By Muscle Media
Amino acid arginine is an essential amino acid. It is present in the proteins of all life forms. It is classified as a conditionally essential or semi-essential amino acid. Under normal conditions the body can produce sufficient quantities of amino acid arginine to meet physiological demands. However, in times of stress conditions such as wound healing and trauma, the body might not be able to manufacture enough. In these cases, amino acid arginine becomes essential. It is very important to ensure sufficient dietary intake of the amino acid to meet the increased physiological demands shaped by these conditions.
Important roles of Amino Acid Arginine
Amino acid arginine although not an essential amino acid, is a vital one. In addition to contributing in protein synthesis, it plays a number of other important roles in the body. Amino acid arginine’s primary function entails the metabolism of proteins and nitrogen. It also detoxifies ammonia formed during nitrogen catabolism of amino acids through the formation of urea. It is a forerunner in the formation of polyamines, creatine, nitric oxide, proline, glutamate and agmatin. Also in the formation of the arginine-containing tetrapeptide tuftsin which is believed to be an immunomodulator. Amino acid arginine is also a glycogenic amino acid. If needed by the body, it can be converted to D-glucose and glycogen. Or it can be catabolized to manufacture biological energy.
Arginine when taken in high doses stimulates pituitary release of growth hormones, prolactin and pancreatic release of glucagon and insulin. It is also used as an immunonutrient in parenteral and enteral nutrition. To aid improvement of the immune status of those suffering from burns, sepsis, and trauma.
Where Amino Acid Arginine is found
Arginine is predominately manufactured in the kidney. It is a main intermediary in the Krebs-Henseleit urea cycle. A much smaller amount of this amino acid is synthesized in the liver. The normal dietary intake of arginine is 3.5 to 5 grams daily. Most dietary arginine comes from animal and plant proteins. Vegetable juices contain small amounts of Arginine. Also in fermented foods, such as yogurt and miso. Plant proteins such as soy proteins and other plant proteins are richer in arginine than animal proteins which are richer in lycine. Arginine can also be found in dairy products, meat, poultry, nuts, fish, and chocolate. Other natural sources of arginine are brown rice, raisins, popcorn, and whole-wheat products.
Arginine has a maximum potential in preventing or reducing cardiovascular diseases. I does this by stimulating a compound that relaxes the blood vessels called nitric oxide. It is also used to enhance memory, eliminate depression and improve sleep. As well as control stress, prevent aging and relieve arthritis. Additionally it manages allergies, promotes hair growth and cures impotence. Furthermore, it fights cancer, reduces herpes, combats fatigue, and stimulates the immune system. The normal supplemental dosage of arginine per day is 2 to 8 grams.