L-Arginine is an amino acid, an organic chemical that acts as one of the body’s building blocks for protein.
It is naturally available in foods that are high in protein such as poultry, red meat, dairy products and fish.
But it can also be synthesized in the laboratory as a medicine and dietary supplement.
It is commonly prescribed for a number of conditions relating to the blood vessels and the heart, due to its ability to increase the flow of blood through the coronary artery and block build-up of arterial plaque.
These include high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and chest pain.
Other conditions for which it may be prescribed include senile dementia, male infertility and erectile dysfunction, and persistent pain in the legs caused by blocked arteries.
L-Arginine is also used in combination with other over-the-counter and prescription drugs to treat various medical conditions.
When taken with ibuprofen, the amino acid is used to treat migraine headaches.
It is combined with chemotherapy medication to treat breast cancer.
In people suffering from weight loss due to AIDS, L-Arginine is taken with other amino acids.
Following surgery, L-Arginine may be given along with other supplements such as fish oil in order to speed up wound healing and cut down on recovery time, as well as reducing the risk of infection.
L-Arginine may also be used topically.
In cream form, it is used to treat sexual problems for both men and women. It is also applied directly to affected areas to increase blood flow to the hands and feet that are suffering from poor circulation and to wounds to help speed up healing.
Many athletes also take L-Arginine to help boost their performance on the field due to its alleged ability to increase the production of nitric oxide, a gaseous molecule that speeds delivery of oxygen throughout the body while increasing blood flow.