This amino acid powerhouse benefits various parts of
the body - including the sexual parts
By Dr. Edward R. Rosick
Everyone knows that medicine is big business, and nowhere is this more true than in the field of cardiac care. The statistics on cardiovascular disease and its impact on the health (and finances) of Americans are frightening. Over 60 million Americans suffer from some form ofcardiovascular disease, and a substantial portion of them, 12.6 million, are victims of coronary artery disease, or CAD.
In terms of mortality, the numbers are just as alarming. CAD is the single leading cause of death in the United States; it is estimated that it will kill over 600,000 Americans this year alone. The financial impact of heart disease on heath care costs is also staggering, with expenditures running over $200 billion a year.
One reason why so much money is spent on heart disease is that in this country, surgery remains one of the most common types of treatment. Among the most prevalent procedures is the coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG. This operation is performed on over 300,000 people a year in the United States, at an average cost of $45,000 each. Doing the math, that comes to $13.5 billion annually.
Surgery Is Not a Cure For Heart Disease
Although traditional medicine would have you believe that this is money well spent, the truth is that CABG surgery is not a cure for CAD. In fact, it has some potentially serious and even life-threatening side effects. First, although this surgery is done to repair the heart, the operation itself can cause heart damage due to constriction of the blood vessels that nourish the heart.
Furthermore, CABG surgery can also cause brain damage. A study published in the New England Journal of M
edicine evaluated over 2000 patients who had had this operation.1 It was found that over 6% of these patients had devastating neurological side effects, including strokes, seizures, and deterioration of intellectual functioning. In fact, the authors concluded that "Adverse cerebral outcomes after coronary bypass surgery are relatively common and serious; they are associated with substantial increases in mortality, length of hospitalization, and use of intermediate or long-term care facilities."
Arginine Produces Nitric Oxide
Fortunately for people who suffer from heart disease, there is a growing body of solid scientific evidence that an amino acid, L-Arginine (arginine for short) can significantly protect against the development of coronary artery disease and thus help avoid the need for CABG surgery. In addition, arginine can help to protect the heart from some of the harmful effects of the surgery when it is performed.
Arginine can protect against the development of coronary artery disease and thus help avoid the need for CABG surgery.
So how does arginine work its wonders on the human heart? The answer is nitric oxide (NO), a simple gas molecule made up of nitrogen and oxygen. Arginine is the body's primary source of NO, a compound so important that the 1998 Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to the three scientists who discovered its role in human physiology. NO penetrates and crosses the cell walls of almost all cells in the human body, and it helps regulate many cellular functions.
Nitric Oxide Regulates Endothelial Function
In the circulatory system, NO is vitally important because it regulates the tone of the layer of smooth, tightly layered cells, called endothelial cells, that line the inside of blood vessels in the heart and throughout the body. If these endothelial cells become dysfunctional, they can cause spasms or constrictions of the blood vessels.
How does arginine work its wonders on the human heart? The answer is nitric oxide (NO),
a simple gas molecule made up of nitrogen and oxygen.
One of the major problems in CAD is the predominance of such dysfunctional endothelial cells in the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle. When these arteries become constricted, a person with CAD can experience angina pectoris (angina for short), a heart pain that is often the first sign of an impending heart attack.
Only in the last few years have scientists discovered that it's a deficiency of NO in the coronary arteries' endothelial cells that significantly contributes to their dysfunction. Scientists have also discovered, however, that supplementation with arginine, the amino acid from which the body makes its NO, can help protect against CAD-induced damage to the heart.
Arginine Is Vital for a Healthy Heart
One of the first studies to examine the effects of arginine on coronary endothelial function in humans was done at the Mayo Clinic in 1998. There, researchers gave patients either 9 grams of arginine or pl
acebo every day for 6 months.2 At the end of that time, the patients who had been taking arginine had significantly better coronary blood flow than those who had been taking placebo (the controls).
The authors concluded that "Long-term oral L-arginine supplementation for 6 months in humans improves coronary small-vessel endothelial function in association with significant improvements in symptoms and a decrease in plasma endothelial concentrations."
Other studies, done in both Europe and the United States, have shown how arginine canimprove heart function in patients with CAD and a history of angina.
One study examined the effects of giving just a short course (6 grams/day for 3 days) of arginine to patients with angina who had had a heart attack, to see if the arginine could increase their exercise tolerance.3 Compared to the control patients, those who received arginine had statistically significant increases in their exercise capacity on a treadmill.
Another study looked at 52 patients with angina. 4 They were given 15 grams/day of arginine or placebo before their exercise tolerance was measured, using a stationary bicycle. After only 10 days, the patients taking arginine were able to exercise longer and without pain when compared to the controls. The authors concluded that "L-Arginine can be recommended as an adjunct in the treatment of patients with ischemic heart disease." (Ischemic means caused by inadequate blood supply.) "
Source of Above Article on Nitric Oxide and On L-Arginine:
Learn all you can About the Benefits of Taking an L-Arginine Supplement. Knowledge is Power... and when your Ready to Buy a 5 Gram L-Arginine Product Click Here.
Crystal L. Cox
Good Life International Distributor