Guys Guide to a Healthier Lifestyle

It’s not an unknown fact: most men only go to the doctor when they are sick. This creates the generalization that men are much too casual or disinterested in their health. We urge that men (and women) get an annual physical so they can address any underlying concerns that may be present in their health so they can be referred to a specialist if need be. We also urge that men become at least a little interested in their health and start following these easy steps to live a balanced healthy lifestyle.

  1. Weight Management 

Maintain a healthy weight through a well-balanced diet and exercise. The male body tends to change with age as testosterone levels begin to decline. Muscle mass becomes harder to keep and unhealthy pounds can start to add up. Make sure you are continuing exercise and staying active through these periods to avoid drastic changes in your muscle and heart health. Muscle Memory may be a good supplement to add to your diet if you have a need for muscle recovery and enhancement.

  1. Limit Trans-Fat Consumption

Trans-Fats are a threat to both our waistlines and hearts. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), more than one in three men have heart disease. The American diet that is full of processed, trans-fat ingredients doesn’t help this statistic. Arm yourself against heart disease risks by eliminating or limiting trans-fat in your diet. The AHA recommends closing out trans-fat consumption to 1 g a day. So become diligent in removing this harmful and in some cases, fatal ingredient.

  1. Eat More Fish

Start consuming more fish that contain essential fatty acids. The two essential fatty acids are Omega-6 and Omega-3. They are essential because our bodies don’t produce them on its own, we can only get them from our diets. Salmon, mackerel, herring, and albacore tuna all contain high amounts of essential oils. There is not set daily recommendation for essential oils, but some health organizations advise 250-500 mg per day. This number goes up if you have coronary artery disease. If you are not consuming enough fish in your diet alone, consider Omega-3 Priority for supplementation.

  1. Lycopene Influence

Lycopene is an antioxidant that gives certain foods their red coloring. This antioxidant is known for its anti-cancer properties most notably, prostate cancer. With prostate cancer being the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, it is critical that men take preventative measures. Lycopene can be found in tomatoes, watermelon, guava and pink grapefruit. The most abundant of these sources are tomatoes, and lycopene’s impact is increased when the tomatoes are cooked. If you are a male and not getting enough of these foods in your diet, our Prostate Priority contains 30 mg per serving as well as other ingredients to help maintain healthy prostate functioning.

  1. Take a Multivitamin

Not all vitamins are created equal. Before purchasing, it is important to do your research and make sure that you are spending your money on a quality product. When it comes to multivitamins, their function is to fill any diet “holes” that you may have that are inhibiting your immune system operation. Lifeguard is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep diets balanced and immune systems strong for fighting diseases.

  1. Maintain Regular Physicals with your Health Care Professional

As mentioned, men are the worst offenders of doctor visit ducking. It is important that you try to break that habit. A yearly physical can keep you in check and address any concerns should they arise. Men are more susceptible to stress, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and depression so please make sure you are getting screened and treated for these and any other health concerns.

Guys, take our advice and incorporate these easy tips to become a healthier man!

Life Priority, established in 1994, offers supplements that are scientifically-formulated, results-oriented, and GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and are manufactured at USDA and FDA inspected facilities.

*The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

*Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.

Energy Drinks and Mental Fitness

Life Priority teamed up with life extension scientists, Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw® to market and develop a full line of products designed to improve and enhance your cognitive function, which spans not only memory, but attention, learning, problem solving, decision making, and reasoning.

Healthy Energy Drinks and Mental Fitness

Life Priority teamed up with life extension scientists, Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw® to market and develop a full line of healthy products called Designer Foods to improve and enhance your cognitive function, which spans not only memory, but attention, learning, problem solving, decision making, and reasoning.

Each new day presents challenges that, if not met and overcome, may leave you less fit mentally to control your life . . . to achieve your financial goals . . . to set the stage for pursuing your personal happiness.

By starting each day with a cool, refreshing glass of delicious LIFT™ (or LIFT Caps™) or Mind™ or Muscle Memory™), you can embrace a lifelong “Mental Fitness” program.

