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Should you Replace your Daily Aspirin with Arginine?
On the advice of their physicians, millions of Americans, encouraged by massive
advertising and the apparent government stamp of approval, are taking an aspirin
a day to keep a heart attack away. Is this the best advice orthodox medicine
has to offer? An explosion of recent research, stemming from the 1998 Nobel
prize in medicine, now strongly supports the idea that there are better; safer
and more effective alternatives to aspirin for preventing heart attacks and
The recent research into Nitric Oxide (NO), a short-lived free radical that
the human body can create out of arginine, an essential amino acid, lead not
only to the prescription impotence drug Viagra®, but also to the finding
that arginine, like aspirin and many other substances, can act as a very potent
blood anticoagulant. Thus arginine, like aspirin and other substances, may
prevent Myocardial Infarction (MI) AKA heart attack.
Arginine vs. Aspirin
L-Arginine, an amino acid, is possibley essential to our diet and required
for life, has as yet no known toxicity. Arginine has been shown to stimulate
the body's production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) by the pituitary gland,
probably by blocking the secretion of HGH inhibitor somatostatin. It increases
the body's ability to produce Nitric Oxide when needed, and restores sexual
function in impotent men. Studies have shown that oral arginine boosts immunity,
fights cancer, promotes healing, protects and detoxifies the liver, improves
thymus function, enhances male fertility and is the precursor of the non-essential
amino acid ornithine.
Aspirin on the other hand is not always safe and there are no studies that
show taking plain aspirin extends life. Linus Pauling pointed out in 1986 that "Aspirin,
like other salicylates, has the property that in concentrated solution can
attack and dissolve tissues. An aspirin in the stomach may attach to the stomach
wall and cause a bleeding ulcer."  A recent report from the Boston
University school of Medicine confirms that aspirin can irritate the stomach
lining, sometimes causing severe upper gastrointestinal bleeding and, in rare
instances, death. [3,4].
The Aspirin Trials
Given the potentially serious health concerns surrounding aspirin, why is this
substance being heralded as a miracle drug in the fight against heart disease
and worthy of the U. S. Government's stamp of approval? One reason is that
aspirin is readily available over-the-counter; another reason is that one of
aspirin's many properties is the inhibition of platelet clumping. Less clumping
might mean fewer blood clots resulting in fewer heart attacks. Medical correspondent
Wayne Martin writing in the Townsend Letter explains the Platelet Adhesiveness
Index (PAI) test:
At the National Heart Hospital in London circa 1970, they were using a test
for platelet adhesion and the results were stated as PAI, platelet Adhesiveness
index. In this test a blood sample was taken and a platelet count was made.
Then a second blood sample was taken and this time the blood was passed over
glass beads. If half the platelets stuck to the beads, PAI was 50. Patients
who had survived a heart attack would have PAI of 50 and hence were considered
to be at risk of death from a second heart attack. Young women who never suffer
from Myocardial Infarction (MI) have PAI of 20 yet they will have proper blood
clots in wounds.
At the National Heart Hospital, in the years 1960 to 1965, they did a PAI test
on every patient to come to this hospital and they never found a single patient
with PAI less than 40. They felt anyone with a PAI of less than 40 was not
going to have a heart attack. Put another way, they felt that the great problem
about MI was one of blood clots in coronary arteries.
The idea of testing for PAI never came to the USA. 
Because aspirin will reduce blood clotting, clinical trials were launched to
find out whether aspirin may benefit heart patients. These trials have mixed
results, none showing longer life; but two recent studies concluded that aspirin
is a "life saver" because it cut down the number of non-fatal heart
attacks, especially second heart attacks in the aspirin group.
Wayne Martin's interpretation of these trials:
In 1980 cardiologists resurrected platelets and blood clots as a cause of Myocardial
Infarction (MI) deaths - and told everyone over 40 to take aspirin to prevent
having a heart attack. One factor in the prevention of MI is the Adhesiveness
of platelets as the greater the adhesion of platelets the greater the chance
of having a coronary blood clot.
Then came a series of trials on aspirin for the prevention of MI. There were
in the 1970s two trials in England that were failures. No benefit or very slight
benefit was found for aspirin in the prevention of MI. This was followed by
a much larger US government-financed trial in the USA and reported in 1980.
This trial was an abject failure with much bleeding of the stomach due to aspirin
and no benefit at all in the prevention of MI.
