What is an agirin

ArginineDrug groupsAmino acids L-arginine is a natural and proteinogenic amino acid that is used as a dietary supplement and medicinal product. Arginine is metabolized in the body to form nitric oxide (NO), which dilates the blood vessels and plays a role in the immune system and as a neurotransmitter in the nervous system. Arginine is used as a tonic, for cardiovascular diseases, for wound healing, to promote potency and fertility and in bodybuilding. Possible adverse effects include gastrointestinal upset.

synonym: L-arginine, ArgininumPhEur, Arginini hydrochloridumPhEur, arginine hydrochloride, Arginine, Arg, R


Arginine is available in the form of tablets and capsules, among other things. It is also combined with aspartate (→ arginine aspartate). Most of the preparations are dietary supplements. Some are also approved as medicinal products.

The amino acid is found in many foods. Meat, eggs, soy protein, gelatin, nuts, kernels and fish are rich in arginine.

Structure and properties

Arginine (C.6H14N4O2, Mr = 174.2 g / mol) is a natural, semi-essential and proteinogenic L-amino acid. It has a basic guanidine side chain. Arginine is available as a white, crystalline powder or as colorless crystals and is easily soluble in water.


Arginine (ATC V06CA) is a component of proteins and is involved in numerous metabolic processes in the body. Its metabolites exert, among other things, vasodilator, circulation-promoting, antihypertensive, platelet aggregation-inhibiting, anabolic and immunomodulating effects.

The mediator nitric oxide (NO) is formed in the body from arginine. Among other things, NO is involved in vasodilation, the relaxation of smooth muscles, in the endocrine system, in the endothelial and immune function. NO is a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, where it is important for memory and learning. It counteracts the development of arteriosclerosis and inhibits platelet aggregation.

Arginine also plays a role in sperm formation and wound healing. Creatine, L-ornithine, L-glutamate and polyamines are formed from the amino acid.

application areas

Possible areas of application include:

As a dietary supplement (selection, no medical indications):

  • Cardiovascular diseases: high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, angina pectoris, heart failure, intermittent claudication
  • Promotion of wound healing after operations
  • Potency disorders, erectile dysfunction, fertility promotion
  • Stimulation of the secretion of growth hormone, for example in bodybuilding and sport

As a medicine:

  • Restoration of somatic and mental performance in cases of exhaustion and weakness, as an accompanying medication during convalescence (arginine asparate)
  • Parenteral nutrition
  • Severe metabolic alkalosis, in pediatrics with hyperammonaemia due to severe congenital metabolic defects (arginine hydrochloride)

According to the specialist information. The agents are administered orally and parenterally.


The complete precautionary measures can be found in the medicinal product information sheet.


A strengthening of the effects of antihypertensive and vasodilator drugs cannot be ruled out. Arginine can antagonize the effects of lysine in preventing cold sores.

unwanted effects

Possible adverse effects include gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea, as well as hypersensitivity reactions.

see also

Arginine aspartate, erectile dysfunction

  • Medicinal product information (CH, D)
  • Böger R.H. The pharmacodynamics of L-arginine. J Nutr, 2007, 137 (6 Suppl 2), 1650S-1655S Pubmed
  • European Pharmacopoeia PhEur
  • Gokce N. L-arginine and hypertension. J Nutr, 2004, 134 (10 Suppl), 2807S-2811S Pubmed
  • Micronutrient textbooks and manuals
  • McRae M.P. Therapeutic Benefits of l-Arginine: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyzes. J Chiropr Med, 2016, 15 (3), 184-9 Pubmed
  • Wu G. et al. Arginine metabolism and nutrition in growth, health and disease. Amino Acids, 2009, 37 (1), 153-68 Pubmed
  • Wu G., Meininger C.J. Arginine nutrition and cardiovascular function. J Nutr. 2000, 130 (11), 2626-9 Pubmed

Conflicts of Interest: None / Independent. The author has no relationships with the manufacturers and is not involved in the sale of the products mentioned.

additional Information
Support PharmaWiki with a donation!

© PharmaWiki 2007-2021 - PharmaWiki provides independent and reliable information about medication and health.
This article was last changed on February 4th, 2020.
Imprint and data protection declaration
Show products for this page