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L-Arginine preparations are increasingly being recommended in Urology to support the treatment of erectile disorders of a mild or medium severity. Since the importance of the molecule NO (nitric oxide) for vascular and muscular processes was discovered in the mid-1990s, there has been intensive research into the chain of events which, in a simplified version, goes like this:
- L-Arginine is the only reactant (starting point) for the formation of nitric oxide (NO).
- Nitric oxide (NO) is the neurotransmitter for the widening and expansion of vessels and muscles. It goes into the blood vessel walls and stimulates the nerves, causing the muscle to relax and vessels to widen, ensuring the elasticity of the vessels and muscles.
- For the penis to become erect, the muscles must relax, allowing the accumulation of venous blood. At the same time, arterial blood flows into the penis, aided by the widening of the vessels. Without a sufficient supply of L-Arginine and therefore NO, this is not possible.
What Do Urologists Say About L-Arginine?
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Interviews with different urologists and andrologists reveal that they are unanimously positive about the potential of L-Arginine. Above all, they praise the favourable “effects-risks profile”: the effect ranges from good to very good and there are no noteworthy risks. We have collected a few quotes from some of the leading andrologists in Germany.
Prof. Dr. Hartmut Porst, Hamburg (Quotes from the Practice Homepage):
L-Arginine is the amino acid from which the erectile substance cGMP in the cavernous body is formed.
Early studies have already shown that the daily intake of high doses (3-5g) of L-Arginine can improve erectile functioning. .
L-Arginine isn’t, as has already been mentioned, a drug, but simply a component in our daily diets. For some time, high doses of L-Arginine have been available without prescription in chemists in Germany.
Experiences with my own patients have shown that it can make sense in cases of mild erectile dysfunction to try out this medication for a period of 1 to 3 months. The combination of L-Arginine with PDE-5 inhibitors has also proven its success in severe cases of impotency.
Prof. Dr. H.-W. Bauer, Munich (Quotes from an Interview):
Question: L-Arginine is a natural substance that improves potency. Who can benefit from L-Arginine?
Prof. Dr. H.-W. Bauer: L-Arginine is a vasoactive amino acid and the sole precursor of nitrogen monoxide, a neurotransmitter which has a range of physiological impacts on the circulatory system. L-Arginine raises the production of nitric monoxide, supports the circulation of blood in the vessels and so improves erectile function. This works in the same way as PDE-5 inhibitors, for which a prescription is necessary. They likewise function by increasing the supply of nitric monoxide. There are therefore rational biochemical reasons for the use of L-Arginine. However, it is important that the L-Arginine is of good quality and that the doses are sufficiently high.
I advise caution when dealing with unknown preparations, which are only available on the internet and are often shipped from abroad. L-Arginine also has to be taken regularly, not only when needed. Some men combine L-Arginine with PDE-5 inhibitors, which are only available on prescription, in order to be able to reduce the doses of the latter.
The combination of PDE-5 inhibitors and L-Arginine makes sense in medical terms, as both lead to a stronger influx of blood. This combination is also interesting for those who suffer from a dose-dependent blush (reddening of the face) when taking PDE-5 inhibitors. Combining PDE-5 inhibitors with L-Arginine means that the dose of the former can be reduced, lessening the likelihood of blushing.
There are, to my knowledge, no circumstances which would disqualify the use of L-Arginine. It can be used by all men who suffer from potency problems who are not able to take the PDE-5 medication because of contraindications or side effects.
- Experience demonstrates good to very good effectiveness
- L-Arginine has other positive effects, e.g. a higher glucose tolerance and sensitivity to insulin
- Suitable to be taken on a long term basis
- No side effects
- Value for money (from around €50 / approx. £40 per month)
- Effects are not immediate and long-term consumption is required for an effect
- Ineffective in cases of nerve damage or a leak in the veins (surgical procedures are necessary in these situations)
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Frequently Asked Questions about the Use of L-Arginine in the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction
- Can I buy L-Arginine supplements directly from my doctor? Can they give me a prescription for it?
No, unfortunately not. L-Arginine is an amino acid and therefore food, not a chemical or herbal medication. Doctors are not allowed to sell nutritional supplements or so-called dietary foods (foods with a proven use in the treatment of a condition or reduction of risks).
- Will my health insurance pay for this treatment?
- Where can I buy a good recommended L-Arginine supplement?
A good starting point is a chemist. Only products which are sold in chemists are controlled by pharmacy associations and pharmaceutical companies. A real online chemists based in the UK or Europe also guarantees a good standard.
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- What are the side effects of the use of L-Arginine in cases of impotency?
There are usually no side effects of the use of L-Arginine, even when the doses are over 10,000mg. However, those with an acute herpes simplex virus should not take L-Arginine. If you experience stomach problems, then begin with a smaller amount and slowly increase the doses, spreading them throughout the day, and drink more water.