arginine (generic name)
- Auto Immune Conditions
- Bladder & Kidney Health
- Brain & Nervous System
- Care Transitions
- Dental Health
- Emotional Health
- Eye Health
- Falls Prevention
- Financial Planning
- General Safety
- Health Care Basics
- Healthy Living
- Hearing Loss
- Heart Health
- High Blood Pressure
- Life Transitions
- Lung Health
- Men's Health
- Nutrition & Weight Management
- Pain Management
- Preventive Health
- Sexual Health
- Stomach & Digestive Health
- Stress & Anxiety
- Women's Health
TraditionWARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
AIDS/HIV (prevention of wasting), ammonia toxicity, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet agent, anxiety, beta-hemoglobinopathies, cancer, chronic pain, cirrhosis, cold prevention, cystic fibrosis, endocrine disorders (metabolic syndrome), glaucoma, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), hepatic encephalopathy, increased muscle mass, infantile necrotizing enterocolitis, infection, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ischemic stroke, liver disease, lower esophageal sphincter relaxation, metabolic acidosis, obesity, osteoporosis, pain, peritonitis, pre-term labor contractions, sepsis, sexual arousal, sexual function in women, sickle cell anemia, stress, stomach motility disorders, stomach ulcers, supplementation to a low protein diet, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), trauma (recovery), tumors, ulcerative colitis.
Dietary Sources of Arginine
Walnuts, filberts (hazelnuts), pecans, Brazil nuts, sesame and sunflower seeds, brown rice, raisins, coconut, gelatin, buckwheat, almonds, barley, cashews, cereals, chicken, chocolate, corn, dairy products, meats, oats, peanuts.
Adults (18 years and older)
There is a lack of standard or well-established doses of arginine, and many different doses have been used and studied. A common dose is 2-3 grams taken by mouth three times daily. In studies, 0.5-16 grams of arginine has been taken daily by mouth for up to six months. Arginine has been applied to the skin in order to improve wound healing.
Doses of arginine used intravenously depend on specific institutional dosing guidelines and should be given under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
Children (younger than 18 years)
Arginine supplements are not recommended in children because there is not enough scientific information available and because of potential side effects.
SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
A severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis, has occurred after arginine injections. People with known allergies should avoid arginine. Signs of allergy may include rash, itching, or shortness of breath.
Side Effects and Warnings
Arginine has been well tolerated by most people in studies lasting for up to six months, although there is a possibility of serious side effects in some people.
Stomach discomfort, including nausea, stomach cramps, or an increased number of stools, may occur. People with asthma may experience a worsening of symptoms, which may be related to allergy, if arginine is inhaled.
Other potential side effects include low blood pressure and changes in numerous chemicals and electrolytes in the blood. Examples include high potassium, high chloride, low sodium, low phosphate, high blood urea nitrogen, and high creatinine levels. People with liver or kidney diseases may be especially sensitive to these complications and should avoid using arginine except under medical supervision. After injections of arginine, low back pain, flushing, headache, numbness, restless legs, venous irritation, and death of surrounding tissues have been reported.
In theory, arginine may increase the risk of bleeding. Patients using anticoagulants (blood thinners) or antiplatelet drugs, or with underlying bleeding disorders, should speak with their qualified healthcare providers before using arginine and should be monitored.
Arginine may increase blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients taking prescription drugs to control sugar levels.
Arginine may increase potassium levels, especially in patients with liver disease.
L-arginine may worsen symptoms of sickle cell disease.