Agmatine is derived from L-arginine through decarboxylation (the removal of a carboxylic acid group). It is stored in neurons and is released during neuronal activation. Agmatine is considered to be a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator.
Preliminary research suggests agmatine has potential use in the treatment of neuropathic pain and drug addiction. It also protects the brain from toxins and strokes.
Though supplementing agmatine by itself can decrease the perception of pain, it works synergistically with painkillers like morphine and fentanyl.
Agmatine’s synergy with opioids allows it to reduce pain killer tolerance, the possibility of addiction, and pain itself.
Agmatine has several mechanisms. It can inhibit N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, as well as activate imidazoline receptors.
Agmatine can also inhibit nitric oxide synthase enzymes, which allows it to regulate elevated levels of nitric oxide.
Agmatine can inhibit calcium channels and certain serotonin receptors as well. Further research is needed to determine the full extent of agmatine’s mechanisms.
There is a lot of animal evidence to suggest agmatine is a highly promising research chemical. It is not a common supplement because there is a lack of human evidence for its effects.
Several studies have been done on people, but the majority use agmatine injections, not oral ingestion. Research must establish that agmatine’s effects will work following oral ingestion in order for wide-scale supplementation to be considered.
What is Agmatine Sulfate?
In this section, we’re going to touch on the following elements:
How agmatine is stored in neurons, found in food and produced by mitochondria
How neurotransmitter and neuromodulators in the central nervous system come into play
The nitric oxide synthesis–circulation connection
The bodybuilding factor
Usually, nutrition labels list agmatine as “agmatine sulfate” and it’s included in several supplements with pre-workout benefits.
Better Muscle “Pump” During Exercise
Because nitric oxide naturally supports vasodilation, an increase of NO in the muscles means better blood flow and, thus, a better muscle “pump” from your workout.
This yields dual benefits—delivering more oxygen and nutrients to working muscles and accelerating protein synthesis, which supports muscle growth (x).
Researchers support this idea in a study called “The Effect of Nitric-Oxide-Related Supplements on Human Performance,” conducted by Rauúl Besco, Antoni Sureda, Josep A. Tur and Antoni Pons.
The researchers claim that because an increase in NO production may deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, the action may improve “tolerance to physical exercise and recovery mechanisms.”
According to this research, the supplement may be able to support the same properties and produce a similar effect on exercise and muscle growth.
Regulating Pain Perception
According to several reports and studies, agmatine naturally reverses pain from factors like inflammation, neuropathy and spinal cord injury.
The substance helps to combat glutamate receptors to regulate pain perception. The supplement may be able to offer similar short-term pain relief (x).
According to research, agmatine is an “endogenous neuromodulator” and in rodent subjects, it demonstrated “a unique antiplasticity and neuroprotective role… in processes underlying persistent pain and neuronal injury.”
Regulating Blood Sugar and Insulin Response
In other studies, agmatine seems to be able to improve insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant rodent subjects. Agmatine supplements increased beta-endorphin production in the adrenal glands.
These endorphins can increase blood sugar absorption into the skeletal muscle tissue. This process appeared to reduce the subjects’ blood sugar levels (x).
However, note that these studies used animals and there is limited research on human subjects
Addressing Mental Health and Improving Mood
There are some studies looking into its effects on mental health, specifically related to anxiety and depression.
Researchers think that in the body, agmatine may act as a neurotransmitter and naturally respond to receptors associated with depression.
One study by Meng-Yang Zhu reviewed its potential neuroprotective properties in the hippocampus, which researchers think is likely “an important brain structure in the pathophysiology of depression.”
But the author claims that because “neuronal loss in the hippocampus is a characteristic of depression,” agmatine’s “neuroprotective activity” may play a positive role and protect from neuronal damage (x).
How to Take Agmatine Sulfate Supplements
Now that you know a little about what agmatine does in the body naturally, why take it as a supplement?
Agmatine sulfate supplements are not intended to replace standard medical treatment or treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or illness. However, the supplement may successfully replicate these natural properties.
We always recommend that you consult a doctor before trying any supplement product. The recommended dosage for agmatine sulfate powder is 750 mg. Take it in a 3-days on, 1-day off cycle or according to a physician’s instructions.