Recently, there’s been quite a lot of talk about the effectiveness of arginine supplements in improving circulation. From skepticism to legalities, the battle over how arginine actually works has been a heated topic of discussion for many years, since Dr. Louis Ignarro received great accolades for his research into heart disease in association with nitric oxide. There’s no denying the clinical proof that arginine impacts the production of nitric oxide, and thus affects circulation. But, let’s run an overview of how arginine works and what the most trusted medical resources online say about it.
WebMD on Arginine (http://www.webmd.com/heart/arginine-heart-benefits-and-side-effects)
There are plenty of powerful new drugs to help prevent and treat chronic health problems. But we also know that certain nutrients may help as well. Take arginine, for example. Arginine has gotten lots of attention lately for its potential heart benefits. That’s important because, today, about 64 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease.
Deficiencies of arginine are rare. It’s abundant in many different types of foods, and your body can also make it. Arginine-rich foods include red meat, fish, poultry, wheat germ, grains, nuts and seeds, and dairy products. But what does arginine do for the heart, and are there potential side effects?
WebMD goes on to say that arginine is involved in a number of different functions in the body, including wound healing, helping the kidneys remove waste, and maintaining immune and hormone function.
Some evidence shows that arginine may help improve blood flow in the arteries of the heart. That may improve symptoms of clogged arteries, chest pain or angina, and coronary artery disease. However, there currently is no data on how the long-term use of arginine affects cholesterol or heart health.
Since arginine may help arteries relax and improve blood flow, it may also help with erectile dysfunction.
There are other potential health benefits with arginine, such as possible reduction of blood pressure in some people and improved walking distance in patients with intermittent leg cramping and weakness known as intermittent claudication. However, the scientific studies are not conclusive enough for experts to make any firm recommendations.
Mayo Clinic on Arginine (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/L-arginine/NS_patient-arginine/DSECTION=evidence)
There is good scientific evidence that dietary supplementation with L-arginine may help patients with coronary artery disease, angina, or atherosclerosis, due to its effects on increasing vasodilation (blood vessel widening). Larger, longer-term studies are needed to confirm these initial positive effects.
Peripheral vascular disease, also known as intermittent claudication, is a narrowing of blood vessels in the legs and feet caused by fatty plaque deposits. This condition causes decreased blood flow to the legs and feet, resulting in leg pain and tiredness. A small number of studies report that arginine therapy may improve walking distance in patients with claudication.
University of California, Berkley, Wellness (http://www.berkeleywellness.com/supplements/other-supplements/article/arginine-what-can-it-do)
Some preliminary studies have found that arginine supplements can improve the function of blood vessels, enhance coronary blood flow, lower blood pressure, and even reduce angina and other symptoms in people with heart and/or vascular disease. There’s evidence it can be used to treat heart failure.
For more research into the benefits of arginine, visit http://erasedisease.com/research/