L-arginine is an amino acid that is known to have artery-protecting benefits due to its ability to boost nitric oxide levels. It is especially helpful for people who have heart problems. This amino acid is one of the key nutrients for promoting good blood circulation and for boosting cardiovascular health.
L-arginine is an essential amino acid which means that the body is not capable of producing it in sufficient quantities, therefore, the need to obtain it from dietary sources is necessary.
The benefits of L-Arginine can be attributed to the fact that it is a precursor to nitric oxide. L-arginine is the only nutritional substrate that is available in your blood vessel lining for nitric oxide production.
In other words, your body needs sufficient amounts of L-Arginine to be able to synthesize nitric oxide.
This ability of L-arginine to boost nitric oxide functioning promotes relaxation of blood vessels so that an improved blood flow can take place. This is also made possible because nitric oxide helps relax the smooth muscle cells which are found in most parts of the body except the heart.
As these muscle cells relax in a response to nitric oxide, vasodilation can take place. Vasodilation refers to the widening of blood vessels which allows blood pressure to drop and blood flow to improve.
L-arginine supplementation has been found by experts to be helpful in generating nitric oxide in the appropriate tissues with the help of ‘nitric oxide synthase’. Nitric oxide is a tiny molecule, which is why it can move within and around the cells.
Nitric Oxide for Improved Exercise Capacity
The physical aspect of blood circulation is called hemodynamics. If a person’s ‘hemodynamics’ is improved, so too is a person’s exercise capacity enhanced. As an individual’s exercise capacity improves, so too does their circulation. Both help each other.
Experts have learned that nitric oxide is beneficial for increasing the efficiency of hemoglobin to produce oxygen-rich blood, resulting in enhanced oxygen delivery to the cells. This means that nitric oxide is highly important for our blood circulation and this is where L-arginine supplementation can prove helpful.
How to Enhance Nitric Oxide Production in the Body
Thankfully, there are plenty of foods that are excellent sources of L-arginine. These foods include, lentils, eggs, fruits, nuts and grains.
When a person exercises, their heart pumps harder so that the muscles have plenty of blood flow and oxygen to sustain the exerted physical activity.
Exercise is very important, we all know that. It is especially important as we age. It is actually vitally important, because as an individual ages, their blood vessels and nitric oxide production becomes less efficient. This decline in efficiency, usually caused by free radical damage, deteriorates the arteries and the veins. Good diet and appropriate exercise can delay this effect.