It can be hard for some men to make the link between nutrients in their diet and what happens in the bedroom, but scientists are now linking key nutrients to an improved sex life in many men. In particular, L-arginine is steadily gaining in popularity around the globe as a tonic for the cardiovascular system and as a treatment for sexual dysfunction. Whether taken from foods, supplements or topical health crèmes, L-arginine has a proven effect on the sexual health of men. If suffering from cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure, it is also best to check with a doctor before using L-arginine products.

What is L-Arginine?

L-Arginine is an amino acid prevalent in a variety of foods, including chocolate and nuts. It plays a role in the toning of blood vessels and the circulation of blood throughout the body. When L-Arginine levels are adequate, the body is able to use it as an ingredient for producing nitric oxide (NO) -- a gas that stimulates the relaxation of blood vessels. In many cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis and angina, NO production is impaired. Scientists believe this is the primary reason that up to 75% of male patients with heart disease also experience impotence. Without NO, the blood vessels in the penis cannot dilate enough to allow blood to circulate and engorge the tissues. L-Arginine helps to improve NO levels in the blood, and is a first-line treatment for impotence as a result of cardiovascular disease.

Restoring healthy libido

A high dietary intake of L-arginine ensures high levels of energy throughout the day. Strong circulation is important for the oxygenation of tissues, and when circulation is low it is easy to feel tired, lethargic, and develop aches and pains. L-arginine directly promotes the fluidity of blood, by decreasing arterial plaque buildup, blood clot formation, platelet clumping and improving the flow of blood through the coronary arteries. As mentioned previously, L-arginine also works indirectly on circulation, as it is the primary precursor to the NO gas that stimulates blood vessel relaxation. Though officially classed as a "non-essential" amino acid, no one can argue that L-arginine plays a huge role in supporting oxygen-rich blood to flow freely and easily throughout the human body. As well as improving mental energy, focus and concentration, the effects of L-arginine will also reach the penile tissues, improving the flow of blood during arousal and stimulating increased libido.

Improving sexual dysfunction

According Douglas MacKay, ND, who published a review on L-arginine in Alternative Medicine Review during 2004, the amino acid has shown to be effective in treating impotence in a number of placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trials. During one study where 50 men were given 5g of L-arginine for up to six weeks, all subjects reported an improvement in impotence during the course of the trial, while as many as 31% of the men reported a large improvement. In another trail a group of men were given L-arginine and after one month 5% of the men experienced a normal erection. When the L-arginine was combined with a pine bark extract called pycnogenol (another product known to effect NO production) 80% of men experienced a normal erection in one month and 92% in two months.

Topical health formulas

Health crèmes containing L-arginine can be applied directly to the penis tissues for local absorption. Supplements and foods may not always be absorbed well through the digestive tract and into the blood stream. Topical formulas can be absorbed directly into the blood stream, bypassing digestion completely. Applying L-arginine this way improves local blood vessels and capillaries directly, bypassing the long route of digestive absorption and assimilation. Specially formulated health crèmes (most professionals recommend Man1Man oil) often contain a range of other important vitamins and minerals for male health. Vitamin C, E, L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid work synergistically with L-arginine, providing full support for blood circulation, NO production and male hormone balance.

Author's Bio: 

For additional information on most common men's health issues, tips on improving male organ sensitivity, and what to do to maintain a healthy manhood, visit: John Dugan is a professional writer who specializes in men's health issues and contributes feature articles and blogs to numerous publications.