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J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2010 Jun 7. [Epub ahead of print]

Effect of Long-Term L-Arginine Supplementation on Arterial Compliance and Metabolic Parameters in Patients with Multiple Cardiovascular risk Factors: Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study.

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1
1Israel Institute For Biological Research, 2Department of Medicine, 3Epidemiology and Research Unit, 4Biochemistry and 5Endocrinology Unit, 6The Brunner Institute for Cardiovascular Research, 7E. Wolfson Medical Center, and 8Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study was designed to determine the effect of long-term L-arginine supplementation on arterial compliance, inflammatory and metabolic parameters in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors.

METHODS:

In this randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 90 patients were randomly assigned to two groups: Group 1 received daily oral L-arginine, Group 2 received matching placebo capsules. Patients were evaluated for lipid profile, glucose, HbA1C, insulin, hs-CRP, renin and aldosterone .Arterial elasticity was evaluated using pulse wave contour analysis (HDI CR 2000, Eagan, Minnesota).

RESULTS:

Although large artery elasticity index (LAEI) did not differ significantly between the groups at baseline (10.64.3 vs.11.64.5 ml/mm HgX100, p=0.346), at the end of the study LAEI was significantly greater in patients treated with L-arginine than in the placebo group (12.73.4 vs. 8.02.8 ml/mm HgX10, p<0.0001). Systemic vascular resistance was significantly lower in patients treated with L-arginine than in the placebo group after 6 months. Small artery elasticity index (SAEI) did not differ significantly between the groups at baseline or at the end of the study. Serum aldosterone decreased significantly in Group 1 from 10.76.3 to 8.45.0 ng/ml (p=0.008), but did not change in the placebo group.

CONCLUSION:

L-arginine supplementation improves LAEI in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors. This improvement was associated with a decrease in systolic blood pressure, peripheral vascular resistance as well as a decrease in aldosterone levels. The results suggest that long term L-arginine supplementation has beneficial vascular effects in pathologic disease states associated with endothelial dysfunction.

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