Life Priority healthy drink mixes, many of which are healthy energy drink mixes. These include the LIFT™ family mentioned above, all of which employ the amino acid phenylalanine, a precursor to an important memory molecule, noradrenaline, and your brain’s version of adrenaline. They also include the necessary enzyme cofactors vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, and folic acid, along with natural flavors.

These formulations are based on the nutrient choline, which is the important memory nutrient involved in concentration and focus.* As we age, choline becomes less bioavailable, with serious consequences for memory function.

The “Mental Fitness” drinks are great-tasting, natural, fruit-flavored citrus cooler containing choline and essential nutrient cofactors plus the important amino acid taurine. Use Mind to help preserve and protect your memory function.*

Supplements for Memory “Loss”

Over time, the effects of too little sleep, aging, and the stress of a busy life can impair both your cognitive and memory functions. It may seem as if your memory has been “lost.” While many try to combat these effects with stimulants like caffeine, these only provide a temporary lift, and come with a host of unwanted side effects. Instead of masking the symptoms, why not improve the underlying problems instead? Try our Productive Sleep drink with choline.

Our formulas are carefully tested to ensure that they are safe and meet your needs. Often taking cues from historical findings, our scientists use their knowledge of the human body to create formulas based on scientific studies. They give real results.

Instead of settling for poorly designed energy drinks or caffeine pills that provide only a short burst of energy followed by a mental crash, consider products that have been developed using real science. Other sources can leave you feeling jittery, and carry the threat of weight gain from all the extra sugar and calories these drinks usually contain. If you rely on products like caffeine, you may also experience the symptoms of addiction. With Life Priority products, these are concerns you no longer have to consider. We carefully test all products to ensure that as long as the proper dosage recommendations are followed, you will notice no negative side effects from their use.

Drink Mixes

Nutrient Drink Mixes are a delicious way to supplement your diet with additional vitamins, minerals and amino acids necessary for enhanced cognitive, physical and sexual function. When mixed with water or your favorite beverage, they’re a convenient and efficient way to fuel your body, helping you feel and perform at your very best.

Life Priority   offers a wide variety of formulations for increased energy, mood and sleep enhancement, improved sexual function, weight loss, HGH release, and “Smart Nutrients” for cognitive enhancement and creative mental energy. Just choose the formula (or two) that’s right for you. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how delicious, convenient and effective they are. At Life Priority, we offer a variety of “smart nutrients” from several different formulators. When mixed with water or your favorite beverage, they’re a convenient and efficient way to fuel your body, helping you feel and perform at your very best.

Life Priority, established in 1994, offers supplements that are scientifically-formulated, results-oriented and GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and are manufactured at USDA and FDA inspected facilities.

*The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

*Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.

1998 Nobel Prize for Discovery of Arginine’s role in creating Nitric Oxide

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1998 recognized the health benefits of nitric oxide. Arginine, an amino acid that helps the body create nitric oxide, is one of the key ingredients in Muscle Memory™, a Designer Food® created by Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, who were among the first scientists to recommend that taking arginine supplements could help achieve a variety of life-extending benefits. Muscle Memory™ has been a life enhancement classic for more than a decade which enhances the body’s ability to form nitric oxide and helps support muscle and heart health.

 

Subject: Nobel Prize for Arginine and Nitric oxide discovery–https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/1998/press-release/

Nitric oxide protects the heart, stimulates the brain, kills bacteria, etc.

It was a sensation that this simple, common air pollutant, which is formed when nitrogen burns, for instance in automobile exhaust fumes, could exert important functions in the organism. It was particularly surprising since NO is totally different from any other known signal molecule and so unstable that it is converted to nitrate and nitrite within 10 seconds. NO was known to be produced in bacteria but this simple molecule was not expected to be important in higher animals such as mammals.

Further research results rapidly confirmed that NO is a signal molecule of key importance for the cardiovascular system and it was also found to exert a series of other functions. We know today that NO acts as a signal molecule in the nervous system, as a weapon against infections, as a regulator of blood pressure and as a gatekeeper of blood flow to different organs. NO is present in most living creatures and made by many different types of cells.

– When NO is produced by the innermost cell layer of the arteries, the endothelium, it rapidly spreads through the cell membranes to the underlying muscle cells. Their contraction is turned off by NO, resulting in a dilatation of the arteries. In this way, NO controls the blood pressure and its distribution. It also prevents the formation of thrombi.

