Arginine Can be an Effective Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction

Arginine is a semi-essential amino acid. L-arginine is converted in the body into a chemical named nitric oxide. Nitric oxide (NO) is a strong neurotransmitter that helps blood vessels relax and develops circulation. Arginine are increasingly being recommended in urology to support the therapy of erectile problems of a mild or medium severity.

L-arginine Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

L-arginine is the precursor of nitric oxide, which is a substance that helps dilate blood vessels and improves circulation. A dose of 5 g per day might be effectual in treating male erectile dysfunction because the erectile process requires nitric oxide synthesized by arginine. Researches have shown that L-arginine may help treat erectile dysfunction in men with low nitrate levels in their blood.

In a study, 2 groups of rats were given free access to arginine which was dissolved in their drinking water. Serum and penile tissue levels of arginine in the treated rats were increased by 64 – 148 percent compared to control animals. A 1999 study reported in the online journal BJU International found that high doses of arginine can help improve sexual function. In a study, men with erectile dysfunction were given 2800 mg of arginine per day for 2 weeks. Six of the fifteen men in the study were helped, though none improved while taking placebo. In another study men with erectile dysfunction were given 1670 mg of arginine per day or a matching placebo for 6 weeks. Arginine supplement was found to be especially efficacious at improving erectile dysfunction in men with abnormal nitric oxide metabolism.

L-arginine used in combination with proanthocyanidins or yohimbine, has been used as a therapy for erectile dysfunction. In clinical trials, an on-demand oral preparation of an yohimbine/arginine combination significantly improved erectile function in men with mild-to-moderate disease whereas neither arginine alone nor yohimbine alone was significantly better than placebo. In a study of 45 men found that one-time use of this combination treatment (3.25 g of arginine plus 6 mg of yohimbine) an hour or two prior to intercourse improved erectile function, particularly in those with just moderate erectile dysfunction scores. Combination therapy was considered successful by 40% of the subjects, compared with 28 % with yohimbine alone and 17 % with placebo.

L-arginine and Pycnogenol

Five clinical trials have found that arginine aspartate and pycnogenol work together to restore sexual function, enable erections, performance, boost libido,and sperm motility, viability, and quantity. Study by researchers at Seminological Laboratory, and reported in the May issue of  Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy in 2003 discovered that administration of  Pycnogenol and L-arginine important enhances sexual function in men with erectile dysfunction. During the three-month study period participants received 3 ampoules Sargenor a day, a drinkable solution of the dipeptide arginyl aspartate. (equivalent to 1.7 g L-arginine). Throughout the second month, participants were additionally supplemented with 40 mg Pycnogenol 2 times per day;  during the third month, the daily dosage was increased to 3 time 40 mg Pycnogenol. After one month of therapy with arginine, a statistically non significant number of 2 participant (5%)  experienced a normal erection. Therapy with a combination of  Pycnogenol and L-arginine for the subsequent month increased the number of men with restored sexual function to 80%. After the third month of treatment, 92.5% of the men experienced a successful erection. In another study, investigated 50 middle-aged men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction who were treated for one month with placebo or with arginine aspartate and pycnogenol. Therapy with arginine aspartate and pycnogenol for one month restored erectile function to normal, and intercourse frequency doubled.

Can Arginine Help Heart Disease?

Arginine is a chemical precursor to nitric oxide. Research findings shown that arginine may help treat health conditions that improve with increased vasodilation. These conditions include chest pain, atherosclerosis, heart disease or failure, intermittent claudication/peripheral vascular disease, and vascular headaches.

Arginine Heart Benefits

Arginine is a important amino acid that plays a role in a number of physiological functions in the body, however, is best known for its cardiovascular effects. Researches indicate arginine may help treat health problems that improve with vasodilation, such as clogged arteries, chest pain, coronary artery disease, heart failure, intermittent claudication/peripheral vascular disease, and blood vessel swelling that causes headaches. L-arginine is the precursor of nitric oxide, which is a substance that helps dilate blood vessels and improves circulation. Nitric oxide is 1000 times more strong than any naturally occurring antioxidant in the body. Its antioxidant effects are especially important for numerous body systems and may help protect against heart disease, stroke, and cancer, as well as slowing the aging process.

