Arginine Benefits, Side Effects and Information

Arginine is an essential amino acid that is believed to aid in healing wounds, helping to eliminate ammonia from the body, improving immune function, and enhancing production of several hormones including glucagon, insulin, and growth hormone.

The effect of arginine on growth hormone levels has implicit value in the body building industry in particular. In studies when arginine was combined with vigorous exercise and weight training, a much greater decrease in body fat was obtained after only five weeks than when the same exercise was combined with a placebo.

By helping to increase protein synthesis, arginine may help increase cellular replication in people with low levels of certain kinds of cells. Arginine's ability to positively affect protein synthesis is also believed to improve wound healing.

Arginine is also a precursor to nitric oxide, which the body uses to keep blood vessels dilated, allowing the heart to receive adequate oxygen.

Arginine also appears to act as a natural blood thinner by reducing platelet aggregation.


While some people with serious infections, burns, or other trauma should take arginine, appropriate amounts must be determined by a physician. However, research on cardiovascular disease has used between 6 and 20 grams of arginine per day.