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What is Arginine?
Arginine is an amino acid that is produced naturally by the body and is used in cell division, the healing of wounds and production of growth hormone. The body uses arginine to manufacture nitrite oxide which causes the blood vessels to relax and increase blood flow. Studies have shown that arginine improves cardiovascular circulation.
Benefits of Arginine:
Studies have shown that arginine is a human growth hormone enhancer (HGH). Such hormones are known to increase epidermal thickness due to increased activity of fibroblasts. The HGH level decreases as a person grows old; arginine stimulates the body to produce more HGH to help keep the skin look younger and healthier.
Arginine helps improve hydration and reduce transepidermal water loss by acting as humectants. Humectants are hygroscopic substances that hydrate the epidermis by drawing water from the deeper layer of the skin (dermis) and environment. It helps to synthesize natural moisturizing factors such as ceramides, cholesterol, urea and glycosaminoglycans which help improve the barrier properties of the skin. A study was done on the application of topical 2.5% arginine hydrochloride ointment for its effects on transepidermal water loss, urea content in the stratum corneum, and overall skin hydration. The result showed an increase in urea content and skin hydration. The acid is also known to possess antioxidant properties to fight free radical damage.
Side Effects & Toxicity:
An extremely safe ingredient, arginine has no known toxicity in general use and is non-irritating and suitable for sensitive skin. Its maximum concentration for use in a formulation is 18%.
Arginine is sometimes used as a key ingredient in some weight-loss and muscle-building shakes because it increases the body’s fat burning and muscle-building functions.