Nutrition and Healing
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  • Go with the flow

    Q: I don’t like talking about it, but I’ve recently been having trouble urinating. Is there anything I can do?

    Dr. Wright: I recently came across research on an extraterrestrial molecule (a.k.a. patent medication) that’s supposed to improve a man’s ability to urinate. The researchers reported that the molecule isosorbide dinatrate works by improving the production of nitric oxide, a substance that relaxes vascular and other smooth muscles. In the men they studied, they found that urine flow improved while resistance to that flow decreased.

    But why use a space alien molecule when there’s a natural substance that does the exact same thing? It’s an amino acid called L-arginine.

    I’ve written about L-arginine many times over the past few years. Admittedly, one of its more attention-getting benefits is that it improves erectile dysfunction (ED). But in reality, it can be useful for all sorts of vascular diseases since it dilates blood vessels and improves blood flow. And for the men who are having difficulty urinating, I’m sure that news of this natural substance’s ability to correct the problem will come as a big relief.

    You should know, though, that the research was done with men averaging about 25 years old, so it may not work as well for older men. But I still think it’s worth a try for men who are suffering from this problem.

    There are two types of L-arginine: time release and regular. Time-release is preferable for urinary problems because, although it has a lower peak, it lasts longer. If you’re a man having a bit of trouble urinating, try taking 3 g of L-arginine daily in addition to nutrients and botanicals for your prostate.

    But if you want to try L-arginine for an ED problem, you may need to take 3 to 6 grams or more at a time of the regular L-arginine for sexual enhancement. Regular L-arginine reaches peak blood levels in one to two hours (so taking it one to two hours before makes the most sense, no?). Actually, some men who use L-arginine for erectile dysfunction prefer regular, some prefer time-release, and a third group prefers to use both!

    You can find regular L-arginine at most natural food stores. However, to get time-release L-arginine (sold as Perfusia, Thorne Research), you’ll have to go to a compounding pharmacy or order it from the Tahoma Clinic Dispensary. As always, be sure to consult a doctor skilled in natural medicine before beginning any new regimen.

    L-arginine is generally considered safe. However, a caution: If you’re susceptible to herpes simplex outbreaks, L-arginine can stimulate them. If this happens, L-arginine isn’t for you.

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