Theamino acid arginine has been shown to have a wide array of functions, many of which are to support the immune system. One of the effects arginine has on the immune system is its ability to promote proliferation of lymphocytes and increase their activity.
It also increases the phagocytic activity of macmphages. This enhanced activity of the immune system can have a profound impact on our health. In people with some types of cancer, supplemental arginine was shown to increase the number of anti-tumor natural killer cells that were present in the tumor, suggesting that the immune system was increasing its attack on the tumor.
Arginine is also helpful in the process of inflammation and wound healing. Although the exact mechanism of how arginine promotes wound healing is not exactly known, it does enhance the process of collagen formation and promotes fibroblast growth. The arginine-induced increase in macrophage activity also aids in the inflammation process where damaged tissue is cleared away far the formation of new tissue.
With arginine having such diverse immune functions, it is a vital amino acid in supporting optimum immune function.