Doctors felt that the case could be made for aspirin if only doctors were the
subjects. A trial in England among doctors was again a failure, however a larger
trial among doctors in the USA was hailed as a great success. In this American
trial, non-fatal heart attacks were reduced by 40%. The bad news however, was
that fatal heart attacks were not reduced and moreover overall survival was
not increased. Nonetheless as the result of this trial, it was suggested or
even demanded that all men over 40 should be taking aspirin.
There was something a bit different about this trial among doctors in the USA.
Bufferin was used and Bufferin contains both aspirin and some magnesium. Magnesium
is greatly beneficial to the heart. It reduces platelet adhesion, is a vasodilator
and is a potent antiarrhythmic agent. 
The authors of The Arginine Solution, Robert Fried, Ph.D. and Woodson Merrell,
MD, summarize the aspirin research this way:
The results of the physician study, which were published in 1997 in The New
England Journal of Medicine, concluded that a daily aspirin does indeed have
a significant impact on heart health, lowering the risk of heart disease and
heart attacks. Other researchers have also shown that aspirin can slash the
risk of a second heart attack in patients who have already suffered a first
heart attack. And because unchecked platelet clumping has also been implicated
as one cause for chronic high blood pressure, aspirin and other anticoagulants
may help in the treatment of hypertension as well.
Unfortunately, many of these anticoagulant drugs, aspirin included, can have
pernicious side effects for many patients, side effects that can range from
serious stomach bleeding to kidney damage. Indeed, further analysis of the
same landmark physician study itself found that those doctors in a control
group who received a placebo instead of aspirin had the same overall incidence
of death as those who received the aspirin.
Surprisingly, Fried and Merrell question the validity of the claim that aspirin
takers enjoy such a comparative reduction of heart disease and heart attacks:
Well it turns out that physicians on aspirin increased their odds of another,
often fatal condition: hemorrhagic stroke, that is, unchecked bleeding into
the brain. This kind of stroke is a prime example of where you need some protective
blood clotting, but the anticoagulants have turned of the capacity to do so".
There Are Many Alternatives to Aspirin
Although aspirin apparently reduces the incidence of blood clots that lead
to heart attack, much safer substances are known that work equally well or
There are all kinds of things other than aspirin that reduce PAI, one of which
is the drug dipyridamole. Here mention will be made of the European Stroke
Prevention Study. About 90% of strokes are thrombotic strokes, blood clots
in blood vessels in the brain. This trial had as subjects patients who had
had an indication of a stroke. First aspirin alone was used with little or
no benefit. Then dipyridamole was added to treatment, 300 mg a day and the
results were outstanding. Stroke deaths were reduced by 50%, heart attack deaths
by 35% and cancer deaths by 25%.
There are many things that reduce PAI better than aspirin. Vitamin E at 400
iu a day will, as will Vitamin B6 at over 40 mg day. There was an editorial
in The Lancet a few years ago on how anti-thrombic is vitamin B6 at over 40
Mg. So is fish oil. This is the omega-3 fatty acid that we have been hearing
so much about of late. Then recently, from the University of Wisconsin, comes
a report that purple grape juice at 10 oz. a day will reduce PAI better than
aspirin. It has been suggested that gamma linolenic acid in evening primrose
oil will reduce PAI better than anything else. Also the oils of onion and garlic
will reduce PAI. Ground ginger also is greatly effective in reducing PAI and
like aspirin, it will reduce pain. It is highly anti-inflammatory. It is a
sad state of affairs that doctors in the USA have gotten most men over 40 taking
aspirin while not setting up a test to see if it is in fact reducing PAI. 
Arginine Derived NO Mediates Platelet Adhesiveness
One of the great discoveries stemming from the recent NO research is that the
amino acid arginine may share an ability to prevent blood clots with aspirin,
without any known risks. Scientists now think that NO derived from arginine
regulates whether or not blood platelets clump together. If platelets were
always clumping, The entire circulatory system would grind to a sludgy halt.
Whenever a blood vessel suffers an injury, platelets clump together blocking
blood from seeping out of the artery until the damage can be repaired. Clumps
or clots that block coronary arteries can cause a heart attack. Something has
to trigger clumping when it's called for, while inhibiting it when there is
no need. It turns out that a number of blood-borne chemicals are released when
an injury occurs that can alter electrical charges, and these chemicals determine
whether or not platelets will repel or attract. According to Fried and Merrill,
nature's elegant solution for regulating whether platelet's clump relies on
the free radical Nitric Oxide (NO) made available in the body from arginine.
