Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Does L-Arginine Help the Heart?

Tuesday, 15 Jun 2010 09:55 AM

Question: I underwent an angioplasty due to a thrombosis (100 percent thrombo). I’m looking for a way to increase nitric oxide for my arteries, and I’ve read contradictory information on whether L-Aginine helps or hurts the heart. Should I take it?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Your question is excellent. While I agree that there seem to be some reported benefits, there is not sufficient information to recommend this supplement to all cardiac patients.

Most research has combined L-Arginine (an amino acid) with other supplements in programs customized to each patient. I am not yet prepared to recommend this supplement by itself for universal use by all cardiac patients. The NO (nitric oxide) release phenomenon (L-Arginine is a precursor of nitric oxide) is presently being investigated, but the downside of arginine supplementation is still being debated. Hold off for now, but stay tuned.

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