L-arginine is an amino acid often taken as a supplement by couples facing fertility issues. L-arginine is a semi essential amino acid used in a number of physiological functions. The body is able to make l-arginine, though dietary intake is important for ensuring you have enough of this amino acid. Good dietary sources include nuts, lentils, kidney beans and fresh soybeans. Other dietary sources include egg yolk, meats and dairy products.
L-arginine is important for optimum health, and is thought to protect against a number of health conditions.
L-arginine is important for a strong immune system, and is also recommended for couples facing fertility issues. As well as eating a diet rich in the food sources mentioned above, you may wish to take a daily supplement to increase your l-arginine intake. Speak to your healthcare provider for advice before you begin taking a new supplement.
1. It increases blood circulation to the uterus, ovaries and genitals - increased blood flow can improve reproductive health. L-arginine allows for better blood circulation to the ovaries, allowing for optimum egg production. The increased blood flow to the uterus also creates a better environment to allow the implantation of a fertilized egg. Blood flow is important for the proper functioning of the reproductive organs, and may improve the chances of conception.
2. It increases Nitric Oxide levels - L-arginine is used by the body to create Nitric Oxide (NO). Research has found that increased NO levels supports healthy inflammation levels which may help to prevent uterine fertility issues such as fibroids, endometriosis and PCOS. Inflammation is a contributing factor to a number of fertility issues shown to negatively impact conception and implantation.
3. Supports normal sperm production - research has found that taking a l-arginine supplement daily can increase sperm production in men. In the study, the effects were noticeable 6-8 weeks from the start of supplementation. L-arginine may also improve the motility of sperm, thus increasing the chance of conception in couples suffering from low sperm motility. Where IVF is used, l-arginine can be used to improve the quality of sperm, increasing the the chance of achieving a fertilized egg.
4. Improve the production of cervical mucous - the increased blood flow to the reproductive organs can aid in the production of cervical mucous. Abnormal mucous production contributes to the challenges faced by around 1 in 20 women dealing with fertility issues. Some women do not produce enough cervical mucous, and others produce a mucous that is too thick for sperm to travel through. L-arginine can encourage better production of cervical mucous through improved blood flow.
5. Supports a healthy libido – L-arginine increases blood flow to the genitals in both men and women, leading to an increased libido. In men, increased blood flow to the penis can result in more frequent and sustained erections. L-arginine is often suggested for men suffering from erectile dysfunction. In women, increased blood flow to the genitals can lead to increased sexual arousal and orgasm. A healthy libido plays an important role in conception.
6. Improves Heart Health
Research shows that l-arginine is beneficial for lowering inflammation and improving the health of the blood vessels and cardiovascular system, which is why it’s one of the most popular supplements recommended by cardiologists. For people with high risk factors for coronary heart disease, L-arginine supplements can be an effective measure for preventing a heart attack or stroke.
Some of the ways that L-arginine improves cardiovascular health include: preventing high blood pressure, improving blood flow in people with clogged arteries (coronary artery disease), lowering high cholesterol, helping to relieve congestive heart failure, improving stamina, and reducing symptoms associated with cut-off blood flow from the heart to the limbs (called claudication).
It’s also commonly used for treating chest pains (angina pectoris) because of the effects of nitric oxide preventing blood clots (thrombosis) that cut off blood supply. Two to three grams a day of L-arginine supplementation has been shown to resolve nitrate intolerance in most people with angina according to some studies. And finally, L-arginine is capable of safely improving exercise performance in people with low stamina, circulation problems and a history of heart disease.