L-arginine is an amino acid that the body uses to make nitric oxide (NO), which plays a role in the development of an erection. Raising a man’s NO level can improve his sexual health by causing a relaxation of blood vessels through a process called a vasodilation, stimulating a greater blood flow through the penis. While the body produces some L-arginine on its own, it can be found in certain nuts or administered in the form of supplements. Using L-arginine can improve penis function, according to some studies.
A Natural Drug
L-arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid found in almonds, walnuts and cashews. While certain medications increase the body's sensitivityto the natural rise in NO that occurs with sexual stimulation, L-arginine provides a simpler approach that raisesNO levels. Because oral arginine supplements may increase nitric oxide levels in the penis, L-arginine has been advertised as a natural erectile remedy.
Researchers are debating whether L-arginine should be the treatment of choice for erectile dysfunction (ED). Studies have had mixed results. In a small double-blind trial in which 50 men with erectile dysfunction received either 5 g of L-arginine or placebo daily for 6 weeks, more men in the treated group experienced improvement in sexual performance than in the placebo group. While a double-blind crossover study of 32 men found no benefit with 1,500 mg of arginine given daily for 17 days, the much smaller dose and shorter course of treatment may explain the discrepancy between these two trials. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 45 men found that one-time use of L-arginine plus the drug yohimbine, made from the herb yohimbe, improved erectile function.
About Erectile Dysfunction
Between 15 and 30 million American men suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED), the inability to achieve and or maintain an erect penis adequate for sexual function. This common sexual problem increases with age. ED, which can cause low self-esteem, performance anxiety, depression and stress, may affect the quality of a marriage or intimate relationships.
The most common risk factors for ED are:
- Being over 50
- Undergoing stress
- Having diabetes
- Having high blood pressure
- Having high cholesterol
- Having cardiovascular disease
- Having low testosterone levels
- Not exercising
Over a period of time these diseases or habits can cause a degeneration of the penile blood vessels, restricting blood flow through the arteries and damaging erectile tissue. Thus, blood leaks through the veins during erection. Because the penis cannot store blood during an erection, a man with this problem cannot maintain an erection. While older men are more susceptible to the problem, the condition can occur to any man regardless of age.
A medical professional such as a urologist, endocrinologist or internist may diagnose ED. The diagnosis requires a medical history, physical examination and a few routine blood tests.The physician will also want to know if the patient has any other conditions that might affect ED. Testing and treatment depend on the goals of the individual. If erection returns with simple treatment like oral medication and the patient is satisfied, no further diagnosis and treatment are necessary.
Dealing with ED
When a man is diagnosed with ED, common remedies may include oral supplements such as L-arginine and yohimbe; oral medications known as phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors; injected medications; an external vacuum device; and surgery. Most of the treatments are temporary and meant for use on demand. While the treatments have minimal side effects, natural supplements are very likely to be safe.
Obtaining an Erection
While there are many options for correcting the problems associated with ED, L-arginine provides a simple, safe approach. By maintaining a diet rich in this amino acid, as well as applying a penis nutrient cream (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil), men may be better able to enjoy their sexual experiences without engaging in expensive procedures or worrying about the consequences.
For additional information on most common penis health issues, tips on improving penis sensitivity, and what to do to maintain a healthy penis, visit: http://www.penishealth101.com. John Dugan is a professional writer who specializes in men's health issues and is an ongoing contributing writer to numerous online web sites.