L-arginine is known for its functions with regard to blood vessel dilation and blood pressure modulation. An amount of 3,000 mg L-arginine combined with vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid may contribute to lowering high blood pressure. When combined with pine bark extract, L-arginine has been found to be an effective natural potency enhancer. The amino acid, L-arginine, also plays an important role in strengthening the human immune system.
Now, another application of L-arginine is being researched: using it as an ingredient in toothpaste and observing its effects on dental plaque and periodontitis. The results of a study conducted under the leadership of Prof. Alexander Rickard at the University of Michigan in 2015 look promising. 1 In lab trials, L-arginine was able to largely neutralize the development of plaque and significantly reduce bacterial growth.
Future applications may far exceed utilization in toothpaste, because plaque, a biofilm, is similar to other biofilms such as those found in hospitals. More than 50% of all infections contracted in a hospital can be traced back to biofilms.
Even if the only benefit is improvement in periodontitis prevention through use in toothpaste, this would be a great health improvement. 24 percent of Americans in the US have untreated cavities. Approximately 39% of Americans in the US suffer from mild to moderate periodontitis. Among older adults, that number increases to two-thirds of the population.
- Rickard, A., et al. “L-Arginine Destabilizes Oral Multi-Species Biofilm Communities Developed in Human Saliva”; 2015; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121835 ↩