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40 Science-based Research for Supplementing with Nitric Oxide

Powerful Free-Radical Fighter, Cardio Protector and Anti-ageing

Nitric Oxide is one thousand times more powerful than any naturally occurring antioxidant in the body. 1 L-arginine’s antioxidant properties support various body systems and may protect against heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes, as well as slowing premature ageing. 2

1. Kochupurackal P, et al. Nitric oxide: an antioxidant and neuroprotector. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2002; 962:389-401.

2. Kumar CA, Das UN. Lipid peroxides, antioxidants and nitric oxide in patients with pre-eclampsia and essential hypertension. Med Sci Monitor. 2000 Sep-Oct; 6(5):901-7.

Heart Support, Blood Pressure, Arteries Relax, Plaque, Angina and Hypertension

Nitric Oxide offers wide-ranging cardiovascular support, and may assist to control blood pressure 3, 4 and plaque formation. Nitric oxide helps to keep arteries relaxed and pliable for normal blood pressure, potentially preventing hypertension and angina. 5


3. Brown, M.D., Dengel, D.R., Supiano, M.A. Nitric Oxide Biomarkers are Associated with the Blood Pressure-Lowering Effects of Dietary Sodium Restriction in Older Hypertensives. Circulation (Abstract I). 1997; 96:I-539.

4. Rosano, G.M.C., Tanina, G., Cerquetani, E., Leonardo, F., Pelliccia, F., Bonfigli, B., and Chierchia, F.L. L-arginine Improves Endothelial Function in Newly Diagnosed Hypertensives. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology (Supplement A). 1998; 31:262a 

5. Moncada, F., Palmer, R.M.J., Higgs

Memory, Dementia, Alzheimers

It may assist to enhance memory, 6 particularly long-term memory, and may help to reverse the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 7

6. Pautler EL. The possible role and treatment of deficient microcirculation regulation in age-associated memory impairment. Med Hypotheses. 1994 Jun; 42(6):363- 6.

7. Tarkowski E, et al. Intrathecal release of nitric oxide in Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2000 Nov-Dec; 11(6):322-6.


Human Growth Hormone, Anti-Ageing, Brain Function and Fighting Bacterial Infections

It has been shown to boost human growth hormone (HGH) production which has anti-ageing properties. 8 and may enhance communication of messenger cells between nerves and the brain. 9 and may help improve immune function 10 and fight bacterial infections. 11

8. Ghigo E, Arvat E, Gianotti L, et al. Hypothalamic growth hormone-insulin-like growth facto-1 axis across the human life span. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab.2000; 13 Suppl 6:1493-502.

9. Fried R, Merrell WC. The Arginine Solution. New York, NY. Warner Books, 1999.

10. Efron D, Barbul A. Role of arginine in immunonutrition. J Gastroentol. 2000; 35 Suppl 12:20-3..

11. Korting GE, Smith SD, Wheeler MA, Weiss RM, Foster HE. A randomized double-blind study of oral L-arginine for treatment of interstitial cystitis. J Urol. 1999 Feb; 161(2):558-65

Diabetes and Insulin Regulation

It may help in the treatment and prevention of diabetes since many disease complications, including poor circulation and blindness, are vascular in nature. It may also also assist to regulate insulin secretion in the pancreas. 12, 13

12. Piatti PM, Monti LD, Valsecchi G, et al. Long term oral L-arginine administration improves peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2001 May; 24(5):875-80.

13. Mohan IK, Cas UN. Effects of L-arginine-nitric oxide system on chemical induced diabetes mellitus. Free Radic Biol Med. 1998 Nov 1; 25(7):757-65.

Cancer Cells, Cholesterol and Male Sexual Performance

It may inhibit the division and proliferation of cancer cells. 14, 15 It may also help with cholesterol control by lowering serum and LDL cholesterol levels. 16 It may enhance male sexual performance by treating vascular erectile dysfunction. 17

14. Heys SD, et al. Dietary supplementation with L-arginine: Modulation of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in patients with colorectal cancer. Br J Surg. 1997 Feb; 84(2):238-41.

15. Brittenden J, et al. Dietary supplementation with L-arginine in patients with breast cancer (> 4cm.) receiving multi-modality treatment: report of a feasibility study. Br J Cancer. 1994 May; 69(5):918-21.

16. Khedara A, Kawai Y Kayashita J Kato N. Feeding rats the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, L-N(omega) nitroarginine, elevates serum triglycerides and cholesterol and lowers hepatic fatty acid oxidation. J Nutr. 1996 Oct; 126(10):2563-7.

17. Chen J, Wollman Y, Chernichovsky T, et al. Effect of high dose nitric oxide donor L-arginine in men with organic erectile dysfunction. BJU Int. 1999 Feb; 83(3):269-73.

Heart Attack & Stroke Risk, Pregnancy Hypertension and Asthma

Its anticoagulant abilities may reduce clotting to lower heart attack and stroke risk. 18  It may also reduce pregnancy-related hypertension, a risk factor for both the expecting mother and the unborn child. 19  It may be useful in the treatment of asthma by opening pulmonary pathways for easier breathing and the treatment of lung disorders. 20, 21

18. Wolf A, et al. Dietary L-arginine supplementation normalizes platelet aggregation in hypercholesterolemic humans. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1997 Mar 1; 29(3):479.