The good news is that researchers have found another "blood thinning" approach
that is equally effective in controlling platelet aggregation, but without
the side-effects of conventional anticoagulants from aspirin to leech saliva.
This discovery came after Drs. M. W. Radomski, R. M. J. Palmer and Salvador
Monacada learned that platelets themselves contain their own form of the enzyme
nitric oxide synthase, which lets them create NO from arginine. 
Researchers now say that supplemental arginine can also help the hypertensive
patient's remaining undamaged endothelial cells produce additional NO to keep
arteries open and to prevent platelets from clumping and sticking to vessel
walls. In 1994, researchers at the Hanover Medical School in Germany reported
that intravenous arginine resulted in a 33 percent decrease in platelet aggregation
- very impressive results. Moreover, the researchers concluded that arginine
inhibits platelet aggregation specifically "by enhancing nitric oxide
In Theory, Aspirin may Aggravate Atherosclerosis
According to the Linus Pauling/Matthias Rath Unified Theory of cardiovascular
disease, the primary cause of heart disease is a vitamin C deficiency. This
deficiency leads to an inability to manufacture sufficient collagen, which
causes blood vessel weakness and instability. Collagen is a basic animal protein
that provides structural integrity analogous to the function of cellulose in
plants. Blood vessel instability from a lack of collagen leads to lesions or
wounds in the arterial wall, especially where blood pressure is high and mechanical
stresses are great. Plaque forms as a healing response to these wounds.
It has long been known that taking aspirin increases one's requirement for
vitamin C. Vitamin C molecules are used up detoxifying the body, so taking
aspirin may lead to lower blood and tissue levels of vitamin C. According to
Irwin Stone in 1976:
Certain drugs, such as aspirin, cortisone, and other anti-inflammatory agents,
and cinchophen, are known to provoke ulcers and gastric hemorrhage. This is
especially the case when a deficiency of ascorbic acid [vitamin C] is present.
In animal experiments, the administration of ascorbic acid along with the toxic
drug reduced the incidence of peptic ulcer and gastric hemorrhage to such an
extent that it prompted one author (Aron) to suggest, "Therefore it would
seem judicious in human therapeutics to include ascorbic acid in every prescription
for an anti-inflammatory drug".
Aspirin's ability to dissolve human tissues would seem to make this substance
contraindicated in atherosclerotic patients. If Pauling and Rath are correct
and the lack of vitamin C causes heart disease, and if aspirin can cause blood
vessel lesions, and finally, if the body uses its vitamin C stores to "fight" the
toxic effects of aspirin, then taking aspirin may be the last thing a heart
patient should do.
Arginine May be the Best Alternative
Most authorities now accept the proposition that heart attack is not generally
a problem of arterial occlusion; rather MI is a problem of blockage. The problem
with occlusion is that blockages are more likely in arteries narrowed by atherosclerosis.
When platelet adhesiveness increases, the risk of heart attack rises. Nitric
Oxide causes arteries to dilate and blood pressure to drop. Interestingly,
the research shows that atherosclerosis interferes with the ability of endothelial
cells to make NO, so clotting is more likely when atherosclerotic plaque is
present. If a blood clot is the reason for the blockage, thinning the blood
with an anti-coagulating agent may be of significant value. The discovery that
NO derived from arginine regulates blood coagulation at the platelet level
is important. Arginine has been shown to have the same anti-clotting ability
as aspirin, but not continuously, only when needed, i.e., when chemicals associated
with injury are released into the blood stream. Aspirin's health risk is that
this substance may unconditionally prevent blood coagulation, even when clotting
is called for, e.g., to prevent a stroke. Furthermore, aspirin's known characteristic
of dissolving tissue may not be limited to the stomach. If aspirin causes arterial
lesions, then it would be a contributing factor in atherosclerosis.
The Final Word from Linus Pauling
While rethinking your daily aspirin, please consider these remarks made by
the late chemist and medical researcher Linus Pauling writing in HOW TO LIVE
LONGER AND FEEL BETTER:
It is drugs, especially the analgesics and antipyretics such as aspirin, that
are responsible for most of the five thousand deaths by poisoning that occur
each year in the United States. Of that mournful total about twenty-five hundred
are children. About four hundred of these children die each year of poisoning
by aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) and some other salicylate. Aspirin and similar
drugs are sold openly, without prescription. They are considered to be exceptionally
safe substances. The fatal dose is 0.4 to 0.5 gm per kilogram body weight:
that is 5 to 10 gm for a child, 20 to 30 g for an adult."
