A number of scientific experiments have shown that supplementing one’s diet with certain nitric oxide-boosting substances (i.e. L-Arginine, L-Citrulline, and antioxidants), can eliminate the state of oxidative stress on the arteries and reverse the progression of atherosclerosis (clogging or congestion of the arteries). What does all of this translate into as far as possible benefits for you and me? Well, with cardiovascular disease being the number one killer of Americans, whatever we can do to improve our heart health is going to be well worth it. Now, let’s look at the benefits that each L-Arginine, L-Citrulline and antioxidants has and how they specifically contribute to heart and overall health.
L-Arginine is an amino acid that aids in the body’s production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is what enables the body to create a healthy flow of blood. The heart has to work harder if nitric oxide levels in the body are low. By supplementing with L-Arginine, the nitric oxide levels are kept at their optimum levels, the heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood throughout the body, and we benefit from increased stamina, energy and even sexual performance. When our heart is healthy, we also increase the likelihood of avoiding the symptoms that escalate into heart disease. L-Citrulline is beneficial to our systems in that it facilitates the production of L-Arginine because it is converted into L-Arginine. The nutrients that we receive from the food that we eat are distributed throughout our bodies in certain ways. The majority of the L-Arginine that one would take as a supplement is absorbed by the digestive system. If there is not enough L-Arginine left after this absorption process, not all of the cells can benefit from the nitric oxide enhancing benefits. L-Citrulline helps to rectify this issue of absorption by providing the body with an increase in L-Arginine (through the conversion process or process of synthesis) when and where it is needed most.
Antioxidants play a different and more diverse complimentary role when it comes to providing health benefits through supplementation. Antioxidants include vital nutrients that our body’s need to work at optimal levels. These nutrients include beta carotene, vitamins C and E and selenium. These antioxidants can prevent damage to your body cells or repair damage that has been done. You may have heard the term “free radicals” associated with antioxidants. Free radicals are hazardous molecules that damage cells and bring about the progression of poor health that comes with aging and disease. Antioxidants fight off free radicals but our body’s natural production of antioxidants declines as we age. This is why supplementing our bodies with the antioxidants that we no longer produce but still need to stay healthy is so important.
There are advantages and side effects to just about every supplement that you will find on the market. Do not assume that simply because you find a supplement that is not sold by prescription that it is safe, nor that because it is safe to use alone that it will be safe to use simultaneously with other supplements. There are many instances when combining certain supplements with each other or taking certain supplements while you are on a medication could yield serious and dangerous results. Health professionals can provide to their patients with helpful advice and can address the concerns that you may have. Your physician can go over any adverse side effects that may result from your use of a given supplement. If your doctor is not able to help you, you may consider discussing both your medical history and your interest in specific supplements with a doctor that has more specific experience with L-Arginine, L-Citrulline and antioxidant supplements.