induced state anxiety among Japanese adults treated for one week with orally administered lysine and arginine. A decrease in basal levels of salivary cortisol and chromogranin A (a tumor marker of neuroendocrine tumors), which were both utilized as objective measures of stress response in this study, was further observed. [3] Another double-blind, randomized study by Smriga et al. (2004) found lysine fortification to be efficacious in reducing anxiety and stress response. In this 3-month study, wheat was enriched with lysine and was fed to family members belonging to poor Syrian communities, who, upon measurement, manifested reduced plasma cortisol response (in females) to the blood drawing as a cause of stress, reduced sympathetic arousal (in males), and significantly decreased chronic anxiety. [4]

Lysine and Herpes Simplex Viruses

Lysine has been shown to suppress the normal replication process of herpes simplex virus and, in turn, shorten the duration and course of diseases associated with the virus. According to an open-label study by Singh et al. (2005), lysine, in combination with botanicals and other nutrients, relieves the symptoms of facial and circumoral herpes such as tingling, itching, burning, tenderness, prickling, soreness, swelling, and small blisters, with 40% of study participants achieving full resolution of symptoms by the third day after lysine ointment treatment and 87% by the sixth day. [5] In a multicentered study on the effect of lysine therapy on herpes simplex virus infection, patients experiencing frequently recurring herpes infection and taking 312-1,200 mg of lysine daily in single or multiple doses exhibited accelerated recovery from the infection and absence of infection recurrence. Additionally, when the amino acid ratio between lysine and arginine favors lysine, viral replication and cytopathogenicity of herpes simplex virus were strongly inhibited. [6]

Lysine and Osteoporosis

Several animal studies have confirmed that Lysine assists with the prevention of calcium deficiency – which is famously associated with bone loss and osteoporosis. Lysine achieves this by increasing the absorption of calcium in the intestines and by considerably conserving the absorbed calcium in the kidneys; resulting in a positive calcium balance. In a certain Italian study comparing the effect of oral calcium load administered with or without 400 mg of L-lysine on 15 healthy and 15 osteoporotic women, a progressive increase in serum calcium was noted in all cases, but only the individuals treated with L-lysine displayed decreased urinary excretion of calcium. Another study provided short-term dietary supplementation with either L-lysine, L-valine, or L-tryptophan (800 mg/day) to osteoporotic subjects, but only L-lysine significantly enhanced the calcium intestinal absorption. [7]

Lysine and Schizophrenia

Accumulating research findings suggest that the pathophysiology of schizophrenia may be linked to alterations on the function of the brain’s nitric oxide (NO) signaling system. NO is synthesized in the body from L-arginine and molecular oxygen, but L-arginine so happens to compete for a very specific membrane-bound transport system with L-lysine, which functions as a cationic amino acid transporter. If this transporter becomes saturated with L-lysine, L-arginine is inhibited – leading to a decrease in intracellular L-arginine and, in turn, to a decrease in the production of NO. Since L-lysine thus interferes with NO production, a single-blinded, crossover study investigated the effect of L-lysine (6 g/day) as an adjunctive treatment for schizophrenic subjects. Results from this study indicated a substantial decrease in the severity of positive symptoms among patients; self-reports of improved cognitive functioning were also collected from three out of ten patients. [8]


[1] Lysine: Pharmacology and biochemistry. PubChem, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine.

[2] USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27.

[3] Smriga M. et al. (2007). Oral treatment with L-lysine and L-arginine reduces anxiety and basal cortisol levels in healthy humans. BioMed Research International. 28(2): 85-90.

[4] Smriga M. et al. (2004). Lysine fortification reduces anxiety and lessens stress in family members in economically weak communities in Northwest Syria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 101(22): 8285-8288.

[5] Singh B. B. et al. (2005). Safety and effectiveness of an L-lysine, zinc, and herbal-based product on the treatment of facial and circumoral herpes. Alternative Medicine Review. 10(2): 123-127.

[6] Griffith R. S., Norins A. L., Kagan C. (1978). A multicentered study of lysine therapy in Herpes simplex infection. Dermatologica. 156(5): 257-267.

[7] Civitelli R. et al. (1992). Dietary L-lysine and calcium metabolism in humans. Nutrition. 8(6): 400-405.

[8] Wass C. et al. (2011). L-lysine as adjunctive treatment in patients with schizophrenia: a single-blinded, randomized, cross-over pilot study. BMC Medicine. 9: 40. doi:10.1186/1741-7015-9-40.

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The #1 Muscle That Eliminates Joint And Back Pain, Anxiety And Looking Fat

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Health Benefits Of Fruit

Health Benefits of Fruit
Graphic: © Image sources – see foot of article.

Adding more fruits to your diet helps reduce the risk of disease and improve overall health. Some of them are rich in essential nutrients and potent compounds that provide unique science-supported benefits, as shown below:

1. Pineapples: Pineapples contain manganese and calcium – both of which help build strong bones. [1] They also contain a mixture of enzymes (bromelain) that help digest food and reduce inflammation. [2]

2. Bananas: Bananas contain the L-tryptophan amino acid, which is converted into serotonin (aka., the happy chemical). According to a 2014 study, “consuming more dietary tryptophan resulted in less depressive symptoms and decreased anxiety.” [3]

3. Cherries: Some fruits – including cherries – are rich in anthocyanins, which are bioactive phytochemicals that have been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. [4]

4. Oranges: A 141-gram orange contains 63.5 mg of vitamin C (117% RDI) and high levels of a fiber known as pectin. Both of these nutrients are linked with anti-cancer effects. [5]

5. Watermelon: A watermelon is a good source of heart-friendly nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, vitamins C, B6, and A. The fruit also contains the amino acid citrulline that facilitates the production of nitric oxide – and consequently lower blood pressure. [6]

6. Lemons: Some studies show that drinking lemon water keeps you hydrated, relieves constipation, and preserves the liver’s detoxification ability. [7] Plus it’s a mild diuretic (increase urine frequency). [8]

7. Grapes: Grapes contain flavonoids that promote the production of nitric oxide – hence reducing blood clots. [9]

8. Apples: Studies show that apples reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. They help control hyperglycemia (high levels of blood sugar) thanks to their content of fructose and polyphenols that slow down the absorption of sugars. [10]

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.


[1] Pineapple, raw, all varieties Nutrition Facts & Calories

[2] Rathnavelu V. et al. 2016. Potential role of bromelain in clinical and therapeutic applications.

[3] Lindseth, G. et al. 2015. The Effects of Dietary Tryptophan on Affective Disorders

[4] Tart cherry anthocyanins inhibit tumor development in Apc(Min) mice and reduce proliferation of human colon cancer cells

[5] Park, S. et al. 2018. Vitamin C in Cancer: A Metabolomics Perspective

[6] Collins JK. et al. 2007. Watermelon consumption increases plasma arginine concentrations in adults.

[7] Omar M.E. Abdel-Salam et al. 2014. Citric Acid Effects on Brain and Liver Oxidative Stress in Lipopolysaccharide-Treated Mice

[8] Penniston KL. et al. 2007. Lemonade therapy increases urinary citrate and urine volumes in patients with recurrent calcium oxalate stone formation.

[9] Folts JD. 2002. Potential health benefits from the flavonoids in grape products on vascular disease.

[10] Muraki, Isao et al. 2013. Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies

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Health Benefits of Fruit
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Pineapple –
Banana –
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Orange –
Watermelon –
Lemon –
Grapes –
Apples –