Aspirin has been in use as a nonprescription drug, sold casually over the counter,
for more than a century before the physiological basis of its pain killing
and fever-reducing action was discovered in 1971. Then it was found that aspirin
acts upon a central hormonal control system in the body. If it were now coming
on to the market from a pharmaceutical laboratory, it would be surely placed
under the constraint of prescription.
Some people show a severe sensitivity to aspirin, such that a decrease in circulation
of the blood and difficulty in breathing follow the ingestion of 0.3 g to 1
g (one to three tablets.)
The symptoms of mild aspirin poisoning are burning pain in the mouth, throat
and abdomen. Difficult in breathing, lethargy, vomiting, ringing in the ears,
and dizziness. More severe poisoning leads to delirium, fever, sweating, incoordination,
coma, convulsions, cyanosis (blueness of the skin), failure of kidney function,
respiratory failure, and death.
Aspirin, like other salicylates, has the property than in concentrated solution
it can attack and dissolve tissues. An aspirin in the stomach may attach the
stomach wall and cause the development of a bleeding ulcer.
The U. S. Centers for Disease Control have reported that if children and teenagers
suffering from influenza or chicken pox are given aspirin they have a fifteen
to twenty-five times greater chance of developing Reye's syndrome, an acute
encelphalopathy and fatty degeneration of the viscera, causing death in about
40 percent of the patients." 
Should you decide, in consultation with your physician, to replace your daily
aspirin with 3-6 grams of oral arginine, you may notice some other interesting
effects as well. One effect in particular may negate the need for men to spend
upwards of $10 on a Viagra pill.
We have a high quality argine powder for $US15.00 plus freight
Frieght nz and australia $nz10.00
Natural Standard® Patient Monograph, Copyright © 2008 (www.naturalstandard.com).
All Rights Reserved. Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph
is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted
as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare
provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
back to top Background
L-arginine was first isolated in 1886. In 1932, scientists learned that
L-arginine is needed to create urea, a waste product that is necessary
for toxic ammonia to be removed from the body. In 1939, researchers discovered
that L-arginine is also needed to make creatine. Creatine breaks down into
creatinine at a constant rate, and it is cleared from the body by the kidneys.
Arginine is considered a semi-essential amino acid because even though
the body normally makes enough of it, supplementation is sometimes needed.
For example, people with protein malnutrition, excessive ammonia production,
excessive lysine intake, burns, infections, peritoneal dialysis, rapid
growth, urea synthesis disorders, or sepsis may not have enough arginine.
Symptoms of arginine deficiency include poor wound healing, hair loss,
skin rash, constipation, and fatty liver.
Arginine changes into nitric oxide, which causes blood vessel relaxation
(vasodilation). Early evidence suggests that arginine may help treat medical
conditions that improve with vasodilation, such as chest pain, clogged
arteries (called atherosclerosis), coronary artery disease, erectile dysfunction,
heart failure, intermittent claudication/peripheral vascular disease, and
blood vessel swelling that causes headaches (vascular headaches). Arginine
also triggers the body to make protein and has been studied for wound healing,
bodybuilding, enhancement of sperm production (spermatogenesis), and prevention
of wasting in people with critical illnesses.
Arginine hydrochloride has a high chloride content and has been used to
treat metabolic alkalosis. This use should be under the supervision of
a qualified healthcare professional.
In general, most people do not need to take arginine supplements because
the body usually produces enough.
back to top Synonyms
2-amino-5-guanidinopentanoic acid, Arg, arginine, arginine hydrochloride
(intravenous formulation), dipeptide arginyl aspartate, HeartBars, ibuprofen-arginate,
L-arg, L-arginine, NG-monomethyl-L-arginine, Sargenor, Spedifen?.
