Clayton's Health Facts: Arginine Ethyl Ester

Clayton South, SPN (ISSA), is a recognized expert in the bodybuilding / fitness industry with over 150 bodybuilding, fitness and nutrition publications to his credit.

What is it and where does it come from?

Arginine is a semi essential amino acid that is a building block of protein. Arginine is not manufactured endogenously, and exogenous consumption is required to satisfy arginine requirements.

Arginine Ethyl Ester HCL (AEE) is an arginine amino acid with an ester attached. Esters are organic compounds that are formed by esterification - the reaction of carboxylic acid and alcohols. Arginine Ethyl Ester can not be obtained via dietary means and must be obtained via supplementation.

What does it do and what scientific studies give evidence to support this?

Arginine Ethyl Ester is a new kind of arginine. It is, technically, an arginine derivative, so the ergogenic effects will be similar to those of regular L-arginine, but the presence of an ester will make the ergogenic effects of Arginine Ethyl Ester more pronounced.

As good as regular L-arginine is, it's inherently limited. The first of its limits are its limited absorption through the intestine. Whereas Arginine Ethyl Ester can pass through the intestine largely intact, regular L-arginine is mostly degraded in the intestine, leaving only trace amounts of the ingested dose active.

Because of the rapid breakdown of L-arginine in the intestine, its effects on N02 regulation, sexual arousal, and hemodialation are limited. This rapid breakdown also limits the ability of L-arginine to promote muscular growth via increases in exercise endurance and the delivery of nutrients to working muscle tissue via the muscle pump.

L-arginine has been used with limited success in the treatment of infertility and erectile dysfunction.2 The Pfizer drug Viagra® is believed to work via the nitric oxide pathway, thereby increasing blood flow to the penis. L-arginine also works via the nitric oxide pathway and this explains its moderate success in this role. Arginine Ethyl Ester appears to also positively affect infertility and erectile dysfunction, but to a greater degree due to increased absorption.

Injury healing, muscle growth and cellular function are all positively impacted by L-arginine, and currently accepted models of arginine metabolism suggest that these processes may be positively impacted by Arginine Ethyl Ester to a greater degree.

The presence of the ester not only enhances the function of arginine and overcomes its inherent limitations, but the presence of an ester and increased absorption also reduce the need for large doses, which may put less stress on the body.

The presence of an ester may also prolong the generation of nitric oxide and extend the benefits of arginine over a greater time period. This may result in greater endurance, enhanced pumps, and quicker recovery from exercise.

Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?

Everyone may benefit from arginine ethyl ester supplementation - even persons for whom past l-arginine supplementation proved ineffective.

How much should be taken? Are there any side effects?

Dosage amounts for Arginine Ethyl Ester range from one to four grams daily for maximum ergogenic effect. Arginine Ethyl Ester is best consumed in divided doses throughout the day so as to ensure sustained arginine release.

Individuals with existing heart or psychiatric conditions should consult with their physician prior to supplementing with arginine-based products.

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