L-Arginine – Importance and Need
L-Arginine is a term that you will often hear if you are discussing Amino Acids. It is a non-essential Amino Acid. Non-essential means the body can produce it naturally even if you do not get it from the food you eat.
Why is it important
It is important for two reasons. One, it helps build protein. Two, it helps in Vasodilation. Like any Amino Acid, it helps the body to build protein. Generally, our body makes all the L-Arginine we need. Still, occasionally due to aging or maybe due to some medical conditions, our body is not able to produce it in the required quantity. As we all know, wide blood vessels are needed for better circulation, L arginine releases Nitric Oxide, which helps in the widening of the blood vessels. Hence improves the circulatory system and heart health.
L-Arginine supplements- Do we need them?
It is a non-essential Amino Acid as the body naturally produces it. But in some medical conditions or due to aging you may require it additionally. This should only be taken as a supplement when a Licensed Medical Practitioner has prescribed you. Though many consider it to be safe to have but please be reminded excess of this can be even fatal. I would strongly recommend having it only when it has been prescribed to you by a medical practitioner.
Natural Ways to Get it
The safer way to get it is when consumed through food. There are many foods that are rich in this Amino Acid. It is found in most protein-rich food, like fish, red meat, dairy products, poultry, etc. For non-meat-eating people, L-arginine is found in plant-based proteins like lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and soybeans.