Note : Arginine vasopressin is different from arginine/L-arginine, with
an entirely different mechanism. NG-monomethyl-L-arginine is different
from arginine/L-arginine, and functions as an inhibitor of nitric oxide
back to top Evidence
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness
have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially
serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Uses based on scientific evidence Grade*
Growth hormone reserve test / pituitary disorder diagnosis
Arginine can be injected to measure growth hormone levels in people who
might have growth hormone deficiencies, such as panhypopituitarism, gigantism,
acromegaly, or pituitary adenoma. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) has approved this use. A
Inborn errors of urea synthesis
In patients with inborn errors of urea synthesis, high ammonia levels in
the blood and metabolic alkalosis may occur, particularly among patients
with ornithine carbamoyl transferase (OCT) deficiencies or carbamoyl phosphate
synthetase (CPS) deficiencies. Arginine may help treatment by shifting
the way the body processes nitrogen. Arginine should be avoided in patients
with hyperargininemia (high arginine levels). Other drugs, such as citrulline,
sodium benzoate, or sodium phenylbutyrate, may have similar benefits. However,
dialysis may be needed at first. This use of arginine should be supervised
by a qualified healthcare professional. A
Coronary artery disease / angina
Early evidence from several studies suggests that arginine taken by mouth
or by injection may improve exercise tolerance and blood flow in arteries
of the heart. Benefits have been shown in some patients with coronary artery
disease and chest pain (called angina). However, more research is needed
to confirm these findings and to develop safe and effective doses. B
Some studies suggest that arginine may be beneficial for people with critical
or life-threatening illnesses when it is added to nutritional supplements.
However, it is unclear what the specific role of arginine is in recovery.
Because of the potential for harm, large doses of arginine should be avoided.
Studies of arginine in patients with chronic heart failure have shown mixed
results. Some studies report improved exercise tolerance. Additional studies
are needed to confirm these findings. B
Early studies suggest that adding arginine to ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin?
or Advil?) therapy may decrease migraine headache pain. B
Peripheral vascular disease / claudication
Intermittent claudication causes leg pain and tiredness because cholesterol
plaques or clots develop in leg arteries and block blood flow. A small
number of studies report that arginine therapy may improve walking distance
in patients with claudication. Further research is needed. B
Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a rare inherited metabolic disorder that
is characterized by the loss of fatty coverings (myelin sheaths) on nerve
fibers in the brain and progressive destruction of the adrenal glands.
This condition results in dementia and adrenal failure. Injections of arginine
may help manage this disorder, although most study results are inconclusive.
Further research is needed to evaluate the use of arginine in ALD. C
Early studies suggest that arginine may help treat chronic anal fissures,
which are small tears that develop in the anus. Additional studies are
Arginine has been studied in autonomic failure, a condition that may include
low blood pressure, but the effect is unclear. Well-designed studies will
help clarify this relationship. C
It is unclear if arginine can help treat breast cancer patients. Results
from early human studies are mixed. High-quality studies are needed. C
Arginine may improve immune function and protein function in burn patients.
Further research is needed before a conclusion can be drawn. C
Early human studies suggest that arginine supplements may be beneficial
for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Larger, high-quality studies are
Chest pain (non-cardiac)
Small studies in humans suggest that arginine taken by mouth (not injected)
may improve non-cardiac chest pain associated with esophageal motor disorders.
Large, well-designed studies are needed. C
Circulation problems (critical limb ischemia)
Early human studies suggest that intravenous arginine may increase blood
flow in patients with critical limb ischemia. This condition occurs when
blood flow to the arms and/or legs is blocked. Large, well-designed trials
are needed. C
Dental pain (ibuprofen arginate)
Some research suggests that ibuprofen-arginate (Spedifen?) may reduce pain
after dental surgery faster or more effectively than ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin?
or Advil?) alone. More research is needed in this area. C
Diabetes (Type 1/Type 2)
Early studies in humans suggest that arginine supplements may decrease
the severity of diabetes. Large, well-designed studies are needed to understand
this relationship. C
Early studies in humans suggest that arginine supplements may help the
body fight some long-term complications of diabetes, including heart disease
and nerve damage. Well-designed studies are needed. C
Early studies have shown that arginine supplements may help treat erectile
dysfunction (ED) in men with low nitrate levels in their blood or urine.
A combination of L-arginine, glutamate, and yohimbine hydrochloride has
been used to treat ED. However, because a combination product was used,
and yohimbine hydrochloride is an FDA-approved therapy for this condition,
the effects of arginine alone are unknown. More research is needed with
arginine alone. C
Gastrointestinal cancer surgery
A combination of arginine and omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the length
of hospital stays and infections after surgery in gastrointestinal cancer
patients. Other research suggests that arginine, omega-3 fatty acids, and
glutamine may boost the immune system and reduce inflammation after surgery.
More research with arginine alone is needed. C
Heart protection during coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
Arginine-supplemented "blood cardioplegic solution" may help
protect the heart. Further research is needed before a firm conclusion
can be drawn. C
High blood pressure
Early study in humans suggests that arginine taken by mouth may help widen
the arteries and temporarily reduce blood pressure in patients with high
blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Larger, high-quality studies are needed
before a recommendation can be made. C
Some research suggests that arginine may help treat or prevent high cholesterol.
