Supplementation and Arginine Side Effects

November 12, 2012

Supplementation and Arginine Side Effects

The amino acid, L-arginine, is often taken in supplement form but is also gotten naturally in your diet. It is considered a conditional essential amino acid in that when your system is stressed you may not be able to make enough to sustain at that time. L-arginine is readily available in the diet by taking in milk products, meats, fish and nuts. Dietary arginine should not cause any problems however, if you are supplementing you may be over doing it leading to arginine side effects.

Arginine is an important component of proteins, it helps remove ammonia from the body, aids in the release of insulin and the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is known to relax capillaries allowing for better blood flow through tissues and organs. Individuals use arginine in supplement form to relieve colds, loss of memory (Alzheimer’s), hypertension (high blood pressure), erectile dysfunction (ED), migraines, leg cramping and muscle pain, painful bladder inflammation and preeclampsia. Preeclampsia occurs in pregnant women who develop high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Arginine is also used to enhance immune function and increase athletic performance however, beware of arginine side effects. When supplementing with arginine, caution should be taken especially when taking this amino acid for long term. Arginine side effects can be life threatening especially to some individuals with preexisting health issues. Arginine side effects reported include: indigestion, nausea, headache, bloating, diarrhea, gout, blood abnormalities, airway inflammation, and low blood pressure. Arginine has also been known to exacerbate asthma. Arginine side effects are not to be taken lightly.

If you have gastrointestinal problems such as heartburn, ulcers or digestive problems, high doses of arginine may increase the production of acid in the stomach making the situation worse. If you have bleeding problems, a hemophiliac, or are taking blood thinners such as Warfarin, Coumadin or aspirin, you need to consult your healthcare provider before you supplement with arginine. Arginine increases blood circulation by the production of nitric oxide. Some people report that arginine can irritate herpes infections. If you have kidney or liver dysfunction, arginine is involved with the way the body handles toxic waste removal and may cause further complications. Arginine may also affect potassium levels and generate dehydration. If you have hypotension, arginine may lower your blood pressure even more.

Perhaps one of the most severe of arginine side effects is anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic response that can cause death. If you are allergic to arginine, you may experience swelling of the tongue, face, lips or airways, respiratory failure, and possibly coma. You need immediate medical attention to relieve all of these arginine side effects.

So, as you can see the amino acid arginine has a number of benefits but also has a number of side effects particularly if you have preexisting medical conditions. Before taking any supplement, it is a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider first. Your doctor can also help you buy the best supplement available for a good price.

Category: Articles