– When NO is formed in nerve cells, it spreads rapidly in all directions, activating all cells in the vicinity. This can modulate many functions, from behaviour to gastrointestinal motility.

– When NO is produced in white blood cells (such as macrophages), huge quantities are achieved and become toxic to invading bacteria and parasites.

Importance in medicine today and tomorrow

Heart: In atherosclerosis, the endothelium has a reduced capacity to produce NO. However, NO can be furnished by treatment with nitroglycerin. Large efforts in drug discovery are currently aimed at generating more powerful and selective cardiac drugs based on the new knowledge of NO as a signal molecule.

Shock: Bacterial infections can lead to sepsis and circulatory shock. In this situation, NO plays a harmful role. White blood cells react to bacterial products by releasing enormous amounts of NO that dilate the blood vessels. The blood pressure drops and the patient may become unconscious. In this situation, inhibitors of NO synthesis may be useful in intensive care treatment.

Lungs: Intensive care patients can be treated by inhalation of NO gas. This has provided good results and even saved lives. For instance, NO gas has been used to reduce dangerously high blood pressure in the lungs of infants. But the dosage is critical since the gas can be toxic at high concentrations.

Cancer: White blood cells use NO not only to kill infectious agents such as bacteria, fungi and parasites, but also to defend the host against tumours. Scientists are currently testing whether NO can be used to stop the growth of tumours since this gas can induce programmed cell death, apoptosis.

Impotence: NO can initiate erection of the penis by dilating the blood vessels to the erectile bodies. This knowledge has already led to the development of new drugs against impotence.

Diagnostic analyses: Inflammatory diseases can be revealed by analysing the production of NO from e.g. lungs and intestines. This is used for diagnosing asthma, colitis, and other diseases.

NO is important for the olfactory sense and our capacity to recognise different scents. It may even be important for our memory.

Nitroglycerin

Alfred Nobel invented dynamite, a product in which the explosion-prone nitroglycerin is curbed by being absorbed in kieselguhr, a porous soil rich in shells of diatoms. When Nobel was taken ill with heart disease, his doctor prescribed nitroglycerin. Nobel refused to take it, knowing that it caused headache and ruling out that it could eliminate chest pain. In a letter, Nobel wrote: It is ironical that I am now ordered by my physician to eat nitroglycerin. It has been known since last century that the explosive, nitroglycerin, has beneficial effects against chest pain. However, it would take 100 years until it was clarified that nitroglycerin acts by releasing NO gas.

For more information about Muscle Memory™ and its benefits visit www.lifepriority.com or call 800-787-5438 — 8 am-11 pm, CST (M-F).

Life Priority, established in 1994, offers supplements that are scientifically-formulated, results-oriented, and GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and are manufactured at USDA and FDA inspected facilities.

*The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

*Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.

Put Your Heart Into Your New Year’s Resolutions

Article by Greg Pryor published in Kansas City Sports & Fitness.

The New Year is all about new beginnings, and there’s no better time to make a resolution and improve your heart health. The New Year offers an irresistible opportunity to start fresh and reaffirm your commitment to a healthier lifestyle. Since February is Heart Awareness Month, now is the perfect time to kick those bad eating habits in favor of enjoying nutritious meals that will leave you more than satisfied and help your heart perform its best. I have a few simple tips  to ensure that you get off to the right start in 2014!

Take Your Multivitamin

First, a Lifeguard. This is the most important supplement you can take – a high-quality multivitamin is a must! Vitamins and minerals are essential to good nutrition and good health. Ideally, we should get our nutrients and micronutrients in food with a balanced, healthy diet. That’s not always possible. According to a report published in the Spring 2013 issue of Wise Traditions, the journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, deficiencies of vitamins A, D, K, B1, B3, B6, B12 and folate, and of minerals iodine, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, chromium and manganese can all contribute to mental instability and violent behavior.

A recent article, “Violent Behavior: A Solution in Plain Sight” by Sylvia Onusic, PhD, CNS, LDN, seeks reasons for the increase in violent behavior in America, especially among teenagers. “We can blame violence on the media and on the breakdown of the home,” Onusic said. “But the fact is that a large number of Americans, living mostly on devitalized processed food, are suffering from malnutrition. In many cases, this means their brains are starving.”

