Arginine (Serum)

Optimal Result: 81.6 - 249 nmol/ML.

Physiological Function:

L-Arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid found in the diet. It is a dietary supplement used mostly by athletes because it is the amino acid that directly produces nitric oxide via the nitric oxide synthase enzymes.

Arginine helps heal injuries, aids kidneys in removing waste, and boosts immune system function.

What does it mean if your Arginine (Serum) result is too low?

How it gets depleted:

Arginine is important during periods of illness and chronic conditions like hypertension and type II diabetes, as these states tend to be characterized by an increase in the enzyme that degrades L-arginine (known as arginase) resulting in a transient deficiency; this precedes an increase in blood pressure in these states, and can be partially remedied by an increase in L-arginine intake or resolution of the illness/disease state.

Clinical Manifestations of Depletion:

Arginine is one of the three substrates to form creatine which is a vital nutrient (deficiency induces mental retardation) and is also used to form agmatine, a signalling molecule in the body. Arginine is an intermediate in both the urea cyle (with L-ornithine, L-citrulline, and arginosuccinate) and the nitric oxide cycle (with ornithine and arginosuccinate), and vicariously through ornithine it produces polyamine structures which can regulate cellular function. In some individuals with viral infections such as shingles, arginine supplementation may exacerbate symptoms and consultation with a healthcare provider is recommended.

Food Sources:

Dietary arginine accounts for 40-60% of serum arginine. Food sources include: turkey, pork, chicken, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, peanuts, spirulina, dairy, chickpeas, lentils.

Supplement Options:

- To maintain elevated arginine levels throughout the day, arginine can be taken up to three times a day, with a combined dose total of 15-18g. Note: L-citrulline supplementation is more effective at maintaining elevated arginine levels for long periods of time.

- Taking more than 10g of arginine at once can result in gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea.

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