L-arginine is a semi-essential amino acid involved in multiple areas of human physiology and metabolism. L-arginine significantly affects endocrine function and helps regulate the release of neurotransmitter chemicals, insulin, glucagon (which has the opposite effect of insulin; i.e., it raises blood sugar), and growth hormone. However, one of L-arginine's most compelling contributions to human physiology is its role as a biological precursor of nitric oxide. The vascular endothelium (the lining of the arteries) creates nitric oxide from L-arginine, resulting primarily in blood vessel relaxation. This property is important to maintaining good vascular health, heart health, reproductive health, and protection against oxidative damage.
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