Studies show that male and female fertility can be enhanced with l-arginine supplementation. This amino acid is needed to perform a range of functions within the body and is particularly important for the circularity system.
As the precursor to nitric oxide (NO), l-arginine is essential for enhancing blood flow throughout the body. This supports strong erections and a healthy environment in the uterus for embryo implantation.
Several studies have confirmed that regularly taking l-arginine supplements will improve sperm development. Initial research in the early 1970’s showed that l-arginine supplementation increases ejaculate volume, boosts sperm count, and enhances motility. The l-arginine dosage administered to subjects in these studies ranged from 4g to 8g daily.
New research in the mid-1990’s investigated in more detail the effects of l-arginine on sperm. Aydin and colleagues treated 45 male patients with low sperm count (oligospermia) and poor mobility (asthenospermia) with either l-arginine, indomethacin (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) or kallikrein (an enzyme that support sperm motility).
At the end of the three month study period, l-arginine showed the most promise for treating asthenospermia and oligospermia.
A study by Scibona and colleagues achieved similar results. 40 infertile men with decreased sperm motility were administered 80 ml of 10% l-arginine HCL daily for six months during this clinical trial. As a result, researchers found that arginine improved spermatozoa motility without any side effects.
One of the reasons why l-arginine is so important for healthy sperm is because it’s essential for the production of putrescine, spermidine and spermine. These polyamines (forms of amino acids) are important for initiating the spermatic motility processes. Spermine supports strong motility, it also helps to stabilise and preserve DNA. Another role of spermine is to assist with cell division, helping to increase ejaculate volume. Spermine is therefore particularly important for male fertility!
Popular male fertility supplements are
L-arginine-derived NO is essential for regulating blood flow (vascularity). Fertility specialists recommend l-arginine supplementation in the treatment of erectile dysfunction to support a healthy blood flow to the penis.
Many studies have confirmed that l-arginine supplementation can help to treat erectile dysfunction. It’s now advised to take a minimum dosage of 1,700mg daily + 80mg of pine bark extract to support improved systemic vascularity.
In 2003, Stanislavov and Nikolove demonstrated a strong connection between arginine and extracts from the bark of the maritime pine tree (Pinus pinaster), commercially available as pycnogenol. Their research concluded that l-arginine is more effective at treating erectile dysfunction when it is administered together with pycnogenol.
Recent studies have therefore shown that Pine Bark Extract can enhance the effectiveness of l-arginine in the production of NO.
Further studies have shown that pycnogenol helps to reduce oxidative stress, which can improve overall heath and fertility.
Healthy l-arginine concentrations also support female fertility. This not as widely documented or studied. Arginine fertility benefits are caused by better blood circulation to the genitals, uterus, and ovaries.
Oxygen-rich blood flow is very important to allow the ovaries to support egg health. Research has therefore shown that l-arginine supplementation can help to enhance endometrial receptivity, improve ovarian responses, and increase pregnancy rate in women undergoing IVF treatments. Arginine also supports healthy cervical mucus, further supporting fertility.
There are many l-arginine rich foods such as seafood, soy-based products (tofu), spinach, sesame seeds, turkey, pork, beef, and dairy. If you eat a healthy diet, you should be receiving enough arginine. There are consequently many supplements in the market containing arginine to help boost levels.