Angina is chest pain caused by restricted blood flow to the heart. Taking arginine seems to reduce symptoms and increase exercise tolerance and quality of life in individuals with angina. Taking 2 g of arginine 3 times per day for as little as 3 days has improved the ability of angina sufferers to exercise. Seven of ten participants with severe angina improved significantly after taking 9 g of arginine per day for 3 months in an study. In a study, of 36 participants with heart disease found that use of L-arginine (in combination with antioxidant vitamins and minerals) at a daily dose of 6.6 g decreased symptoms of angina. A small-scale a study showed that use of arginine (700 mg 4 times daily) may support transdermal nitroglycerin treatment for angina.

In the body, arginine is converted to nitric oxide, which relaxes the blood vessels. This lowers stress on the heart and develops circulation. Three small-scale study enrolling a total of 70 participant with congestive heart failure (CHF) found that L-arginine at a dose of 5 g to 15 g daily could significantly improve symptoms as well as objective measurements of heart function. L-arginine may enhance cardiac performance in patients with congestive heart failure, according to a 2000 study reported in “Clinical Cardiology”.

Individuals with advanced hardening of the arteries, frequently have difficulty walking because of lack of blood flow to the legs, a problem known as intermittent claudication. The intensity of intermittent claudication is usually measured in the distance a person can walk without pain. Intermittent claudication is primarily caused by peripheral artery disease. Claudication generally occurs in individuals aged over 50 years; but it can occur much earlier in people who smoke and those who have diabetes, high blood pressure. Intravenous injections of the arginine have been shown to be significantly efficacious at improving intermittent claudication. In a study, 8 g of arginine, injected twice daily for 3 weeks, improved pain-free walking distance by 230% and absolute walking distance by 155%, compared to no healing with placebo.

Arginine Shown to Increase Male Fertility

L-arginine is an amino acid necessary in the replication of cells, and is considered substantial for male fertility. Researches shows that several months of arginine supplement enhances sperm count, quality, and fertility.

L-arginine Fertility Benefits

Infertility is the failure of a couple to become pregnant after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse. In approximately 50% of cases, couple infertility is due to sperm quality, including low sperm count, misshapen sperm and decreased sperm motility. The normal amount of semen produced during ejaculation ranges from 1mL to 5.6mL. 40 million to 300 million is the normal range for the number of sperm per milliliter. Counts below 10 million are considered unfavorable; counts of 20 million or more may be fine if motility and morphology are normal. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a healthy sperm count is 20 million sperm cells per ml, with 50% of sperm cells moving forward and at least 2 ml of semen volume.

L-arginine is a precursor of different compounds (spermidine, spermine and putrescine) that are thought to play a role in sperm motility. For infertile men with sperm counts greater than 10 million per milliliter, some physicians recommend up to 4 g of arginine per day for several months. In 1973, researchers reported a study in which L-arginine was given to 178 men with low sperm count. 74% of  the participants had significant development in sperm count and motility after taking 4 g/day for 3 months. Dr. Cesare Battaglia explained in his 1999 in the Human Reproduction journal that daily ingestion of large doses of arginine increased blood flow to the reproductive organs.

Oral use of 500 mg arginine-HCl per day to infertile men for six-eight weeks significantly increased sperm counts and motility in a majority of patients, and resulted in successful pregnancies. But, when baseline sperm counts were less than 10 million/mL, arginine supplement produced little or no amelioration. A study reported in the January 2006 issue of Biology of Reproduction concluded that sperm cells synthesize nitric oxide, necessary to enhance sperm vitality, from  arginine. Another study, researchers evaluated the clinical efficacy of L-arginine in 40 infertile men. Participants were given 80 ml of a 10-percent arginine HCl solution for 6 months. L-arginine supplement significantly developed sperm motility without any adverse effects.

Zinc Cuts the Length of the Common Cold

Zinc (Zn) is a catalyst necessary for activating about 100 enzymes involved in metabolic reactions within the cells. This mineral is necessary for the immune system, and zinc deficiency affects multiple aspects of  innate and adaptive immunity.  Zinc is very important for normal development and function of cells mediating nonspecific immunity such as neutrophils and NK (natural killer) cells.

Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency

The Symptoms of a moderate deficiency of zinc include growth retardation and male hypogonadism in adolescents, cell-mediated immune dysfunctions, delayed wound healing, poor appetite, rough skin and mental lethargy. The Symptoms of severe Zn deficiency in humans include alopecia, bullous pustular dermatitis, intercurrent infections due to cell-mediated immune dysfunctions, weight loss, hypogonadism in males, emotional disorder,  neurosensory disorders, and problems with healing of ulcers. Clinical symptoms of  Zn deficiency may occur when plasma zinc concentrations drop below 65 mcg/dL. Values less than 33 mcg/dL are especially associated with loss of the senses of taste and smell, diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite and skin rash.

Zinc and Immune Health

Zinc is known to play a critical role in the immune system, and zinc deficient individuals experience increased susceptibility to a variety of pathogens. Enough zinc intake is essential in maintaining the integrity of the immune system, specifically for normal development and function of cells that mediate both innate and adaptive immune responses. People with low  Zn levels have shown reduced lymphocyte proliferation response to mitogens and other adverse alterations in immunity that can be corrected by zinc supplement.  Zn deficiency in humans reduces the activity of serum thymulin, which is required for maturation of  T-helper cells. Thymulin  (a thymic hormone) is a thymus-specific hormone and it requires the presence of zinc for its biological activity to be expressed.

ZincThe found Zn has a important role in preventing too much inflammation, which could retard the body’s ability to fight infection. Professor Daren Knoell, lead researcher on the study, which is reported in the journal Cell Reports, said: “If you are deficient in zinc you are at a disadvantage because your defence system is amplified, and inappropriately so. “The effect to health is explicit; zinc is useful because it stops the action of a protein, ultimately preventing excess inflammation.” Certain aspects of immune function in the elderly have been found to improve with zinc. In a study in men and women over 65 years of age found that a zinc supplementation of 25 mg/day for 3 months increased levels of some circulating immune cells compared to placebo. In another study in 49 older participants (aged 55-87 years), 35% of which were considered zinc deficient, found that zinc supplement of 45 mg/day for twelve months reduced the incidence of infection and ex vivo markers of inflammation and oxidative stress.

Zinc and Common Cold Treatment

Clinical study findings support the value of zinc in reducing the duration and severity of symptoms of the common cold when administered within 24 hours of the onset of common cold symptoms.  Zn has been shown, in some studies, to inhibit the reproduction of viruses and may promote the production of the virus-fighter interferon. Most colds are caused by a type of virus called rhinovirus, which thrives and multiplies in the nasal passages and throat. Rhinoviruses belong to the same virus family as the more widely feared poliovirus. Human rhinoviruses, by attaching to the nasal epithelium via the intracellular adhesion molecule-1 receptor, cause most colds. Rhinovirus is very effective at producing infections. It has been shown that 95% of individuals exposed to a rhinovirus strain they have not previously encountered become infected, and 75% of those infected become ill.  Laboratory study has shown that the zinc is known to help block replication of rhinoviruses and other viruses which affect the respiratory system.

According to a study, reported in the Oct 2004 edition Journal of American Pharmacist Association, zinc helps decrease the duration and severity of symptoms of the common cold. Researchers think that zinc lozenges or nasal sprays may avoid the virus that causes the common cold from attaching to the nasal cavities, windpipe, and lungs. In lab experiments, this mineral interacts with the virus’ “coat” and changes its ability to assemble into mature virus particles.  In a clinical study, 50 participants took a zinc acetate lozenge (13.3 mg zinc) or placebo every 2–3 wakeful hours. Compared with placebo, the zinc lozenges significantly reduces the duration of cold symptoms. In another study involving 273 subjects with experimentally induced colds, zinc gluconate lozenges (13.3 mg zinc) significantly reduced the duration of illness compared with placebo. In a study looked at the ability of zinc lozenges to treat the common cold in adults. Within 24 hours of experiencing cold symptoms, 99 participants took zinc or placebo lozenges every 2 hours. At the end of the study, participants taking zinc lozenges had their cold symptoms for just 4.4 days, on average, while participants taking the placebo had theirs for an average of 7.6 days.