More research is needed. C
Early study results suggest that arginine supplementation may boost the
immune response elicited by the pneumonia vaccine in older people. More
studies are needed to confirm these results. C
Intrauterine growth retardation
Early studies in pregnant mothers suggest that arginine supplements may
improve growth in fetuses that are smaller than average. Additional studies
are needed. C
Kidney disease or failure
Study results are mixed as to whether arginine as a therapy by itself directly
helps certain kidney diseases or failure. Arginine may be a helpful adjunct
for kidney disease related conditions such as anemia in the elderly. Additional
research is needed in this area. C
Early studies have found that long-term supplementation with L-arginine
significantly improved endothelial function in patients with MELAS syndrome
(mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke).
Further research is merited in this area. C
Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
Study results of arginine supplementation after myocardial infarction (heart
attack) are mixed. Further research is needed before a recommendation can
be made. A cardiologist and pharmacist should be consulted before arginine
supplements are taken. C
Pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnancy)
Early study suggests that long-term supplementation with L-arginine may
decrease blood pressure that is too high in pregnant women. Arginine may
also improve fetal health and growth during pre-eclampsia . Further research
is needed to confirm these results. C
Studies of arginine for pressure ulcers show mixed results. Further research
is needed before a conclusion can be drawn. C
Prevention of restenosis after coronary angioplasty (PTCA)
Arginine has been injected in patients who had stents surgically inserted
into arteries in order to widen them. Early research suggests that this
therapy may help prevent the arteries from becoming narrow again (called
restenosis). Additional studies are needed. C
Early study in humans has looked at the effect of arginine on blood vessel
activity in Reynaud's phenomenon, a condition that causes the blood vessels
in the fingers, toes, nose, and ears to narrow in response to cold temperatures
or stress. However, the effects of arginine are not clear. Large, well-designed
trials are needed. C
Recovery after surgery
Early study suggests that arginine may provide benefits when used as a
supplement after surgery. However, the role of arginine in this condition
is unclear. More research is needed to determine if this is safe and effective.
Early study suggests that arginine supplements may decrease the risk of
respiratory (lung) infections. Large, well-controlled studies are needed
to clarify this relationship. C
There is not enough information available to make a strong recommendation
about the use of arginine in senile dementia. C
Dietary supplementation with L-arginine and canola oil has been associated
with decreased rejection rates after the first month in kidney transplant
patients. Because it may reduce the risk of heart problems, long-term benefits
for patient survival may be particularly important. Further research is
needed to confirm these results. C
Arginine has been suggested to improve the rate of wound healing in the
elderly. Research has shown that an enteral diet supplemented with arginine
and fiber improved wound healing after surgery in patients with head and
neck cancer. Arginine has also been applied to the skin in order to improve
wound healing. Further research is necessary in this area before a firm
conclusion can be drawn. C
Based on early research, L-arginine supplementation is not an effective
therapy to prevent acute mountain sickness (AMS). D
Animal studies report that arginine blocks the poisonous (toxic) effects
of cyclosporine, a drug used to prevent organ transplant rejection. However,
results from studies in humans have not found that arginine offers any
protection from cyclosporine-induced toxicity. D
Overall, currently available study results conclude that arginine supplementation
does not improve exercise performance. D
Although there are several studies in this area, it is not clear what effects
arginine has on improving the likelihood of getting pregnant. Early evidence
does not support the use of arginine as a fertility treatment in women
who are undergoing in vitro fertilization or in men with abnormal sperm.
Arginine has been proposed as a treatment for interstitial cystitis or
inflammation of the bladder. However, most human studies have not found
that arginine improves symptoms, such as urinary frequency or urgency.
Kidney protection during angiography
The contrast media, or dye, used during angiography to map a patient's
arteries (or during some CT scans) can be poisonous (toxic) to the kidneys,
especially among people with kidney disease. Researchers have studied L-arginine
as a way to protect the kidneys in patients with long-term kidney failure
who were undergoing angiography. The authors found no evidence that injections
of L-arginine protect the kidney from damage due to contrast. D
Although it has been suggested that arginine may treat asthma, studies
in humans have actually found that arginine worsens inflammation in the
lungs and contributes to asthma symptoms. Therefore, taking arginine by
mouth or by inhalation is not recommended in people with asthma.