L-arginine prevents stiffening and narrowing of the arteries and dysfunction in hormone and immune systems, according to WebMD. It also facilitates the healing of wounds and assists the kidneys in filtering waste products out of the bloodstream. Its potential cardiac benefits have brought significant attention as of 2015.
L-arginine is an amino acid that transforms into nitric oxide, or NO, inside the body, notes WebMD. It is a strong neurotransmitter that facilitates the relaxation of blood vessels while also boosting circulation. Some research has demonstrated L-arginine alleviates symptoms associated with angina, coronary artery disease and clogged arteries, but as of 2015, additional research is necessary on the long-term benefits of L-arginine for cholesterol levels or overall heart health.
Other possible benefits of L-arginine that remain under study include a possible decrease in blood pressure and a boost in walking distance in patients suffering from intermittent claudication, a condition causing weakness and cramping in the legs, explains WebMD. One study showed L-arginine was not helpful for treatment of heart attack in concert with standard protocols, so more research is necessary to establish its potential uses. L-arginine comes from fish, poultry, red meat, dairy products and nuts, but supplements are also available if warranted.