L-arginine is a nonessential amino acid, because under normal circumstances it can be synthesized from other precursors. It is found in most foods containing protein, such as meats, dairy and nuts. CoQ10, or Coenzyme Q10, is a fat-soluble substance that is needed in small quantities similarly to vitamins. However, unlike vitamins, your body can usually synthesize enough CoQ10 from other substances. Nonetheless, supplementing with extra L-arginine and CoQ10 is associated with a number of health benefits.
An oral dose of 5 to 9 grams of arginine increases resting growth hormone levels at least 100 percent, reported the January 2008 issue of “Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care.” This is a significant increase; however, it is less than the exercise-induced increase in growth hormone levels, which is around 300 to 500 percent. In addition, combining arginine with exercise does not enhance the growth hormone spike but actually attenuates it. If you are taking arginine to increase your growth hormone levels, take it at least a few hours before or after exercise.
The February 2005 issue of “Nutrition in Clinical Practice” reports that arginine supplementation has been shown to enhance wound healing both in rodents and in humans. It appears that this amino acid aids collagen synthesis -- the fibrous tissue that forms over a wound. In addition, arginine is converted to another amino acid called ornithine and substances called polyamines. These help in cell proliferation -- the growth of new cells at the wounded area.
Statins are a group of drugs used in the management of high cholesterol levels. Among their side effects is the inhibition of CoQ10 production, an important factor for mitochondrial function. It is known that CoQ10 deficiencies can cause nervous and muscular disorders, and this is believed to be one of the reasons why such conditions sometimes arise with statin use. Many people on statins therefore supplement with CoQ10. However, as discussed in the spring 2010 edition of “The Ochsner Journal,” there isn’t conclusive evidence that supplementation with CoQ10 in statin users is associated with a decreased risk of statin’s adverse effects.
CoQ10 supplementation seems to have the potential to reduce high blood pressure, reported the July 2010 issue of the “Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine.” It appears that CoQ10 protects nitric oxide and prolongs its life. Nitric oxide is a signaling molecule that causes arteries to dilate, lowering blood pressure. CoQ10 may also increase the production of prostacyclin PGI2, another vasodilator. It has also been proposed that CoQ10 may increase the sensitivity of arterial muscle to nitric oxide and/or prostacyclin PGI2.
- Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: Growth Hormone, Arginine and Exercise
- Nutrition in Clinical Practice: Arginine Supplementation and Wound Healing
- The Ochsner Journal: Coenzyme Q10 and Statin-Induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction
- Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine: Coenzyme Q10: A Therapy for Hypertension and Statin-Induced Myalgia?