21 Mar '10

L-Arginine (Nitric Oxide) and other common nutraceuticals

by synergy

By: Eric Glenn

L-Arginine is a nutraceutical that provides benefits specific to the production of nitric oxide and the improvement of blood flow. The natural consequences of improved blood flow include less stress on the heart which in turn translates into the possible reversal of the symptoms of heart disease. L-Arginine, like other nutraceuticals is a natural compound. Some examples of natural compounds are vitamins, minerals, omegas, and herbal extracts. These natural compounds can prevent and even cause the reversal of the progression of some diseases. Nutraceuticals contain health values that go beyond the actual nutrients that they contain. This is another way of saying that nutraceuticals contain nutrients that not only serve their function in providing us with sustenance but also serve the function of preventing possible future health problems. Nutraceuticals also provide financial benefits as they are typically much less expensive than generic prescription drugs and are easier to get as, in most cases, they do not require a prescription (there are some nutraceuticals that require high doses to be effective, so high that it is illegal for companies to provide them without a prescription).

However, L-Arginine is not the only nutraceutical out there. There are many different nutraceuticals, most of which you may have heard of before and never realized that they were in fact called nutraceuticals. Other nutraceuticals that have been shown to reduce the risk of a variety of diseases include:

  • Isoflavones – These are found mainly in soy foods and may reduce the risk of some forms of cancer.
  • Flavonoids – Flavonoids are antioxidants that can also protect the body from many types of cancer. Flavonoids are present in hundreds of different compounds. Flavonoids are found very commonly in fruits and vegetables but are most abundant in tomatoes, kale, and onions.
  • Ligans – Ligans have anti-estrogen properties that could potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer. Ligans are found mainly in flaxseed and rye.
  • Indoles – Indoles may also reduce the risk of estrogen related cancers and is found in clumped vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Lycopene – Lycopene is a carotenoid that can reduce the risk of a variety of forms of cancer including cancer of the lung, bladder, prostate, cervix and skin. Lycopene is found in red colored fruits and vegetables like tomatoes and watermelon.
  • Beta-Carotene – This is a nutraceutical that is more familiar to people as a cancer fighter and antioxidant. Beta-carotene is found in carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy green vegetables.
  • Lutein – Lutein also reduces the risk of cancer but add the benefit of reducing macular degeneration (loss of eye sight) and atherosclerosis as well. The best sources for Lutein are leafy green vegetables.
  • Allyl sulfides – These nutraceuticals help to eliminate toxic compounds that are found in the body. Common foods that contain Allyl sulfides are onions, leeks, and scallions.
  • Dithiolthiones – Dithiolthiones work with isothiocyanates to detoxify the body by increasing the activity of beneficial enzymes. Dithiolthiones and isothiocyanates can be found in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
  • Quercetin – This is an antioxidant that has anti-inflamatory and anti-histamine properties. There is evidence that is can prevent prostate and other forms of cancer. Quercetin is found in red apples and red onions.
  • Vitamin D – Vitamin D has the ability to ward off a wide range of diseases. Vitamin D is found in a variety of foods including milk. It is also made by our bodies when we are exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D supplementation is often necessary as it is difficult to obtain sufficient vitamin D levels from diet and sunlight absorption alone.

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