Can taking l-arginine supplements help people who have neuropathy? Find out if there’s a connection between l-arginine and neuropathy.
L-arginine (or simply arginine) is a semi-essential amino acid that helps build protein, boost circulation, and more. While the body typically makes all the l-arginine it needs, certain factors such as age and illness can affect your levels.
To make up for any deficiencies, you can take supplements and eat protein-rich foods like fish, whole grains, and dairy products. Moreover, supplements can be used orally, topically, and even through IV in clinical settings.
Because of its ability to help with vasodilation, arginine supplements are used to help widen blood vessels and improve blood flow. Furthermore, some people suggest that this characteristic may even be helpful for individuals with neuropathy.
L-arginine Supplements and Neuropathy Symptoms
According to Dr. Darren Silvester, a podiatrist at Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic, you may be able to treat neuropathy with arginine supplements. In a video from the clinic, Silvester shares the following message:
- “L-arginine is an interesting compound. A Nobel Prize was given for the discovery of the nitric oxide pathway which helps blood vessels dilate and grow and increase oxygen supply to tissues and l-arginine is one of those compounds that has a big effect in that pathway. L-arginine has a dramatic effect on the nerve by dilating the blood vessel, which means opening up the blood vessel that supplies the nerve and increasing the oxygen supply to the nerve so that the nerve can actually heal itself. We’ve noticed that in combination with other supplements, L-arginine has been a big factor in helping our patients get better. But it has a pretty profound effect on treating neuropathy, so if you have neuropathy, that might be one of the supplements you may want to start taking.”
Evidence for L-arginine
While Silvester recommends arginine for patients with neuropathy, some studies suggest that it may not be helpful at all. For instance, a 2010 study from England shows that l-arginine is ineffective at treating diabetic foot neuropathy. Their results show that l-arginine has no effect on endothelial dysfunction, foot transcutaneous oxygen pressure, and clinical neuropathy.
On the other hand, a research paper from France suggests there is potential for using arginine as a treatment option. After conducting the treatment in lab animals, the researchers came to the following conclusion:
- “L-arginine supplementation prevented the development of mechanical hyperalgesia, tactile, and thermal allodynia in painful diabetic neuropathy with concomitant reduction of NO [nitric oxide] and increased agmatine production, offering new therapeutic opportunities for the management of diabetic neuropathic pain.”
While there may be potential for arginine when it comes to treating neuropathy, more research is necessary. However, there are various studies that show the effectiveness of arginine supplementation when it comes to other conditions.
For example, studies suggest that l-arginine may help with angina, hypertension, erectile dysfunction, and peripheral artery disease. In other words, if you’re looking to boost your circulation and heart health, consider taking an arginine supplement like L-arginine Plus.