Depending on the total dosage of zinc and the composition of lozenges, zinc lozenges may shorten the duration of common cold episodes by up to 40%, according to a study reported in the “Open Respiratory Medicine Journal“. A review of the available scientific findings show taking zinc within a day of the onset of cold symptoms speeds recovery. Furthermore, it may help ward off colds, explain the authors of the Cochrane Systematic Review that included data from 15 trials involving 1360 people. According to the Cochrane Review, when taken within 24 hours of the first symptoms of a cold  zinc lozenges, syrups or capsules, can cut colds short by several days and sharply reduce the severity of symptoms.

Taurine May Be Important for Heart Disease

Taurine (2-aminoethanesulphonic acid) is a nonessential amino acid the body produces naturally from vitamin B-6 and the amino acids cysteine and methionine. Taurine was found to exhibit various pharmacological effects, including protection against ischemia-reperfusion injury, modulation of intracellular calcium concentration, and antiatherogenic, antioxidant and blood pressure-lowering properties. In Japan, taurine is used to treat ischemic heart disease (IHD), and heart arrhythmia in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF).

Taurine and Heart Problems

Taurine makes up approximately 50% of the free amino acids in the heart cells. It has a positive inotropic action on cardiac tissue, and has been proved in some trials to lower blood pressure. Researchers reported that taurine can lower left ventricular end-diastolic pressure in people with heart failure.

Although the exact mechanisms of the potential useful effects of taurine in ischemic heart disease  have yet to be identified, based on the information available in the literature, it can be suggested that the mechanisms could include attenuation of  Ca 2+ overload, antioxidant properties or membrane-stabilizing actions. The consequence of  Ca2+ excess is the accumulation of intracellular calcium, ultimately leading to cellular death. Taurine may both indirectly and directly help regulate intracellular Ca2+ ion levels by modulating the activity of the voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels. Taurine has been found to partially block the effects of Angiotensin II implying that taurine may interfere with different actions of Angiotensin II in cardiovascular cells. Angiotensin II is an hormone that plays a important role in the maintenance of cardiovascular homeostasis.

HeartCongestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart has trouble pumping blood, which leads to fluid accumulating in the legs and lungs. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed, “taurine is an effective agent for the treatment of heart failure without any adverse effects.” In a 1983 study, participants reported a important relief from their congestive heart failure (CHF) symptoms while taking taurine in 2 g doses 3 times a day compared to participants taking the placebo. Taking taurine seems to improve heart function and symptoms in people with moderate heart failure (New York Heart Association functional class II) to severe heart failure (New York Heart Association functional class IV).  Some patients with serious heart failure rapidly improve from New York Heart Association (NYHA) class IV to II after 4 to 8 weeks of therapy. In one double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 58 patient with congestive heart failure took either placebo or 2 g of taurine 3 times daily for four weeks. During taurine therapy, the study participants showed important improvement in breathlessness, heart palpitations, fluid buildup, and heart x-ray, as well as standard scales of heart failure severity.

A study in the “Journal of Cardiology” compared the effects of 500 mg of taurine 3 times a day with a placebo on people with left ventricular heart failure. The participants who received the taurine substantially increased exercise distance, and they improved their functional mobility over 2-week period, while the placebo group showed no changes. In a clinical study, the effect of oral administration of taurine (3 g/day) and coenzyme Q10 (30 mg/day) in 17 participants with congestive heart failure (CHF) secondary to ischemic or idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy was compared. In the taurine-treated group, unlike the coenzyme Q10-treated group, an development of the systolic left ventricular function was observed after 6 weeks.

Lebanese scientists demonstrated that the incidence of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia were substantially reduced when taurine treatment was utilized. A suggested dosage range is 1500-4000 mg daily. When taurine is administered with urokinase, a plasminogen activator (an enzyme that hydrolyzes arginine and lysine), serum endothelin levels reduction after 8 hours post-infarction and stayed  suppressed for several days. This demonstrates that taurine can beneficially affect serum endothelin levels and therefore be a important adjunct to thrombolytic cure. In a placebo-controlled study of twelve people with stable angina, intravenous infusion of 5 g taurine 1 to 3 hours before coronary artery bypass surgery reduced the level of lipoperoxidation products, an indicator of  ROS, during reperfusion. The mean oxidative stress ratio comparing reperfusion to pre-operative biopsy samples was 1.12 in the taurine pretreated group versus 2.45 in the placebo group.