Arginine is an amino acid the body makes naturally, but it is also found in foods that contain protein, such as turkey, soybeans, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds. Use of arginine for Peyronie’s disease has been explored because research indicates that the amino acid can be beneficial for conditions that involve a compromised blood flow, such as clogged arteries, heart disease, erectile dysfunction, and similar health problems.
The main reason arginine is effective in such cases is that once in the body, it converts into nitric oxide, a substance that causes the blood vessels to open wider, thus improving blood flow.
Studies of Arginine for Peyronie’s Disease Treatment
Studies of the effect of arginine for Peyronie’s disease treatment are limited. A rat study showed that when arginine was given to the animals in their water, they experienced a reduction in plaque size and the ratio of plaque-building components (collagen and fibroblasts). (Valente 2003)
In another study, arginine for Peyronie’s disease treatment was used along with oral pentoxifylline and injections of verapamil in men who used penile traction for at least two hours per day. Overall, the authors reported there was “a trend toward measured curvature improvement” and a significant gain in stretched penile length using this combination therapy. (Abern 2012)
Dose and Side Effects of Arginine for Peyronie’s Disease Treatment
The suggested dose of arginine is 1 gram twice daily. Arginine is considered safe when used for short periods, but it should not be taken if you are using medications to lower blood pressure, treat erectile dysfunction (e.g., sildenafil), or increase blood flow to the heart. Side effects of arginine may include abdominal pain, bloating, blood abnormalities, diarrhea, low blood pressure, and worsening of allergies or asthma.
Abern MR et al. Combination of penile traction, intralesional verapamil, and oral therapies for Peyronie’s disease. J Sex Med 2012 Jan; 9(1): 288-95
Valente EG et al. L-arginine and phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors counteract fibrosis in the Peyronie’s fibrotic plaque and related fibroblast cultures. Nitric Oxide 2003 Dec; 9(4): 229-44