In 2005, a study published in Current Drug Metabolism identified L-arginine as being able to block asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), an inhibitor of nitric oxide (NO) synthesis1. When the body releases ADMA, a high level of homocysteine (non-protein amino acid) occurs. Both ADMA and homocysteine are independent risk factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases.
Another study, also published in 2005, examined the use of L-arginine in patients with acute myocardial infarction2. The study involved 792 participants who either received an oral placebo or L-arginine for 30 days. This was the first study of its kind and the preliminary results show that L-arginine may be very beneficial in reducing cases of acute myocardial infarction.
Nutritionists recommend patients with cardiovascular disease, or at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, supplement their diet with L-arginine. Folic acid is also recommended as both compounds help to protect the heart. Folic acid lowers homocysteine, while L-arginine stimulates NO production to support optimal blood circulation and blood pressure. Healthy living and a balanced diet are also important. Treatment should be done in consultation a physician.
1Stühlinger & Stanger: Asymmetric dimethyl-L-arginine (ADMA): a possible link between homocyst (e) ine and endothelial dysfunction. Current Drug Metabolism, 2005, 6, 3-14.
2Bednarz B, et al.: Efficacy and safety of oral l-arginine in acute myocardial infarction. Results of multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial ARAMI. Kardiol. Pol. 2005, 62, 421-26