With over 60 million Americans suffering from some sort of heart disease, scientific research on supplements like arginine and others that may prevent or help treat heart disease is money and time well spent. Heart disease and, more specifically coronary artery disease, is the number one killer of Americans, and it is estimated to cost America $200 billion per year. Although surgery and other invasive methods are often used to treat heart disease, arginine may be effective in preventing heart disease in the first place.
What is Arginine?
Arginine is a little known supplement that has tremendous cardiovascular benefit. There is growing scientific evidence that it is a major protector against the development of heart disease. It is thought that arginine can substantially reduce the impact of coronary artery disease on the heart. It benefits the body by the effect of nitric oxide.
Arginine is the precursor to nitric oxide synthesis and is an essential amino acid. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator; it expands the blood vessels of the body which improves blood flow throughout the body and has many known positive effects. It is thought that arginine can prevent and help treat many medical problems that are related to blood vessel constriction such as angina (chest pain), atherosclerosis, erectile dysfunction, vascular disease, heart failure, and more.
Benefits of Arginine
Arginine has numerous other beneficial effects such as stimulating the body to produce more protein, increased sperm production, improved wound healing, reducing muscle loss in critically ill patients and more. It is also though to reduce high blood pressure, and reduce cramping in patients who suffer from chronic cramping.
Scientists are currently performing studies to identify the specific beneficial effects of arginine, but the fact that it can benefit the heart and other parts of the body is undeniable and already proven. Several clinical trials have shown that arginine supplementation can improve blood flow to the heart in patients with high cholesterol and with coronary artery disease.
In clinical trials it has been shown to be safe when used as a supplement with occasional minor side effects. Some reported minor side effects include bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. There may also be interactions with a few specific medications, and pregnant mothers should consult a physician before supplementing.
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