19. Podjarny, E., et al. Pregnancy-induced hypertension in rats with adriamycin nephropathy is associated with inadequate production of nitric oxide. Hypertension. 1997; 29:986-991. 20.De Gouw HW, Verbruggen MB, Twiss IM, Sterk PJ. Effect of oral L-arginine on airway hyper-responsiveness to histamine in asthma. Thorax. 1999 Nov; 54(11):1033-5.

21. De Gouw HW, Marshall-Partridge SJ, et al. Role of nitric oxide in the airway response to exercise in healthy and asthmatic subjects. J Appl Physiol. 2001 Feb; 90(2):586-92.

Haemorrhoids, Bone Mass, Fatty Tissue

Nitric Oxide may relax hypertonic sphincter muscles, healing and preventing haemorrhoids. 22 It may boost lean muscle mass and preserve bone density by encouraging HGH production, 23 which also may lead to a reduction in fatty tissue. Because of these properties, it may be useful in weight management and strength training.

22. Fried R, Merrell WC. The Arginine Solution. New York, New York. Warner Books, 1999. pp 4-5.

23. Stevens BR, Godfrey MD, Kaminski TW, Braith RW. High intensity dynamic human muscle performance enhanced by a metabolic intervention. Med Sci Sports Exercercise. 2000 Dec; 32(12):2102-8.

Cardio / Lung Damage

It can help offset cardiovascular and lung damage caused by tobacco use, 24 since the nitric oxide level in smokers is less than half of those found in non-smokers. 25

24. Heitzer, T., Just, H., and Munzell, T. Antioxidant Vitamin C Improves Endothelium Function in Chronic Smokers. Circulation. 1996; 94:9. 25. Zeiher, A.M., Schachinger, V., and Minners, J. Long-Term Cigarette Smoking Impairs Endothelium-Dependent Coronary Arterial Vasodilator Function. Circulation. 1995; 92:1094-1100.

Wound Healing

It may help to accelerate wound healing 26 and post surgery recovery. 27  Research has shown it may be useful in treating burn wounds 28 and stimulating wound healing in the elderly. 29

26. Barbul A, et al. Arginine enhances wound healing and lymphocyte immune responses in humans. Surgery. 1990 Aug; 108(2):331-6; discussion 336-7.

27. Braga M, Gianotti L Raedelli G, et al. Perioperative immunonutrition in patients undergoing cancer surgery: results of a randomized double-blind phase 3 trial. Arch Surg. 1999 Apr; 134(4):428-33.

28. De-Souza DA, Greene LJ. Pharmacological nutrition a4er burn injury. J of Nutri. 1998 May; 128(5):797-803.

29. Kirk SJ, et al Arginine stimulates wound healing and immune function in elderly humans. Surgery. 1993 Aug; 114(2):155-9; discussion 160.

Athletic Performance, Lungs, Human Growth Hormone, Lean Muscle Strength

It may be useful in enhancing athletic performance due to its ability to boost exercise tolerance, 30 its beneficial effect on the lungs, and its effect on HGH levels which may then help with building lean muscle tissue.

30. Bednarz B, Wolk R, Chamiec T, et al. Effects of oral L-arginine supplementation on exercised induced QT dispersion and exercise tolerance in stable anginapectoris. Int J Cardiol. 2000 Sep 15; 75(2-3): 205-10.

Prostate, Osteoporosis

It may improve the function of the prostate. 31 It may prevent and possible reverse the effects of osteoporosis by positively affecting bone mass. 32

31.Aikawa K, Yokota T, et al. Endogenous nitric oxide-mediated relaxation and nitrinergic innervation in the rabbit prostate: the change with ageing. Prostate. 2001 Jun 15; 48(1): 40-6

32.Fini M, et al. Effect of l-lysine and L-arginine on primary osteoblast cultures from normal and osteopenic rats. Biomed Pharmacother. 2001 May; 55(4):213-21..

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcers

It has been used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome 33 and to reduce the occurrence of ulcers—especially stress-related—without affecting gastric acid production. 34, 35

33.Sahin AS, Atalik KE, Gunel E, Dogan N. Nonadrenergic, noncholinergic reponses of the human colon smooth muscle and the role of K+channels in these responses. Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 2001 Jan-Feb; 23(1):13-7.

34.Ohta Y, Nishida K., Protective effect of L-arginine against stress-induced gastric mucosal lesions in rats and its relation to nitric acid-mediated inhibition of neutrophil infiltration. Pharmacal Res. 2001 Jun; 43(6): 535-41.

35.KhattabMM,GadMZ,AbdallahD Protectiveroleofnitricoxideinindo-methacin-inducedgastric ulceration by a mechanism independent of gastric acid secretion. Pharmacol Res. 2001 May; 43(5):463-7.

Renal Function, Renal Failure

It may improve renal function and slow the progression of renal disease and age- related chronic renal failure. 36, 37

36.De Nicola L, Bellizzi V, Minutolo R, et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study of arginine supplementation in chronic renal failure. Kidney Int. 1999 Aug; 56(2): 674-84.

37.Reckelhoff JF, et al. Long-term dietary supplementation with L-arginine pre- vents age related reduction in renal function. Am J Physiol. 1997 Jun; 272(6 Pt 2):1768-74.