In fact, doctors are seeing a return of nutritional deficiency diseases, such as scurvy and pellagra, which were declared eradicated long ago by public health officials. Many of these conditions cause brain injuries as well.

No one goes swimming without a lifeguard present, so don’t let your health drown in the numerous challenges to your body experiences every day. Help protect yourself with Lifeguard, a multivitamin that can keep your health above water.

Get Your OMEGA 3 Fatty Acids

According to the American Heart Association, OMEGA 3 fatty acids such as those found in fish oil benefit the hearts of healthy people, and those at high risk of or who have cardiovascular disease. OMEGA 3 fatty acids have been shown to protect against heart disease by inhibiting the formation of blood clots, preventing potentially deadly heartbeat abnormalities, and lowering triglyceride levels that can increase the risk of heart attacks. A study of nearly 4,000 men and women aged 65 years and older found that those who ate at least one serving of fatty fish every week were 35% percent less likely to die of a heart attack.

Research sponsored by the National Institute of Health links higher consumption of OMEGA 3 to a lower risk of depression and better response to treatment for manic depression and schizophrenia.

Don’t Forget Arginine

Another nutrient than has been getting a lot of attention is arginine. There is a growing body of solid scientific evidence that an amino acid, L-arginine (arginine for short) can significantly protect against the development of coronary artery disease.

Stay Active with Healthy Joints

As a former athlete, I love the benefits if using glucosamine for my joints! I have been using glucosamine HCl (G HCl) for more than 16 years. It is a fabulous natural product that is essential for the health of all cartilage. It has great scientific evidence for safety and efficacy.  Everyone gets G HCl from their diet but many do not get enough over time or excess wear and tear. Using G HCl as a supplement may be your safest way to avoid inflamed joints. Keep your joints healthy and keep moving, as exercise is vital to good heart health.

Enjoy a Healthier, Happier You

With almost a month already on the books in 2014, don’t lose sight of your resolutions already. Instead, make your health your top priority. Adding a multivitamin, Omega-3 fatty acids, arginine and glucosamine to your diet can help you become healthier. Use this New Year wisely, to create a healthier and happier you!

Life Priority, established in 1994, offers supplements that are scientifically-formulated, results-oriented, and GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and are manufactured at USDA and FDA inspected facilities.
*The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.
*Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.

Persistent Infections Can Be Silent Killers: Helicobacter Pylori

The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®life-extension-book
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 20 No. 2 • March 2017

PERSISTENT INFECTIONS CAN BE SILENT KILLERS: HELICOBACTER PYLORI

It is generally accepted that persistent infections (viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitical, etc.) can have serious effects on health by inducing hyperactivation of the immune system, such as by increasing the release of inflammatory cytokines. One such persistent infection is Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), now well known for increasing the risk of ulcers and of gastrointestinal cancers (Herrera, 2009). The bacterium, believed to infect 40-50% of the world’s population, has been linked to many systemic diseases, including cardiovascular disease (Danesh, 1999) and cancer and some evidence suggests that it indirectly contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. (Malaguarnera, 2004). In fact, a recent paper reports that H. pylori triggers double-strand breaks in DNA, which is consistent with its carcinogenic properties (Toller, 2011).

PARKINSON’S DISEASE

A presentation at a scientific meeting by M. Niehues and A. Hensel was reported in the journal Planta Medica (Niehues and Hensel. In vitro interaction of L-Dopa with bacterial adhesins [responsible for the adhesion of the bacterium to gastric epithelial cells] of Helicobacter pylori: an explanation for clinical differences in bioavailability?” Planta Medica 75:877-1094 (2009). The researchers here reported the surprising effect of H. pylori on the availability of L-Dopa taken by Parkinson’s disease patients. The L-Dopa became attached to bacterial adhesins from the H. pylori, leaving less unbound L-Dopa for actually treating Parkinson’s. The authors of the presentation suggest that this mechanism may explain why Parkinson’s patients infected with H. pylori do less well on a similar amount of L-Dopa as patients who are not infected with H. pylori.

