Initially Posted: 08/25/2017 | Last Updated: 10/19/2019
L-Arginine Supplements Reviewed by ConsumerLab.com

Alphabetical list of L-arginine supplement brands compared in this review

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Country Life L-Arginine Caps

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Daily Wellness ArginMax- Women

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Elements of Health Care L-Arginine Plus - Grape

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GNC L-Arginine

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Havasu Nutrition L-Arginine Extra Strength

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MuscleTech L-Arginine SX-7 Black Onyx

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NOW L- Arginine

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PipingRock.com L-Arginine

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Purethentic Naturals Premium Arginine

Puritan's Pride L-Arginine

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Rexall [Dollar General] L- Arginine

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Solgar L-Arginine 500 mg

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Spring Valley [Walmart] L- Arginine

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Sundown Naturals L-Arginine 500 mg

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Swanson Super Strength L-Arginine

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The Vitamin Shoppe L-Arginine

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Twinlab L-Arginine

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Vitacost L- Arginine HCl

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Vitamin World Maximum Strength L-Arginine

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Summary

  • What is it? L-arginine (or arginine) is an amino acid which is necessary for the body's production of nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes blood vessels and allows more blood to flow through arteries. The form in supplements is typically "free form" arginine, but is sometimes a compound, such as L-arginine HCl. (See What It Is). Not all labels clearly list the amount of arginine. (See What to Consider When Buying), but you can use the Results table to easily compare amounts of arginine in tested supplements.
  • What does it do? L-arginine may modestly improve symptoms, such as exercise intolerance, in congestive heart failure, angina, and leg pain due to intermittent claudication, as well as exercise endurance in recreational and older athletes. Some, but not all, studies have shown some modest benefits in sexual dysfunction and Raynaud's syndrome (See What It Does).
  • How much to take? Dosage depends on the condition being treated, but is typically several thousand milligrams per day (See Dosage).
  • Best choice? Among the products that passed our laboratory tests (See What CL Found), we selected Top Picks for arginine for general use, cardiovascular, sexual enhancement, and sport.
  • Cautions: L-arginine supplementation appears to be generally safe and well tolerated in healthy individuals, although stomach upset may occur and capsules have been reported to irritate the esophagus — so be sure to take with water. L-arginine may interact with blood-pressure lowering and diabetes medications. Do not use if you have had a heart attack, and do not use to treat serious conditions including congestive heart failure, angina, or intermittent claudication without physician supervision. For details, see Concerns and Cautions.
You must be a ConsumerLab.com member to get the full test results along with ConsumerLab.com's findings, recommendations, and quality ratings. You'll get results for 18 L-arginine supplements: ten selected by ConsumerLab.com and eight that passed the same testing in our voluntary Quality Certification Program. There's also information about one product that is similar to one which passed testing but is sold under a different brand name.

You'll get the following information about L-arginine supplements in this comprehensive review:
  • Which L-arginine supplements passed or failed testing
  • Which L-arginine supplements are the best value and CL's Top Picks
  • What L-arginine can and cannot do for your health
  • How forms of L-arginine ("free form," L-arginine HCl, and L-arginine-alpha-ketoglutarate) differ from one another
  • The dose of L-arginine for specific uses
  • What to look for on product labels and how to take L-arginine supplements
  • Why the amino acid citrulline is often added to L-arginine supplements and whether it's been shown to help
  • Cautions, side effects, and drug interactions with L-arginine

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