What is arginine?

Arginine is a conditional amino acid used to make proteins.  Conditional amino acids are a class of amino acids that the body can make 100% of what it needs to function under normal circumstances.  Under periods of stress or critical injury, additional amino acids are required from food intake.

Why is arginine part of my treatment plan?

Your Nimbus DNA Test discovered a mutation in the ACE gene that increases the amount of ACE-II, which constricts blood vessels.1,2  Poor blood flow has been linked to alopecia.  Arginine works to increase nitric oxide, which improves blood flow and the delivery of nutrients to hair follicles.3 Topicals containing 2-6% arginine have been used to improve blood flow.

What are the food sources of arginine?

Animal protein is the primary dietary source of arginine.

How do deficiencies in arginine occur?

Arginine deficiencies are rare but can occur from severe illness, severe calorie restriction, and rare genetic mutations that increase arginine turnover or decrease its absorption.  Sickle cell disease, malaria, cystic fibrosis, and liver transplantation have been associated with lower arginine levels.4  

What are the symptoms of arginine deficiency?

Symptoms of arginine deficiency can include increased blood pressure and increased susceptibility to infections.4

What does arginine do in the body?

Arginine is an essential regulator of blood flow for our circulatory system.  It is a precursor to nitric oxide, which is the principal regulator of blood flow.  Arginine also has an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and participates in the regulation of several hormones.5

Does arginine have adverse effects?

Topical use of arginine is very well tolerated without reported adverse events.  Reports of abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, headache, insomnia, and flushing have been reported.5


  1. Androgenetic alopecia is associated with increased arterial stiffness in asymptomatic young adults. European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 2015; 29:26-30
  2. Lotufo PA, Chae CU, Ajani UA, Hennekens CH, Manson JE. Male pattern baldness and coronary heart disease: the Physicians' Health Study. Archives of internal medicine 2000; 160:165-171
  3. McRae MP. Therapeutic benefits of l-arginine: An umbrella review of meta-analyses. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2016;15(3):184-189.
  4. Morris SM Jr. Arginases and arginine deficiency syndromes. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2012;15(1):64-70. doi:10.1097/MCO.0b013e32834d1a08
  5. L-Arginine. Natural medicines - login. (n.d.). Retrieved October 29, 2021, from,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=875.