Thus, Parkinson’s disease patients might benefit by eliminating or reducing H. pylori present in their systems. A dietary supplement available for this purpose that is both safe and effective (as well as inexpensive) is mastic, the gum resin of the mastic tree, Pistacia lentiscus L. Sandy takes Life Enhancement’s Bye-Lori Plus,™* which contains mastic, because Durk was infected with H. pylori for decades before eradicating it with antibiotics and Sandy wants to make sure she didn’t “catch” it from him.

*This is an unsolicited plug.

HELICOBACTER PYLORI AND ARGININE

Pathogens such as Helicobacter pylori and Toxoplasma gondii defend themselves against their host’s immune system by producing arginases that limit nitric oxide (a powerful pathogen-killing substance) production by depleting L-arginine (Grohmann, 2010). Thus, increasing L-arginine might be another way to help eradicate Helicobacter pylori infections. We both take L-arginine (6-12 grams/day) in available in Muscle Memory™ .

References

Danesh et al. Helicobacter pylori infection and early onset myocardial infarction: case-control and sibling pairs study. Br Med J. 319(30):1157-62 (1999).
Grohmann and Bronte. Control of immune response by amino acid metabolism. Immunol Rev. 236:243-64 (2010).
Herrera and Parsonett. Helicobacter pylori and gastric adenocarcinoma. Clin Microbiol Infect. 15(11):971-6 (2009).
Malaguarnera et al. Helicobacter pylori and Alzheimer’s disease: a possible link. Eur J Int Med. 15:381-6 (2004).
Toller et al. Carcinogenic bacterial pathogen Helicobacter pylori triggers DNA double-strand breaks and a DNA damage response in its host cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 108(36):14944-9 (2011).

Life Priority, established in 1994, offers supplements that are scientifically-formulated, results-oriented, and GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and are manufactured at USDA and FDA inspected facilities.

*The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

*Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.

 

Arginine For Pain: Sickle Cell Disease

Arginine

The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension News
Volume 20 No. 2 • March 2017

ARGININE FOR PAIN: SICKLE CELL DISEASElife-extension-book
Normal free-flowing red blood cells versus sickle cells becoming lodged. Preliminary clinical studies are showing promising results in the treatment of pain in patients with sickle cell disease. Pain is the hallmark of sickle cell disease, with some patients in pain all of the time. Arginine has been found in these preliminary clinical studies to be effective against the pain due to vaso-occlusive blood clots. “Phase II clinical trials of arginine therapy for sickle-related pain are underway and a Phase III randomized controlled trial is anticipated in the near future (Bakshi, 2016).”
Sickle cell disease is described as an “arginine deficiency syndrome (Bakshi, 2016).” The “global arginine bioavailability ratio” (GABR) was developed to assess the state of arginine sufficiency as expressed in the ratio of arginine to arginine metabolites (ornithine and citrulline). The GABR is low, not only in sickle cell disease, but also in diabetes. Moreover, a low GABR “has been shown to be a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease and early mortality in general (Bakshi, 2016).”

Arginine can be found in our Muscle Memory™, with each serving containing 6 grams of arginine. Suggested use is 1 to 3 servings a day on an empty stomach—at bedtime, upon awakening, or before exercise.

Reference

Bakshi and Morris. The role of the arginine metabolome in pain: implication for sickle cell disease. J Pain Res. 9:167-75 (2016).

Life Priority, established in 1994, offers supplements that are scientifically-formulated, results-oriented, and GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and are manufactured at USDA and FDA inspected facilities.

*The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

*Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.

Arginine Improves Blood Flow and Exercise Capacity

Arginine helps preserve kidney function, boost the immune system, increase insulin sensitivity, promotes cardiovascular health, and facilitate erections.

Patients with pulmonary hypertension benefit in two ways.

Amino acids perform a dizzying array of functions in the body. They can link together in long chains to form various kinds of proteins, such as enzymes

(acetylcholinesterase, e.g., which breaks down the acetylcholine molecule), hormones (insulin, e.g., which regulates blood glucose levels), or structural proteins (collagen, e.g., which gives strength to skin, cartilage, and bone). They can also be converted to amino acid derivatives, such as serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that is derived from tryptophan.

