Natural Male Enhancement: Arginine for Erectile Dysfunction?
Arginine or “L-arginine” is an amino acid necessary for protein synthesis. We’ve talked a fair bit about arginine on UltimateFatBurner.com over the years, but not because of its potential role in natural male enhancement or to combat erectile dysfunction (E.D.).
No, we’ve focused mostly on its role in popular “pre-workout” supplements although the effect it elicits in these products (i.e., “the pump”) is the same one that may offer some benefit for men suffering from erectile dysfunction.
How Does Arginine Work for ED?
Arginine is a substrate for an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase.
This is the enzyme which is responsible for converting arginine into nitric oxide (NO).
Nitric oxide causes vasodilation, which essentially means it dilates the arteries, which means they expand to allow greater blood flow. For this reason, arginine has been used to treat angina, hypertension, congestive heart failure and hyperlipidemia all with varying degrees of success.
Caution: Do not attempt to replace your heart medications with arginine, should you take any. And, if you are taking any drugs to lower your blood pressure (i.e., antihypertensive drugs) do not attempt supplementing with arginine before speaking with your doctor, as it may create an additive effect!
Given the vasodilation effect and the increased blood flow, it is not particularly surprising to learn that high doses of arginine supplementation (5 grams daily) was helpful to combat E.D. in some cases some cases.
This study concluded…
“Oral administration of L-arginine in high doses seems to cause significant subjective improvement in sexual function in men with organic ED only if they have decreased NOx excretion or production.”
One study performed with a significantly lower dose showed no effects, but other studies, which used arginine in conjunction with other compounds (in this case yohimbine, and in this case pycnogenol) demonstrated a significant improvement in “performance”.
Provided you don’t have any contraindicated health issues (high blood pressure, etc), arginine probably falls into the “worth a try” category. Bulk arginine (and you will want to buy the powder form because it will not be cost effective to buy it in capsules) is pretty reasonably priced.
If you feel like experimenting, the dosages are as follows…
- This study used 3 X 40 mg pycnogenol and 1.7 grams arginine daily.
- This study used 5,000 mg (5 grams) arginine daily.
- This study used 6,000 mg (6 grams) arginine and 6 mg yohimbine.
You can buy 400 grams of arginine (80 days worth at the 5 gram per day dose) for around $25 at BodyBuilding.com.
You can buy a month’s worth of yohimbine (2 capsules per day to duplicate the dosage used in the study referenced above) for $10, but pycnogenol is a little more expensive; you’ll need two bottles (at $20/each, take four of the 30 mg caps daily) of the Now brand from iHerb.com to last the month.
If you decide to experiment, leave us some feedback (use the form below) to let us know how it worked for you.