What is Agmatine Sulfate?
Agmatine is a bioactive metabolite derived from the decarboxylation of the amino acid arginine. It is a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator that influences receptors that perceive pain. It also modulates nitric oxide synthesis and may play a role in exercise performance, cognition, mood, and resilience against stress. Some dietary agmatine sources include fermented beverages like beer, wine, and sake.
Potential Agmatine Sulfate Benefits
Agmatine Sulfate, Nitric Oxide, and Exercise Performance
Agmatine sulfate helps synthesize nitric oxide by modulating nitric oxide synthase (NOS) enzymes. Nitric oxide is a free radical and vasodilator that relaxes smooth muscles and blood vessels for better blood flow. However, too much nitric oxide can be harmful. Agmatine regulates the NOS enzymes iNOS, nNOS, and eNOS to maximize the benefits of nitric oxide while mitigating its risks.
- iNOS (inducible) is essential for producing nitric oxide that helps the immune system kill bacteria. Too much of it results in inflammation.
- nNOS (neuronal) facilitates communication between neurons in the brain. Failing to modulate nNOS can impede neuron repair and growth.
- eNOS (endothelial) is necessary for triggering vasodilation and improved blood flow. Better flow maximizes oxygen and nutrient delivery to muscles and expedites cellular waste removal.
Researchers believe agmatine amplifies nitric oxide’s benefits by reducing iNOS and nNOS while boosting eNOS. Vasodilation is responsible for the muscle pump individuals experience after workouts. It may support muscle growth as well by delivering more oxygen and nutrients to muscles during intense exercise. Animal studies show it also increases glucose uptake into muscles, which expedites muscle repair and growth. Additionally, agmatine may influence testosterone production by stimulating luteinizing hormones.
Agmatine Sulfate and Pain Perception
Agmatine has analgesic properties that may provide relief from neuropathic, inflammatory, and spinal cord injury pain. These types of pain hinge on nervous system plasticity. Agmatine inhibits plasticity by acting as a glutamate receptor antagonistic and NOS modulator. Its interactions with glutamate receptors also influence pain perception, which may provide short-term pain relief.
Agmatine Sulfate and Mood
Animal research shows that agmatine sulfate may improve mood and reduce stress. One study found that agmatine improved mood by inhibiting the effects of elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Research also notes that agmatine increases adenylate cyclase enzymes and activates the imidazoline receptor. Higher levels of adenylate cyclase have a strong correlation to better moods, and imidazoline receptors increase endorphin secretion. A small clinical trial found that agmatine improved mood, reduced tension, and relieved agitation in humans. Researchers believe this is because agmatine can block NMDA receptors. Altering NMDA receptor signaling has significant implications for managing moods.
Other Potential Agmatine Sulfate Benefits
Agmatine sulfate may improve cognitive function as it plays a modulatory role in some learning and memory processes. Agmatine may also improve resiliency against stress and enhance longevity by facilitating polyamine metabolism, synthesis, and transport. Polyamines improve the body’s ability to withstand stress, while low levels promote faster aging.
Potential Agmatine Sulfate Side Effects
Agmatine does not typically cause significant adverse effects. Some individuals may experience minor side effects, such as diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. Although more human research is needed, a five-year-long study reported no side effects from taking daily agmatine.
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