Arginine helps preserve kidney function, boost the immune system, increase insulin sensitivity, promotes cardiovascular health, and facilitate erections.

Without question, amino acids are vital for normal body functions and good health – either as individual molecules or in the form of proteins (about 20 different amino acids constitute the tens of thousands of different proteins in our bodies). Some amino acids play more prominent roles than others. Consider, for example, the functions that arginine fulfills in the body. Arginine helps, among other things, to preserve kidney function, boost the immune system, increase insulin sensitivity, and promote a healthy cardiovascular system – and it even helps men to achieve and maintain erections.

Arginine Improves Blood Flow

Many of the benefits derived from sufficient arginine intake stem from its ability to generate nitric oxide in the appropriate tissues, aided by an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase. Nitric oxide (NO) is a very small molecule, and it is highly mobile in moving within and between cells. After its synthesis from arginine, NO acts as a signaling molecule that induces a variety of responses in the body. One of the best-characterized functions of NO is to induce smooth muscle cells to relax.

Smooth muscle cells are found in blood vessels throughout the body (excluding the heart). When these cells relax in response to nitric oxide, the blood vessels expand (a process called vasodilation), blood pressure drops, and blood flow is improved. More blood is delivered to the tissues, which are thus better nourished with oxygen, glucose, and whatever else they may need. Collectively, the physical aspects of blood flow are called hemodynamics, and it could be expected that improved hemodynamics would lead to improved exercise capacity. Let us see about that.

Arginine Reduces Pulmonary Blood Pressure

Studies have demonstrated that oral supplementation with arginine offers substantial improvements in hemodynamics in patients with congestive heart failure (a decline in the heart’s ability to pump blood). Recently, the first study to assess the benefits of oral arginine in patients with pulmonary hypertension was performed.1 Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs.* This is a serious disease resulting from inadequate oxygen exchange between the lungs and the blood. It generally results in low oxygen levels in the blood.

* The body has two circulatory systems – one for the entire body except the lungs, and one for the lungs. In the latter (the pulmonary system), blood flows from the heart to the lungs to be oxygenated, and then back to the heart to be pumped throughout the rest of the body.

Diseases such as chronic bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema may impede the flow of air in and out of the lungs (as can obesity), thus making pulmonary hypertension worse over time.

These diseases are greatly aggravated, or caused in the first place, by smoking, which is the equivalent of voluntary self-administration of poison.

Supplementation with arginine offers substantial improvements in blood flow, and thus tissue oxygenation, in patients with congestive heart failure.

In the study, 19 patients (4 men and 15 women, average age 49 years) with clinically diagnosed pulmonary hypertension were evaluated to determine the effect of oral arginine supplementation on blood flow. The patients were given a single dose of arginine (0.5 g per 10 kg of body weight – equivalent to 3.5 g for a 70-kg, or 155-pound, person), and their cardiovascular response was measured over the next two hours.

Modest but significant differences were observed in pulmonary blood pressure, which decreased from 53 to 48 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury, the standard unit of measure for blood pressure). In addition, the researchers observed a 16% decrease, on average, in the resistance to blood flow in the arteries of the lungs. Thus, blood flow was substantially improved. Importantly, no changes in heart rate were detected between the treatment and control groups.

Arginine Increases Exercise Capacity

The same group of patients also participated in a separate study to measure exercise capacity (except for three individuals who could not tolerate the maximum exercise level, so 16 patients were left). For one week, nine patients in the treatment group supplemented their diets with 0.5 g of arginine per 10 kg of body weight three times daily (equivalent to 10.5g/day for a 155-pound person), and the other seven patients took placebo. After one week of this regimen, the researchers measured exercise capacity in all the patients by assessing their performance on a stationary bicycle: the patients pedaled at 55 rpm for one minute, and the work rate was increased incrementally until they reached their maximum exercise capacity.

One week of arginine supplementation increased peak oxygen volume by 8% and exercise capacity by 12%.

One of the measurements used in this study was the volume of oxygen consumed by each patient during a one-minute interval (referred to as the peak oxygen volume). Following arginine supplementation for one week, patients increased their peak oxygen volume by 8%, from 831 to 896 ml/min (milliliters per minute). In addition, the patients’ exercise capacity increased by 12%, meaning that they were capable of cycling at a higher resistance level than those in the control group (in whom both of these experimental measures remained unchanged during the study).

