Pycnogenol is a natural plant extract that comes from the French maritime pine barks. L-arginine and Pycnogenol are related to each other because these two dietary supplements have both effects on nitric oxide (NO). In 1992, the “Science” magazine called NO as the “molecule of the year” because of its several functions in the body. Let us then have a taste of the reality between what links L-arginine and Pycnogenol together.
What is L-Arginine?
L-arginine is an amino acid that serves as the building block of proteins. Foods that contain L-arginine are almonds and dark chocolate among others. Being an essential amino acid especially among children, arginine also acts as a precursor of nitric oxide in the body. L-arginine is available in supplement form as well. The supplemental forms of arginine includes L-arginine base, arginine alpha-ketoglutarate, arginine malate, and arginine ethyl ester.
What is Pycnogenol?
Pycnogenol coming from the extract of French maritime pine tree bark contains natural antioxidants known as anthocyanins. According to “Supplements 101” by Jim Stoppani PhD, pycnogenol can help improve the effect of taking the amino acid L-arginine.
Functions of L-Arginine and Pycnogenol
If the arginine is absorbed in the intestines, it will go into the bloodstream where it is converted into nitric oxide. However, the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NOS) is required for this chemical reaction. NOS acts to limit the amount of arginine that can be converted into nitric oxide (NO). The intake of pycnogenol increases the activity as well as the amount of NOS which is used to catalyze the conversion. Pycnogenol being a potent antioxidant can help fight free radicals that cause aging or certain diseases. Steven Stiefel mentioned in his “Amino Action” that arginine raises the secretion of HGH, human growth hormone from the pituitary gland.
Benefits of L-Arginine and Pycnogenol
The increase of nitric oxide production dilates and expands the blood vessels and this will allow more blood that will go to the body’s extremities. It gives more energy to athletes, weight lifters and fitness enthusiasts. It delivers more nutrients to working muscles. It can also act as a potent fat burner thus dieters can benefit from this increased fat burning and higher levels of HGH. This is according to Jerry Brainum of “Natural Anabolics.” Taking both L-arginine and pycnogenol supplements help support healthy blood pressure and heart function.
Recommended Dose of L-Arginine and Pycnogenol
Brown suggests taking 3-5 grams of L-arginine three times a day. L-arginine is best taken one upon waking up, before or after a workout and the third should be taken before going to bed. In order to increase the amount of arginine which is converted to nitric oxide, you must take 50 mg – 100 mg of pycnogenol together with L-arginine. For erectile dysfunction, you must take arginine and pycnogenol 30-60 minutes before performing sexual activity.
You have discovered the link between L-arginine and Pycnogenol. These two things have many things in common. When used to support each other, they provide the benefits as promised above. Also, it is important to take them in proper dosages so as to avoid complications and negative side effects later on.