L-Arginine Benefits For Males: Does it Work for ED?

Erectile dysfunction is a common sexual issue among men of all ages. Learn how L-arginine can potentially work to treat ED.

Dr. Suzanne Manzi
By The Promescent Team Medically reviewed by Dr. Suzanne Manzi Last updated 12/11/2023

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Does L-Arginine Work For ED

When you cannot achieve or keep an erection, this can definitely interfere with having good sex.

However, erectile dysfunction (ED) is not uncommon (around 30 million men in the U.S. are affected), and there are treatment options. In your search for things to help ED, you are bound to come across recommendations for L-arginine for ED.

Quick FAQs

It is an amino acid that helps support protein production.

While a few studies suggest that L-Arginine may help treat ED, more research is needed to make a definitive conclusion.

A few of the potential side effects of L-Arginine include headache, bloating, and abdominal pain.

Does L-arginine really work for ED? Below is a comprehensive overview of L-arginine for ED, the potential of this over-the-counter supplement's efficacy for ED, and more.

What Is L-Arginine?

L-arginine is an important amino acid that supports protein production in the body.

This amino acid can be found in certain foods, such as nuts and meat. Supplements are also available for those looking to boost their daily intake.

L-arginine is thought to be beneficial for ED, as well as several other health conditions, including:

The reason why L-arginine may be beneficial for so many unique health conditions, including ED, is how it supports the body. 

Not only is the amino acid important for protein production, but it also converts into nitrous oxide (NO). This gas helps blood vessels open up to encourage blood flow.

Is L-arginine Good for ED?

It is possible that taking L-arginine for ED could be beneficial. It has been examined several times for its ability to help men achieve an erection.

In a study published in 2017, researchers were able to determine men with severe ED had lower levels of L-arginine in their blood than men with only mild ED symptoms. 

This led to the theory that low levels of L-arginine may contribute to the risk of ED because of a lowered NO concentration to support blood flow to the penis.

Pro Tip: VitaFLUX Nitric Oxide Booster can help your blood vessels to relax and allow more blood flow through increased nitric oxide production.

Since obtaining an erection requires sufficient blood flow to the penis, NO is undeniably important. Therefore, taking L-arginine for ED—a natural producer of NO—is naturally anticipated to be effective. 

To date, however, there have not been enough positive outcomes in formal studies to back up the speculation. Here are a few to consider:

  • In a small study published in 1999, L-arginine offered sexual improvements for men with ED, but those taking a placebo had similar outcomes. Therefore, any improvements were discounted.
  • A larger review of several studies in 2019 found that L-arginine seemed to be effective for ED. However, researchers noted that the sample sizes in available studies were too small to make definitive claims.
  • A randomized controlled trial published in 2022 found that taking large doses of L-arginine supplements for three months improved ED symptoms. By the end of the three months, 74 percent of study participants reported improvements in ED.

It should be noted that some studies that have shown L-arginine effective for ED when combined with other agents, such as:

Benefits of L-Arginine for ED

While it may not be fully known whether taking L-arginine for ED is fully effective, supplementing with this amino acid may be worth a try.

Several studies have found some mild enhancement in the ability to achieve and maintain an erection.

L-arginine may also improve sexual stamina, since it has been shown in some studies to enhance athletic performance.

Men who have certain conditions that affect sexual performance may also benefit from L-arginine supplements. 

For instance, men with high blood pressure commonly struggle with erectile function. L-arginine may be effective for lowering blood pressure, which may have an influence on ED.

On the benefits of L-arginine for ED, Dr. Suzanne Manzi of Performance Pain And Sports Medicine stated, “Yes, L-Arginine may help with mild erectile dysfunction and may also help with heart disease. In the case of erectile dysfunction, the increased nitric oxide production caused by L-Arginine helps improve blood circulation, which may help improve erectile function.”

Dr. Manzi was clear to note that results may vary when it comes to using L-Arginine for ED treatment. Users may not see immediate improvement, but over time, they may see noticeable positive changes. 

This may include increased sexual desire, better erectile strength and duration, and a more satisfying sexual experience.

On other possible benefits of L-Arginine, she stated, “For heart disease, L-Arginine helps reduce cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation, which may help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. In addition, it can help reduce the risk of other heart-related conditions, such as arrhythmia, congestive heart failure, and atherosclerosis.”

Dr. Manzi also noted that L-Arginine can improve reproductive health because of the increased sperm motility and counts.

Side Effects of L-Arginine

Even though L-arginine is considered to be a nutritional supplement, this supplement does not come without the potential for side effects.

According to Dr. Manzi, while L-arginine is generally safe, some individuals may experience the following side effects when taking high doses:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Bloating

Dr. Manzi also cautions that in rare cases itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, and kidney failure may occur.

    Taking L-arginine for ED may also not be recommended if you take certain medications. There are several medications that could cause adverse interactions, such as anticoagulants, nitrates, and pain relievers.

    Further, if you are already taking medications for ED like Viagra, L-arginine should be avoided. Both agents dilate blood vessels in the body, which heightens the risks of blood pressure falling too low.

    Dr. Manzi noted that it’s important to be aware of these potential side effects and consult a doctor if any of these symptoms occur.

    Other ED Treatments

    Today, men who have ED have access to a long list of options when it comes to ED treatment, including pharmaceutical medications and other supplements.

    Prescription Medications for ED

    The first line of treatment for men who discuss ED with a doctor is most often a PDE-5 (phosphodiesterase type 5) inhibitor medication.

    These medications work by prolonging the effect of mediators like NO that influence blood vessels in the penis. Options include:

    • Sildenafil (Viagra)
    • Tadalafil (Cialis)
    • Vardenafil (Levitra)
    • Avanafil (Stendra)

    While ED meds can be highly effective, they can have their side effects such as headaches and nasal congestion.

    Other Supplements for ED

    A handful of herbal and nutritional supplements may offer some benefits for ED. For example, horny goat weed (active ingredient icariin) has been shown to have PDE-5 actions, which may help with erectile dysfunction to some mild degree.

    Other highly effective supplements contain a collection of nutritive agents to support sexual function. For example, VitaFLUX Nitric Oxide Booster for Men contains:

    • L-arginine
    • L-citrulline
    • L-carnitine tartrate
    • Magnesium
    • Zinc

    VitaFLUX may help with ED by improving blood flow to the penis, and can also potentially offer other sexual benefits like supporting testosterone, libido, and energy levels.


    L-arginine is an important amino acid that helps with NO levels in the blood. This action may offer some support for men struggling with ED, but there have not been large enough studies to make definitive claims. 

    L-arginine is considered generally safe, but may come with a risk of mild side effects and could interact with certain medications.

    The amino acid seems to be most effective for ED when combined with other agents or taken for longer periods. 

    Other options for ED that may be more effective include supplements like VitaFLUX, which contain a combination of L-arginine and other agents that support male sexual function.

    Dr. Suzanne Manzi

    Dr. Suzanne Manzi

    Dr. Manzi is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pain Medicine, Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and Obesity Medicine. She has been recognized as a top doctor in Houston.


    Absorption Pharmaceuticals LLC (Promescent) has strict informational citing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic or research institutions, medical associations, and medical experts. We attempt to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references and only citing trustworthy sources. Each article is reviewed, written, and updated by Medical Professionals or authoritative Experts in a specific, related field of practice. You can find out more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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    The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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