L-Arginine Supplementation in Peripheral Arterial Disease

Now…we all have our opinions of multi level marketing companies. Many of these are tied to nutritional supplements. I remember a particularly pushy woman with a company that relied heavily on L-arginine in its supplements. Understanding that L-arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide via nitric oxide synthase (nitric oxide helps to relax blood vessels), so the idea is that we can give more L-arginine and help with certain cardiovascular conditions and / or prevention.

Well, insulin resistance is also a major player in this process, raising levels of a compound called ADMA, which counteracts nitric oxide. So, I explained to her that the REAL answer is lifestyle changes geared towards increasing insulin sensitivity. She really did have the background nor the interest, but she was happy to cite the credentials of the doctors that developed their products.

While I hate to be right, here we see an article that shows no long term benefit to L-arginine supplementation. This just makes sense. You HAVE to fix the underlying insulin resistance–anything else is just a band-aid. And, if you care to get deeper, when nitric oxide is out of balance, it can begin to act as a pro-inflammatory molecule. The bottom line is that, in MANY cases, MLM participants without the knowledge may be doing more harm then good by pushing certain supplements.

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James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.