Nitric Oxide Reduces Hypoxic Stress

The results described above – improvements in blood flow, blood pressure, and exercise capacity – are believed to be due to the increased synthesis of nitric oxide brought about by arginine. If NO can help alleviate the problem of inadequate oxygen delivery to the body’s cells because of pulmonary hypertension, could it also help in cases of high-altitude hypoxia?

Hypoxia is a lack of oxygen, a condition that can become severe at very high altitudes. A group of researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland observed that natives of Bolivia and Tibet who live at 3900-4200 meters (12,800-13,800 feet) in the Andes or Himalayas produce higher levels of nitric oxide than Americans who live at low altitudes, near sea level.

2 In fact, the Tibetans have nitric oxide levels approximately twice as high as those of lowland Americans. Not surprisingly, the oxygen saturation of their tissues during physical exercise is correspondingly higher at these elevations than it is in low-dwelling, acclimatized non-natives, such as Europeans and Chinese.

Nitric oxide increases hemoglobin’s oxygen-carrying efficiency, thus increasing oxygen delivery to the body’s cells – further evidence of the value of nitric oxide – and hence of arginine supplementation.

Based on these observations, the researchers decided to investigate whether increasing exposure to nitric oxide improves oxygen uptake by the lungs in individuals with artificially induced hypoxia at sea level. They found that as the amount of nitric oxide in the air breathed by the hypoxic individuals increased, so did oxygen uptake (remember, the level of oxygen in the air didn’t change during the experiment, only the amount of nitric oxide the subjects were exposed to).

The researchers suggested that the nitric oxide interacts with hemoglobin in the red blood cells in such a way as to increase its oxygen-carrying efficiency, thus increasing the amount of oxygen that can be taken up and delivered to the body’s cells. This is further evidence of the value of nitric oxide – and hence of arginine supplementation – for improving oxygenation in cases where that is desirable or necessary.

Why Increased Oxygen Delivery Improves Exercise Capacity

In the absence of oxygen, muscles don’t perform at their optimal capacity. This is well illustrated by the fact that you can sprint (an anaerobic event, i.e., one that does not involve oxygen consumption) for only a few seconds, whereas you can jog (an aerobic event, which does require oxygen) for hours – theoretically, at least, if not in practice.

The difference between these activities has to do with the amount of oxygen available to the muscle cells. During anaerobic events, such as sprinting or weightlifting, you simply can’t breathe fast enough to supply your muscles with all the oxygen they need to produce energy efficiently. During jogging or biking, on the other hand, you can breathe at a rate that supplies adequate oxygen to the muscles and can thus sustain the activity for a long time.

Why is oxygen so important for producing energy? For the same reason that wood can’t burn without oxygen. In our bodies, the substance that is “burned” to produce energy is glucose, a simple sugar. The process, called cellular respiration, occurs slowly and does not produce a flame, but it is otherwise analogous to ordinary combustion, leading ultimately to the end products carbon dioxide and water.

Cellular respiration takes place in our cells’ mitochondria, tiny structures that act as biochemical “powerhouses” for energy generation. The energy produced is stored primarily in the form of molecules of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which subsequently deliver it as needed through their participation in countless biochemical reactions throughout the body.

Actually, glucose can also be “burned” anaerobically (in the absence of oxygen), but this process, called glycolysis, is extremely inefficient by comparison with cellular respiration, producing only 7% as much energy. Now you can see why oxygen is so important: it greatly increases the efficiency by which you can produce energy to power your body.

Clearly, arginine is important for a number of vital body functions.

References:

Nagaya N, Uematsu M, Oya H, et al. Short-term oral administration of L-arginine improves hemodynamics and exercise capacity in patients with precapillary pulmonary hypertension. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2001;163:887-91.

Beall CM, Laskowski D, Strohl KP, et al. Pulmonary nitric oxide in mountain dwellers. Nature 2001;414:411-2.

Information sourced from LEH Magazine . 12/7/2010 editor, Will Block

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