- 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.
L-Arginine Supplements Review
Choose the Best L-Arginine Supplement . Find Out Which L-Arginine Supplement Passed CL's Tests
Alphabetical list of L-arginine supplement brands compared in this review
Country Life L-Arginine Caps
Daily Wellness ArginMax- Women
Elements of Health Care L-Arginine Plus - Grape
Havasu Nutrition L-Arginine Extra Strength
MuscleTech L-Arginine SX-7 Black Onyx
NOW L- Arginine
Purethentic Naturals Premium Arginine
Puritan's Pride L-Arginine
Rexall [Dollar General] L- Arginine
Solgar L-Arginine 500 mg
Spring Valley [Walmart] L- Arginine
Sundown Naturals L-Arginine 500 mg
Swanson Super Strength L-Arginine
The Vitamin Shoppe L-Arginine
Vitacost L- Arginine HCl
Vitamin World Maximum Strength L-Arginine
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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