L-Arginine – for a healthy heart and a happy man

Most people these days are aware of the signs to look for when they have problems with their heart or circulation.  Chest pains are always a cause of concern, as are aches in the left arm and if we start to finds ourselves getting out of breath when we are doing our normal everyday exercise we would definitely want to look into it.  However for men, who tend to be the first to start with heart disease, there is a more immediate indicator of poor circulation, and that is erectile dysfunction (E.D).    This is obviously a topic that men don’t really like to discuss, but other than being a side effect of stress it can often be one of the first signs of heart disease.

How can it be that E.D. can be related to the workings of the heart?  Think of it like plumbing where the arteries are like pipes.  Pipes can get blocked by lime scale round the sides, which impedes the flow of water through them.  Likewise atherosclerotic plaques build up on the artery walls and slow down the circulation of our blood.  If your lime scale breaks off the pipes you may get a blocked shower, if it happens in your arteries you may end up with a heart attack.  The link with erectile function is that you need a good flow of blood to the penis in order to maintain an erection and if your overall circulation is poor this may become more difficult.  If this is happening to you or someone who is close to you now would be a good time to speak to your GP – these symptoms should not be ignored.

So how does L-Arginine fit in the picture and indeed what is it?  L-Arginine is an amino acid (a part of protein) that has the effect of creating nitric oxide (NO).  This is a chemical that causes our veins to dilate (expand) and therefore increases the blood flow.  It is the substance the Nitro lingual pump sprays convert to that angina sufferer’s use.  Not only is this helpful for E.D. caused by poor blood flow it is also helpful to the heart itself, which does not have to work so hard pumping blood through narrow tubes and this can have positive benefits to blood pressure.

L-Arginine is also every man’s dream as it is used in the production of energy and muscles, so has been used by body builders to increase lean body mass.  It is also used in cell replication, which makes it vital for creating healthy sperm.

However this is not just an amino acid exclusive to men.  As women pass through menopause their incidence of heart disease become the same as men’s and cardiovascular health challenges can also benefit from the use of L-Arginine.

L-Argine levels can be increased through diet and it can be found in fish, poultry, oats, peanuts, walnuts, dairy products, carob or chocolate, brown rice, wheat and wheat germ, raisins and sunflower seeds.  Foods particularly high in L-Arginine are avocado, cheese, chicken, chocolate, cottage cheese, duck, egg, granola, oatmeal, pork, ricotta and sausage meat.

By Jane Cronin

Clinicians Naturopath


Clinicians L-Arginine 1000mg provides a high quality source of the semi-essential amino acid L-arginine. It is available for secure order from our online shop.

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