Arginine Facts - Weight Training & Blood Vessels


Journal Applied Physiology, 101:848-852, 2006 & International Journal Sports Medicine, 27:567-572, 2006

Growth hormone is a proven fat fighter and muscle builder and is popular with many bodybuilders and aging adults. Unfortunately, daily injections of growth hormone are expensive and inconvenient. Many oral supplements sold on the Internet claim to increase growth hormone levels, but few scientific studies support their use. Researchers from Syracuse University found that combining arginine supplements with weight training increased blood growth hormone levels. Oral arginine, by itself also increases growth hormone, but not as much as when it was combined with weight training.

This study didn't show that oral arginine supplements increased muscle size or strength, but it supported the effectiveness of oral growth hormone boosters. It's doubtful that boosting growth hormone with oral supplements is as effective as injected growth hormone.

Blood vessels use arginine to make nitric oxide an important chemical that controls blood flow Arginine supplements boost nitric oxide improve blood flow control and increase exercise capacity in some people with chronic diseases. For example, combining a low-calorie diet and exercise program with L-arginine supplementation (8 grams per day for 21 days) reduced body fat, oxidative stress and waist circumference, and improved blood sugar control and blood vessel function in people with type 2 diabetes. (Am J Physiol, June 13, 2006).

Arginine restored normal nitric oxide production, improved the capacity for erections and increased blood testosterone in men exposed to secondhand smoke (mt J Impotence Bbs, 17: 437-444, 2005). French researchers found that arginine supplementation increased endurance and decreased heart rate and blood lactate in heart failure patients. Poor blood vessel health is extremely common in men and women over 35 years of age. While diet, exercise and weight control are the best defenses against poor blood vessel health, arginine supplements may help.

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